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Flu Season Update – Protecting Your Baby

December 10, 2019

This season has been particularly hard
and not just in Arkansas but throughout the United States and we’ve been seeing
a lot of widespread flu activity. We’re seeing a lot of the H3N2 subtypes
of the flu which tends to be harder on children and older adults. We’ve also
seen the flu season hit earlier than usual which is probably why it’s just
been a bad season. A fever, cough, and sore throat are the most common symptoms of the flu. Sometimes you’ll see children will have diarrhea, vomiting. They complain of a lot of Myalgia as their body aches, headaches. Seeing your doctor
early on in the illness can be helpful because they can give you a medicine
called Oseltamivir or Tamiflu. This medicine can prevent your child from
developing complications of the flu and can also shorten the duration of illness. Babies less than 6 months of age can’t get the flu shot, so the only way to
protect them from getting the flu is making sure everyone around them is
vaccinated and preventing them from getting sick. The best way to do that is keep them at home don’t take them out in public, don’t take them out in crowds.
If your baby actually does get the flu it can be potentially life-threatening when they’re really young, so just be very careful with that. This year in our NICU at Arkansas Children’s we will be implementing NICU
visitor restrictions. The purpose of that restriction is to prevent your baby from
getting the flu. Only two visitors will be allowed to visit so as much as
possible try to keep other family members away. If your baby does get the
flu, the risk of complications from the flu are very, very, high and we want to prevent that and keep your baby as safe as possible

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