Swine Flu On The Rise Among Boston Children

It's happening later than doctors expected, but the emergency department at Children's Hospital Boston is starting to see an increase in suspected cases of the H1N1 swine flu.

Children's Hospital saw a 40 percent jump in sick kids earlier this week, and doctors assume most of them have the H1N1 virus. But few are being hospitalized. The majority are told to go home, take Tylenol, drink fluid and rest.

Anne Stack, who heads the emergency department at Children's, said most kids with swine flu don't need to come to the E.R.

"Call your pediatrician and let your pediatrician work with you to help make a decision about whether or not you appear to have complications of influenza," Stack said. "It's patients who have complications that are the ones to worry about."

Complications include trouble breathing, dehydration, a new rash, a change in mental status or a high fever that goes away and then comes back. She said those are the flu cases that probably require medical attention.

This program aired on October 30, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Sacha Pfeiffer Host, All Things Considered
Sacha Pfeiffer was formerly the host of WBUR's All Things Considered.



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