Flu Update

We started doing more flu tests; today 5 tested positive for type A and 3 positive for type B flu.  A few comments:

(1) Flu vaccine efficacy: we had 2 positive tests so far in children who got injectable (Fluzone) flu shots; in both the disease was mild and went away quickly.  We have had NO flu at all so far in children who got the nasal Flumist vaccine.  Remember, injectable flu is shot still the only one recommended for ages under 2, over 49, and for high-risk individuals.
(2) CDC reports that most Flu A strains this season are resistant to treatment with Tamiflu, our usual drug of choice.  We tried to prescribe Relenza, to which the strains are sensitive, but ran up against the fact that none of the local insurers cover this medications.  I guess no one at the insurance companies reads  www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly

(3) One of the children who tested positive for flu simultaneously tested positive for Group A Strep.  Both infections are running around schools and day care centers, so to have both at the same time would not be unusual; this is just a reminder not to stop looking for answers once you have one good answer: it may not be the only answer…

(4) Having Flu A does not make one immune to B, and vice versa.  It’s not too late to get you flu vaccine, even if you have been sick.


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