Humanitarian Resource Institute
Stephen M. Apatow
President, Director of Research and Development, Humanitarian University Consortium Graduate Studies Center for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Law
4. If new highly pathogenic recombinant strain(s) evolve (Swine to Human with efficient Human to Human transmission), then the entire global emerging infectious disease picture will exponentially become more complicated. Ex. If a new strain picked up the characteristics of Pandemic H5N1 or West Nile virus, we could watch migratory birds contribute to global spread. Following the initial outbreak of West Nile Virus in New York City, the virus spread throughout North America by migratory birds within two years.
Collaborative efforts between veterinary and human medicine for surveillance, containment and control of this WHO Level 5 Pandemic Strain of Novel A/H1N1 (Swine Flu), is a priority.
Stephen M. Apatow
Founder, Director of Research and Development
In its continuing coverage of the H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu), the Consumer Reports medical team today takes a look at flu guidance for parents.
Stay tuned for CR’s up-to-the minute coverage or log on for previous reports on symptoms to watch for; travel tips for avoiding the flu; a report on which antivirals work; when to use a mask; how to tell the difference between seasonal allergies, colds and the flu; and helpful tips for the uninsured.
Log on to http://blogs.consumerreports.org/health/swine-flu/ for CR’s coverage.
Schools have been one of the main avenues of transmission of the H1N1 (swine) flu in the
All parents should stay informed about flu incidence in their local communities and teach their children about the simple measures that can help prevent infection. If you live in a community where the H1N1 flu has been diagnosed or suspected, stay in contact with your school or daycare, and local public health authorities to get the latest information and guidance.
Here are the key prevention, planning, and treatment recommendations from the federal government and Consumer Reports’ medical experts.
If the flu does come, expect school closings and have a plan in place for taking care of your child. If you don’t have any friends or relatives who can take care of your kids in an emergency, you might ask your employer what options you might have. Can you take time off, sick leave or telecommute? It’s best to get these questions answered now, so you’re prepared in the event of a school closing, or a sick child. You might also get in touch with your daycare to see if a pandemic flu plan is in place. If not you can help them make one.
If your child does get symptoms of the flu call your health provider to see about testing and treatment. Typical symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and headache, chills and fatigue and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting. Very young children appear less likely to have typical flu symptoms, like fever and cough. In young children also watch for difficulty breathing and low activity. If infants have fever and lethargy, call the doctor, even if they don’t have respiratory symptoms, like coughing.
Pregnant women and young children, especially those under 5 years of age and those with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of complications of flu.
Your doctor may prescribe one of the antiviral drugs—either Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Relenza (zanamivir)--for children one year of age or older. Also, the FDA recently issued an emergency authorization allowing Tamiflu to be prescribed for children under one.
In addition to an antiviral medication, ask about fever reducing medications appropriate for their age. Stay away from aspirin, and aspirin-containing products such as Pepto-Bismol, which can cause Reye’s syndrome, and for children under six, cough and cold medicines. Make sure children have plenty of liquids, such as water, juice or Pedialyte, and keep them comfortable so they get enough rest. To limit transmission, try to keep sick children separated from uninfected ones, and give them a box of tissues and a garbage bag to throw them away in.
Seek emergency help if you notice any of the following symptoms in children:
—Kevin McCarthy, associate editor
Keep up to date with our swine-flu coverage and recommendations.