Flu Update

Parents: you have probably heard (and may have already experienced) that we are in the middle of a bad Flu season.

There are two Influenza strains (an A strain and a B strain) circulating now, fortunately both are included in this year's vaccine. The Type A H3N2 strain is different than in the past few years, so more people are going to be susceptible, (the H1N1 strain had been the predominant one for several years). Moreover, the H3N2 strain tends to cause a worse illness.

Whereas Type A Influenza primarily results in high fever, severe body aches and respiratory symptoms all within 24 hours of onset, Type B can cause nausea and vomiting along with these other symptoms. And, because there have been equal number of Type A and Type B strains in circulation this year, a person can potentially get the Flu twice this season! In addition, there are other respiratory and GI viruses around that don't cause as severe of an illness, but will still make people sick for 7 - 10 days. Lots of bed rest, liquids (to prevent dehydration) and your cold remedy of choice is the best treatment.

Thus, please remember to send with your student a nice supply of Tylenol, ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), and a variety of cold medications. (note that pseudoephedrine is a much better decongestant than phenylephrine, but you will have to ask for it at the pharmacy).

It takes about 1-2 weeks for protective antibodies to form after receiving the Flu vaccine, so please take care of that before your student returns to campus. If you are not able to work that in, I do have a small supply still left in the clinic.

Please feel free to call if you have any questions. If your student needs a Flu shot, have them come up during the afternoons starting 1/21.

Thanks,
Dr. Dekat

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