Thursday, October 15, 2009

Swine Flu Freaking Me Out

I am freaking out about swine flu.

I was already freaking out last week after a friend told me her friend's 5 year old was hospitalized in TX with kidney failure from H1N1. This was a previously healthy kid.
THEN I got an email from a friend in VA yesterday. Her coworker's kid went to a birthday party 2 weeks ago at an elementary school. Every kid at the party came down with the swine flu, and the birthday boy died. Again, a previously healthy kid. Correction: article says the boy had a pre-existing heart condition. Still.

My friend Meg of Fairfield County Child has a post up about where to get the swine flu vaccine (summary: good luck, places have it totally randomly, like the Darien Y has it today, I think the nose spray version). Some pediatricians have the nose spray available, I think, for ages 2-4. Mine doesn't, though. It's a crapshoot, pretty much.

I am definitely getting the swine flu shot or spray for myself. I am leaning toward getting it for my baby, too. I cannot imagine the effects of the vaccine could be worse than the actual swine flu and its accompanying complications. For goodness' sake, the kid ended up in the ER (twice) when we got the flu in CA, and I don't think that was even swine flu. Or maybe it was. But he never had a fever. But they say if you had flu this year, 95% chance it was swine. So maybe we did. That flu we got was certainly frighteningly contagious, which swine supposedly is.

I suppose if I were going to stay home with the baby all winter, and forego playdates and baby classes until flu season is over, I might feel OK about not getting him vaccinated. But one, I don't want to be a total hermit, and two, I'm going to be teaching in January, and he's going to be in daycare, so both he and I will be around a lot of germs. Sigh. I hate to submit my kid to untested vaccines, but this vaccine is made the same way all the other flu vaccines are.

My question is, why WOULDN'T I vaccinate him for swine flu? I'm getting him all the other standard vaccines, including regular flu, so why wouldn't I do one more? He's far more likely to come into contact with swine flu than polio or hepatitis B.

I do see how it seems crazy to give little kids so many vaccines, especially in the first year. I mean, it sucks either way, whether I do it or not.

Good luck to all of you, especially parents, in making your decisions.

14 comments:

sticky said...

This is somewhat unrelated, though still a medical question...

Can anyone recommend a good dentist in Stamford? Our insurance plan changed, we need to pick a new one, and there's nothing scarier than having some randomly picked person poking around and drilling in your mouth. Well, except maybe the swine flu...

Anyway, any recs would be appreciated!

Good luck with the vaccinations, I don't envy the pregnant women and new parents this year. Lots of difficult decisions...

M.E. said...

Dr. Clabaugh on 5th Street is fantastic! A friend recommended Dr. Claubaugh to me when I moved to Stamford 5 years ago, and I've since recommended him to several people.

Whitemist said...

I have had a few posts on the H1N1 Influenza A novel (I call it that to prevent more useless slaughtering of pigs through misunderstanding).
The vaccine is here in Stamford and soon the health department will be giving it out. However, all should note that it have been very prevalent in Stamford since at least May and was active ALL summer. Stamford Talk, you are one person who should really get it. It is MOST dangerous to healthy individuals with a good immune system. Everyone else should also get the regular flu shot as that will KILL as many OR MORE than the "Swine flu". The Swine flu is neither more or less dangerous than the regular influenza A, but is particularly nasty to the healthy. the other one gets the rest of us who are not so good.
That is my info to you and when I find out more I will let you know or you can call the hot line at 977-4461 option 4.

Stamford Talk said...

Thanks Whitmist! I always appreciate your input!!!

Anonymous said...

Did whitmist say the Swine flu is more dangerous to healthy individuals? and that it was active in Stamford all throughout the summer? Those are both news to me.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious too. Everything I've read, and statistics seem to support it, says that those with pre-existing conditions are more susceptible.
The other at risk groups seem to be pregnant women and older children.

Whitemist said...

My own post explains it:
Hysteria Again
The old and infirm have much to worry about with the regular influenzas that go around, it has always been a killer, this new strain hits health adults, that is why it is "Novel".

Anonymous said...

Sorry...I don't see any statistics on your site either.
Again, from all I have read, pregnant women and children with preexisting conditions are considered high risk. While it does say on the CDC and WHO websites that more healthy people have had complications than normally do with the regular flu, it is still those with pre existing conditions that seem to have the higher incidence of complications and death.
So I'm still curious about your information. Can you provide a link to the info or statistics?

Anonymous said...

I don't live in Stamford, but I am able to get the H1N1 vaccine in Norwalk. My baby is 4 months old, so my husband and I are both getting the vaccine... They told me that the supplies are limited but people like us would always have access to it.

Whitemist said...

The Stats are on my database at the HD, I track significant illnesses in Stamford. They have not been released for what ever reason.

Sam said...

It seems like the media keeps going back and forth between too much hype and not enough attention. Still, the most important thing is to be prepared and to not panic. All these contradicting reports really aren't helping the public remain at ease, but we have to stay calm.

Anonymous said...

When you say "like us" do you mean people who read Stamford Talk?

irenesbooks said...

@sticky: Dental Care/Dental Care for Kids at 1500 Summer Street.

whatmeworry4 said...

Dental Care is good, although more expensive than other dentists. (but worth it IMO).

My son brought swine flu home from sleep-away camp in mid-August (2 bunk-mates were sent home with it), I got it, my husband and daughter did not. (my kids are healthy teenagers). Some boys in my son's grade had it in early September.

Although the symptoms didn't last as long as regular flu, the recovery time was longer, i.e. weakness after the symptoms were gone.