A perfectly healthy five-year-old was killed by deadly flu
Swine flu, the common name for the H1N1 virus, became the center of a worldwide pandemic in 2009, killing at least 18,500 people in 214 countries
The parents of this five-year-old described their son as someone who was “never sick a day in his short life.” But when their son contracted the swine flu, the effects were devastating, and fast.
He was initially treated by a GP before being referred to Sligo Regional Hospital and transferred to Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin. Doctors rushed him to intensive care but his condition deteriorated and he passed away with his family by his bedside.
A pediatrician in Temple Street children's hospital confirmed they have been seeing a rise in children suffering flu since January, including youngsters who are not in an at-risk group and are healthy.
"Some children have become extremely unwell with it," he added.
Swine flu, the common name for the H1N1 virus, became the center of a worldwide pandemic in 2009, killing at least 18,500 people in 214 countries. Now it is possible to reduce the risk of contracting the illness by getting a winter vaccine.
Doctors also suggest to parents that if they want reassurance, they could get the vaccine for children over six months who are healthy.
However if the child has preexisting conditions like bronchitis or heart disease, a vaccine is a must.
Symptoms of swine flu are not unlike symptoms of a common flu, and these include: A sudden fever—a temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above, fatigue, muscle aches and joint pain, headache, runny or blocked nose, dry cough.
If you're experiencing these flu symptoms and at the same time fall under any of these categories, it's time to call your GP:
- Children under two years old
- Anyone over the age of 65
- Pregnant women
- Children and adults with an underlying health condition (particularly long-term heart or respiratory disease)
- Children and adults with weakened immune systems
According to a popular, and yet perfectly sound tenet, prevention is better than cure. Here are simple but effective measures to help protect your family against the flu:
- Wash hands regularly with soap and warm water
- Regularly clean surfaces such as your keyboard, telephone and door handles
- Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the trash as soon as possible
- The best remedy is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
- Take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve aches.
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