Ack!! We need a Care section.

So, how worried should we be about swine flu and our boys? Especially those of us living near documented cases. I admit I haven't read a whole lot about it, so am not sure of how bad it can be.

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Thanks Laurie for bringing this up, I was just thinking about it and wondering what to do. Should we contact our doc and get his input or what would be best? I suppose it depends upon how bad it is per area. I will speak to the teacher tomorrow and ask her to alert me if she sees it start up in school, I'd rather keep Alexander home.

Wish I could keep him in a bubble!
You should be as worried about this as any other form of avian influenza, as that is potentially what we are dealing with here - a recombination of a swine/avian/human orthomyxoviridae.

For any of the boys on steroids, prevention will always be better than cure, so:

Ensure everyone washes their hands when they come home. See your doctor immediately if you show sudden onset of fever or lethargy that could be flu related. If your doctor is unable to see you, NOTIFY the hospital prior to your arrival, to ensure they can set up a quarrantine area in advance. Avoid petting zoo's and anyone who keeps pigs and fowl together (if you live in an area of high risk). Avoid travelling on aircraft if any member of your family shows signs of the flu.

If you apply common sense, have a word to the teachers about notifying you if class members start going home with the flu, and ensure your local doctor/pharmacist has the most relevan antiviral med's available should you need them (Relenza or Tamiflu) you should be fine.

At this point all indicators are that whilst this is serious, there is no need for panic... just common sense.
Julie Gilmore said:
If you apply common sense, have a word to the teachers about notifying you if class members start going home with the flu, and ensure your local doctor/pharmacist has the most relevan antiviral med's available should you need them (Relenza or Tamiflu) you should be fine.
Just remember that the flu vaccine will NOT prevent this strain as it is a new mutation. The flu vaccine is produced months ahead of flu season and is just a guess as to which strain and mutation will be the most predominant in that year.
You are quite correct, last years flu shot covered H1N1; H3N2 and Influenza B (Florida/B/4/2006), and the virus currently bears minimal homology to the H1N1 strain in last years vaccine.

However Relenza or Tamiflu are not vaccinations, they are two antiviral medications that have been found to be effective against the current outbreak of swine flu as they target the specific neuraminidase that it is expressing.

Vaccination for this current strain of swine flu will take at least 6-10 weeks before it is available, so in the meantime, common sense, and preventative measures are paramount.

For those that are concerned, the CDC has issued industry guidelines, with the key points that bear relevance to our boys as follows:

Infectious period for a confirmed case of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection is defined as: 1 day prior to the case’s illness onset to 7 days after onset.

Close contact is defined as: within about 6 feet of an ill person who is a confirmed or suspected case of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection during the case’s infectious period.


Acute respiratory illness is defined as recent onset of at least two of the following: rhinorrhea or nasal congestion, sore throat, cough (with or without fever or feverishness)

High-risk groups: A person who is at high-risk for complications of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection is defined as the same for seasonal influenza



Jerry Dallapè said:
Julie Gilmore said:
If you apply common sense, have a word to the teachers about notifying you if class members start going home with the flu, and ensure your local doctor/pharmacist has the most relevan antiviral med's available should you need them (Relenza or Tamiflu) you should be fine.
Just remember that the flu vaccine will NOT prevent this strain as it is a new mutation. The flu vaccine is produced months ahead of flu season and is just a guess as to which strain and mutation will be the most predominant in that year.
Julie Gilmore said:
Relenza or Tamiflu are not vaccinations, they are two antiviral medications that have been found to be effective against the current outbreak of swine flu as they target the specific neuraminidase that it is expressing.
You are correct. I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I know we have to be very careful with colds and flu in our boys, but in the interest of full disclosure, I think parents should also investigate the potential benefits compared to the risks.
Tamiflu is said to reduce the flu symptoms by an average of one day, but only if taken within 48 hours of onset of symptoms. That's the upside, one less day to worry about our boys and the flu.
Here are the possible side effects:
-nausea
-vomiting
-confusion and self-injury
-severe and sometimes fatal skin reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome
-anaphylactic shock
-tympanic membrane disorder in 1% of patients (at least one boy went permanently deaf)
-Should not be taken by people with liver problems (most of our boys have elevated liver counts)

Both Relenza and Tamiflu can cause bronchitis and the Relenza website specifically warns that people with chronic respiratory problems could have those problems aggravated by the drug and that they will likely not see a reduction in the length of symptoms.

