Vanderbilt doctor says it’s shaping up to be busy flu season

Health News

It’s already shaping up to be a busy flu season, according to doctors at Vanderbilt. 

Dr. Don Arnold told News 2 they are seeing more cases of the flu at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital than they generally do this early in the season. 

“We are seeing a number of children with influenza,” he said.  

This coming off of the deadliest flu season for children in nearly 10 years. Officials said 172 children died from the flu.  
 
“Last year we had more deaths in children than in any prior year. Eighty percent of those children had not received the influenza vaccine and almost all of those children were otherwise healthy kids,” Dr. Arnold explained.  
 
He said if you haven’t, get the vaccine now.  
 
“The best treatment for the flu is prevention. Get the vaccine, wash your hands, keep your hands away from your face.”  
 
He said if you are already dealing with flu symptoms try to stay home and manage it to avoid exposing others. 
 
“If your child has the flu, use Tylenol or Motrin for fever, do not use aspirin because it is not safe with the flu, give sufficient fluids. The reasons to take your child to the doctor with the flu are if he or she is not taking fluids, not able to take fluids, if he or she has altered mental status, they are not responding as you would expect or they are more irritable than you expect or if they just look very ill to you.” 

Hopefully, you can keep from reaching that point, but as the holidays approach Dr. Arnold said the sooner you can get the vaccine the better. 
 
“We are more likely to get the flu when we are in big crowds, airports, on buses, shopping malls, but we can prevent it by getting the vaccine and by being careful with Keeping our hands away from our face and washing our hands frequently,” said Dr. Arnold.  
 
He says you also want to keep in mind that it takes one to two weeks for the vaccination to work. 

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