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Flu and you -- Tell us your stories

Anxiously awaiting my kids' turn to be vaccinated against H1N1 influenza, I've been reading every bit of flu news I can find. Of course, it's mostly the big numbers and worst cases that make the news. But anecdotal evidence -- stories from friends whose kids have fallen ill--suggests that this wave of influenza produces quite a varied range of illness, from mild fevers easily beaten back with Tylenol to week-long ordeals that leave kids too wiped out even to watch TV.

"On Parenting" blogger Brian Reid wrote earlier this week about the challenge of keeping a sick kid occupied while he or she rides out the flu. But he didn't go into lots of detail about the duration or severity of his child's illness (which, thankfully, seems to be waning).

I'd like to hear more about what's really going on out there in the influenza trenches. Have you, your kid or someone you know had the flu this season? What was it like? Did the virus spread like wildfire through the family? Everybody feeling better now?

And while we're at it, let's take a poll.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  October 29, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
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DC has been holdging many H1N1 vaccination clinics-I haven't gone but from what I hear they're quite busy and they're targeting children and pregnant women. I don't think there was anything wrong with the Obama daughters getting their vaccine; every kid in DC has access to it through the clinics. The only privilage they got was to skip the line.

Posted by: CapitolHillLB | October 29, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

My 1st grader had a fever for a week. It spiked as high as 104, then would drop down after taking medication. He's now been diagnosed with pneumonia as a secondary infection/follow on to H1N1. He's on antibiotics and we are waiting to see if that finally kicks this to the curb.

Rest of family is OK for now, but we are waiting to see if any of us gets a fever in the next few days.

Posted by: beta1 | October 29, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

My husband came down with what we assume was the H1N1 flu last week. He spent 5 days coughing and aching with a fever between 101-103, but has now almost full recovered with only a mild cough left.
I'm 8.5 months pregnant. My ob/gyn clinic had a shipment of vaccines that ran out in 3 days, and I missed it. That was several weeks ago, and nothing since. Somehow I managed to not catch the flu from my husband, or anyone else. Hope my luck lasts!

Posted by: vida23 | October 29, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

All 3 of my kids (8, 5, 1) had seasonal shots in early September. Two weeks ago, the eldest had a fever with aches and a cough- probably H1N1. But we did not have to take him to the doctor. He woke up w/ a fever on a Saturday, but we did not even give him fever reducers until it spiked that evening. The fever broke the next morning, he took one day off from school, and seems fully recovered. He still has a lingering cough and we are watching that closely.
The other kids did not get sick. We did use a homeopathic kids' flu remedy recommended by the pharmacist, as well as an expectorant.
I will still get all 3 vaccinated when I can.

Posted by: erouscg | October 29, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I may have had the swine flu last week. I was never tested (underwent blood work) for it, but in talking to my physician over the phone, he confirmed that my symptoms of persistent fever, aches & pains, chest & head congestion, chills, and cough were consistent with the swine flu. My husband was also sick before I was, but his blood was tested for influenza virus and the results came back negative.

I was placed on Tamiflu within 48 hours of my first symptoms (which appeared Thursday, 10/22). Tamiflu works to lessen the spread of the virus in the body and helps speed up recovery. I have completed the full 5 day course of Tamiflu, and spoke to my physician again this past Monday 10/26 who advised that I could return to work if I had been fever free for 24 hours or longer, and felt up to working. I did, and came back to work Tuesday 10/27.

I feel fine now, back to normal. My take is that as long as your flu is the mild version, no big deal. All bets are off with anything more severe however.

Posted by: sarahbonnie1 | October 29, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Had the seasonal flu shot then came down with what I am told was H1N1. My lungs felt like I was inhaling flames. The fever was high -- had some astounding hallucinations. Unconscious for two days, didn't eat for 3.

The doctor says the flu "did a number" on my asthma and it is no longer under control. I am taking prednisone (which I'm told makes you hyper, but it puts me to sleep) and two different inhalers. Don't think the drugs have improved my situation in a week, but all the sleep seems to be helping.

Posted by: cbdebris | October 29, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Half of my daughter's preschool class of 15 has been out sick, with the symptoms ranging from raging fever and cough with serious lethargy to a few days of mild fever. Of course, as far as I know, only one of those kids has actually been tested for virus strain (it was H1N1, though), so who knows if all of them had it.

In fact, I'd guess at least half of her entire *preschool* has been out sick at some point in the past few weeks. Fortunately, all my daughter's had is a cold.

I've gotten both kids their seasonal shots and my daughter's had the first H1N1 nasal spray, but I haven't been able to find a shot for my 7-month-old son. I'm most worried about him.

Posted by: marag | October 29, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with the Obama daughters getting swine flu vaccinations. I caught it from my child and it has been much rougher on me than on her. I would hate to see the President catch this flu! My daughter has recovered with a lingering cough. It hit my lungs hard and now I'm on prednisone and an inhaler. I had no energy and could hardly open a can of soup to heat up for us to eat. It's scary because I am otherwise very healthy and work out, and now I have to rest after walking up a flight of stairs.

Posted by: drl97 | October 30, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

My daughter allegedly had H1N1, i.e. tested positive for the influenza antigen, back in June 2009. She had to take Tamiflu and the rest of us prophilactically. My son was allegedly infected with H1N1 two weeks ago and was the only one on Tamiflu. Both kids had fever of 101.6F for three days and were in perfect health after five days, The croopy cough, headaches and nausea were other symptoms. My wife and I never got sick. I wrote allegedly, because the type A influenza test kit does not discern between a regular seasonal influenza and H1N1 and both of these viruses share the same surface protein antigen. Frankly this entire pandemic has been whipped up by the media, causing irrational panic and fear. Yes, there have been tragic deaths among children and scientists need to study this virus and find out why some kids recover quickly, while others are regrettably lost.

Posted by: veloboldie | November 2, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

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