By all means, if you (universal) feel it is still in the best interest of your child to give him one of these drugs, you should do it. But do the relevant research yourself first and don't rely on your pediatrician to give you everything you need to know. Nine times out of ten, they simply don't have the time to gather up the information and give it to us parents in a way that is relevant to a child with DMD.
Xavier caught influenza B last month at school, it was a strain not covered by this year's shot. We had him at the pediatrician within 2 hours of the fever starting and on Relenza within 3 hours. The strain of flu he had was shown to be non-responsive to tamiflu so that was why he was put on the Relenza. He had no side effects from the Relenza, his fever only lasted for 1.5 days and he coughed for about 2 days total. We were told to expect a really sick kid for about 5 days. The key is catching it right away and being diagnosed immediately. My husband and I were put on Tamiflu by our MD for 10 days as profilaxis and I can tell you it made me so ill (nausea, head ache, over all feeling of ick) I stopped taking it after day 5 and I figured we were in the clear. Children under the age of 5 cannot take the Relenza, only Tamiflu so keep that in mind for your younger boys.
I for one am nervous about the "Swine flu", but so far no cases by us, but you never know. We will watch Xavier very closely and I know our school nurse will be watching for anything unusual at the school and call us if she sees's anything suspicious.
We just had a case of the swine flu confirmed in our county here in MI. This is very concerning to me. I will be paying close attention to any other outbreaks in our area.
Karen Barnett said:
We just had a case of the swine flu confirmed in our county here in MI. This is very concerning to me. I will be paying close attention to any other outbreaks in our area.
Karen, CDC is only confirming 66 cases in six states (NY, CA, TX, KS, IN and OH) as of the AP wire five minutes ago. If there is, in fact, a case in MI that you already know about, either the CDC is in a terrible mess or we are not being given the whole story. Either way, it is not encouraging news.
"As I've been saying, numbers when it comes to an outbreak like this will change. And through the day you'll hear different numbers or newer numbers from states. We will continue to update our numbers once a day for consistency. But you will find with that that some of our numbers may lag behind what you're hearing from a particular state. If you want information about cases in a particular state, the best place to turn for that information is to that state because they're on the ground. They're the ones who are working to investigate and implement control measures. " - Dr Besser, CDC briefing, 28 April 2009, 2.30pm EST.

So this site (PP forum) could prove to be an excellent resource to keep parents updated given the number of states that are represented.....

Thanks for the feedback Karen, stay well :)
And what the FDA has decided to do about this outbreak? Readjust their "rules" to make sure no one dies!

I am sympathetic to those who passed from Swine in Mexico, and comprehend it affects a larger population than DMD. And knowing this flu can be deadly doesn't make my day either...but couldn't the FDA do the same for DMD...tweak things just a bit to make sure DMD goes away?
Here's the story:

http://www.livingstondaily.com/article/20090429/NEWS01/904290310

There is also another case they are looking at in Ottawa, MI.
Yup. Four more states added to the list today (including Michigan). Thankfully, it doesn't seem to be as deadly north of the Rio Grande, for whatever reason. Cheryl, yes the CDC is pathetic; has been for years, so I don't fully blame this administration (though 100 days into this administration we still do not have a head of the CDC - I call Katrina 2009). If there is a crisis, whether a medical crisis or just a crisis of confidence, it's time to change or bend the rules. Their agency is updated more than once a day by those "on the ground". There is no reason for them to hold back information.

Karen Barnett said:
Here's the story:

http://www.livingstondaily.com/article/20090429/NEWS01/904290310

There is also another case they are looking at in Ottawa, MI.

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