First Two Cases of Flu Confirmed at Cook Children's
5 reasons to get your child the flu shot now
Two children tested positive for the Influenza A virus from the week of Sept. 16 through Sept. 22, 2018, according to Laboratory results from Cook Children's.
For the week, 85 children were tested for the flu, with 83 tests coming back negative. Interestingly, the first case of the flu was confirmed during the same (Sept. 21) in 2017.
The goods news is that flu vaccines are available at our Cook Children’s pediatrician's offices now.
Getting the flu vaccine is one of the most important things you can do for your child this time of year. Yes, hand washing and avoiding ill contacts are good ideas but that’s not going to be what ultimately protects your child from flu.
No one likes getting a flu shot, kids and parents included, but it’s essential to your child’s health. Here are 5 important facts about the flu shot you should know:
- Get your child the shot. The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending flu shots for every child over 6 months of age. Children and elderly adults are the most at risk for serious illness, hospitalization and death from the flu. Children under 2 and those with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk, but healthy children are hospitalized and die from the flu every year!
- Get your own flu shot. Getting yourself protected helps to prevent the spread of flu in your house. It will decrease the risk of you contracting it, even if someone in your house gets it … and taking care of sick kids while you are sick is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done as a parent. If you have a child under 6 months with whom you have frequent contact (who cannot receive the vaccination) it is extremely important.
- Ignore any early data about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. Last year, early data about flu vaccine effectiveness caused many to skip their shot. But, at the end of the year, protection rates ended up being average (and any protection is better than none). Just get it done.
- Choose the injectable vaccine. Nasal flu vaccines will be available again at some offices this year. However, based on past years, I am strongly recommending that patients get the injectable vaccine. After giving nasal flu vaccine for years before studies showed it wasn’t working, I’m not taking that risk with my children or my patients until we know more about how it’s working over the next few years.
- Go ahead and get your child scheduled. Pediatric studies have not shown a decrease in effectiveness during a flu season because of getting the shot done early. Getting the vaccine at least 2 weeks before the season starts is critical to making sure they are protected and we never know what vaccine supplies will be when the season hits.
All About the Flu
- Influenza (flu)
- Is it a cold or the flu?
- Is the flu vaccine a good idea for your family?
- Frequently asked questions about immunizations
- How can I comfort my baby during shots?
- Immunization schedule
- Is the Flu vaccine a good idea for your family?
- Your child's immunizations: influenza vaccine
Influenza, commonly known as "the flu," is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract. It affects all age groups, though kids tend to get it more often than adults.
In North Texas, Flu season runs from October to May, with most cases happening between late December and early March. Schedule a shot of flu prevention and find a Cook Children's pediatrician near you.
Get to know Justin Smith, M.D.
Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician in Trophy Club and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's checkupnewsroom.com. He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” open now. Click to learn more. To make an appointment, call 817-347-8100.