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Influenza Complications Get Personal

Posted Nov 11 2009 10:00pm
My six year old had a classic case of influenza along with every other member of the household, save me who received vaccine. She had an abrupt onset of a fever, cough, fatigue, and aches which lasted five to seven days. Her fever went away and after missing a week of school she went back to school for a day or two before the fever returned.

Then the cough returned. A normally perky and playful first grader became sluggish and tired. Of course her Dr. Daddy had gone to a CME while she had turned for the worse so her Mom took her to her family doctor her quickly referred her to the ER. Chest x-ray showed bilateral infiltrates with a clear predominance toward the left lower lobe. Not only did she have a textbook case of influenza, but now she had a textbook superinfection.

Obviously I rushed home and now sit with her in her hospital room on the pediatrics floor blogging. She's been hospitalized for two days now and thanks to some chocolate pudding therapy and a third generation cephalosporin is doing well and should go home today.

All of this for just a little flu? Influenza is not a benign disease. To this the vaccine is riskier than the disease is just irrational and foolish. As equally as irrational is why we continue to have vaccine supply issues.

The Country Doctor
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