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H1N1: When Should You See a Doctor?

By Staff | Oct 29, 2009

H1N1 VACCINE CLINIC -- Palo Alto County Community Health held an H1N1 Vaccine Clinic Monday. With 250 doses available, pregnant women, families and child care providers with children under six months were eligible to take part in the clinic, along with children through age four and people under age 40 with chronic health conditions. The line started at the Community Health door and stretched around the building toward the front door. For information on future H1N1 Vaccine Clinics, call the Palo Alto County Flu Hotline at 712-852-5666 or visit Palo Alto County Health System’s website: pachs.com --Jane Whitmore photo

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports the 2009 H1N1 virus continues to spread rapidly throughout Iowa. While most Iowans will recover from the virus without needing to seek medical attention, some individuals, especially children, are at higher risk for H1N1-related complications.

Children who should be considered for early antiviral treatment, and whose parents or caregiver should contact their health care provider as soon as influenza-like symptoms begin, include:

· Those younger than 2 years of age in particular, and some children up to 4 years of age.

·Children and adolescents with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma and diabetes.

·Adolescents who are pregnant (and up to two weeks after giving birth).

·Children and adolescents who are on long-term aspirin therapy.

It is important to recognize that even healthy older children can have severe or fatal outcomes after influenza infection. In all children, warning signs indicating the need for urgent medical attention include:

·Fast breathing or trouble breathing

·Bluish or gray skin color

·Not drinking enough fluids (dehydration)

·Severe or persistent vomiting

·Not waking up or not interacting with people and things around them

·Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held

·Flu-like symptoms improve, but then return with fever and worse cough

For moreinformation about H1N1 influenza: www.idph.state.ia.us/h1n1 Iowans with questions about H1N1 may also call the IDPH toll-free Influenza Hotline at 1-800-447-1985. For up-to-date information about flu vaccination clinics in Palo Alto County, watch your local media, visit the hospital’s website at www.pachs.com (a box on the home page lists all scheduled clinics) or call the Palo Alto County Flu Hot Line at (712) 852-5666.