Another Flu Question

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Cindysphinx, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    Daughter got sick with the flu last week and missed school on Friday. Son did not get sick last week but obviously had a lot of contact with daughter.

    Son visited grandparents in their nursing home on Sunday (outdoors on the grounds because kids are not permitted in the facility because of swine flu concerns). Daughter did not visit, obviously.

    Yesterday, son became sick, probably with swine flu.

    Last night, grandmother became sick with swine flu. This is a serious situation because she is elderly, is losing weight and is in frail health, having been hospitalized or in rehab for over a month with a suspected spine infection.

    Is there any chance my son transmitted swine flu to his grandmother even though he wasn't sick when he visited and became ill 3 days after the visit?

    Should we take the grandmother to an emergency room to get her some Tamiflu or whatever, or should we wait for signs of breathing difficulties?

    Sorry I have to ask these questions here, but I'm just the daughter-in-law so I can't exactly parachute in and start calling the shots. Armed with the right information, however, I can do some spirited nagging sessions.
     
    #1
  2. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,566
    Cindy- Yes, there is a chance she caught it from him. There is also a chance she caught it from someone else.

    She is in a very high risk category and should seek medical attention ASAP. The flu, regardless as to what type, kills elderly folks. Get moving.
     
    #2
  3. Jagman

    Jagman Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    164
    Yes, it is possible that your son gave the bug to grandma. Most disease, like the flu, has an incubation period. During this time, a person may not yet show symptoms but still transmit the disease. Since this appears to be the flu, and there is an epidemic, grandma could also have contracted the disease from a thousand other sources. Not helpful, IMO, to dither about how grandma got sick; more important to determine accurately the nature of her affliction.

    The elderly are an at risk population with the flu. Grandma should see a doctor promptly. It's always best to jump on these things early. No need to waste time in an emergency room unless her condition becomes serious.

    Hope that helps.
     
    #3
  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    Thanks!

    I fired off my first Nagging Salvo, pointing out that antivirals must be administered with 48 hours. Perhaps that will shake something loose.
     
    #4
  5. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,566
    ^^^ You may have to get in their face to get some attention. Nursing homes are not always on their game with stuff like this, although you would like to think otherwise...
     
    #5
  6. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    5,639
    From the CDC web site
    http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/identifyingpatients.htm

    Groups at high risk for complications:
    Persons aged 65 years or older;
    Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities.

    Medical care for patients with novel influenza A (H1N1) virus
    Not all patients with suspected novel influenza (H1N1) infection need to be seen by a health care provider. Patients with severe illness and those at high risk for complications from influenza (see list above) should contact their medical provider or seek medical care.

    Treatment of novel influenza A (H1N1)
    The novel influenza (H1N1) virus is susceptible to both oseltamivir and zanamivir. It is resistant to amantadine and rimantadine. View Interim guidance on antiviral treatment for novel influenza A (H1N1).

    Infectious period
    The duration of shedding with novel influenza A (h1N1) virus is unknown. Therefore, until data are available, the estimated duration of viral shedding is based upon seasonal influenza virus infection. Infected persons are assumed to be shedding virus from one day prior to illness onset until resolution of symptoms. In general, persons with novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection should be considered potentially infectious from one day before to 7 days following illness onset. Children, especially younger children, might be infectious for up to 10 days.
     
    #6
  7. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW

    DO NOT take her to the ER to get a prescription. Her doc should write that over the phone without necessarily seeing her. Narutally, if she is doing poorly and needs to be seen, that is different, but clogging ERs with flu patients just to get a prescription is wrong on many levels.
     
    #7
  8. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    5,639
    I hope your husband's mom will be allright.

    This situation does raise the philosphical question of whether one should consider getting the flu vaccines not just to protect oneself, but to protect other members of society wih whom we are in contact.
    For instance, my Dad just turned 90 and had to stop playing tennis because of the onset of congestive heart failure. I'm visiting him with my family in December. Should my wife, kids and I get our flu shots so we wouldn't inadvertantly infect him?
    Should we get the flu shot just to protect the elderly couple in front of us in the check out line at the store, even if we don't know them?
    Should a teacher get a flu vaccine to protect not just her students, but the baby or pregnant mom in the student's home?

    The groups at high risk for complications
    is rather lengthy, and impossible to quarantine from the rest of us.

    Groups at higher risk for seasonal influenza complications include:
    Children less than 5 years old;
    Persons aged 65 years or older;
    Children and adolescents (less than 18 years) who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection;
    Pregnant women;
    Adults and children who have chronic pulmonary, cardiovascular, hepatic, hematological, neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders;
    Adults and children who have immunosuppression (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by HIV);
    Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities.
    http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/identifyingpatients.htm
     
    #8
  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    Rather than vaccinate five people to protect one, why not just vaccinate the one?

    I assume my mother-in-law didn't get a vaccine because it was not available. Had it been available, I would not have vaccinated my kids for that reason. I would have wanted her to be vaccinated.
     
    #9
  10. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    5,639
    It just seems that lots of at risk people plan to get a vaccine but somehow don't get around to doing it, or that schedule it and something comes up to postpone it.
     
    #10
  11. EKnee08

    EKnee08 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    949
    Cindy:

    As other posters have stated, those over 65 are an at risk group.
    Don't assume anything regarding why she was not vaccinated.

    I am an elder law attorney in New York and as one previous poster alluded to, don't rely on the nursing home.
    Even with the best nursing homes, you have to be on top of them to ensure your mother-in-law gets the proper care.

    Is your MIL's doctor affiliated with the nursing home or an outside doctor? If an outside doctor, call the office. I wouldn't suggest an emergency room visit because who knows what she can pick up there.

    You should try to nip this in the bud before she exhibits respiratory problems.
     
    #11
  12. mike53

    mike53 Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    978
    My daughter's best friend's mom's best friend's 7-yo son is in the ICU waiting for a kidney transplant (or worse) 2 weeks after getting the flu. Since word of this got around the neighborhood, attendance at the vaccination centers has been a lot higher.
     
    #12
  13. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    Well, it's all moot. She's back in the hospital. Poor kidney function. :(
     
    #13

Share This Page