Swine Flu...How Are You Reacting? Am I Going Overboard?

Updated on May 05, 2009
K.V. asks from Whitney, TX
59 answers

Since the news of the flu I haven't taken my children anywhere. Our back yard is as far as they've gone. And I've only left once today get things we had to have for the week. I spray and wash all hands numerous times during the day. I don't even think Im going to send my 3 yr old back to prek. He only goes 2 half days a wk and there is only one month left.

So how are you reacting. Any one with the same thoughts? How do feel about taking your children in public, around other children, or to social functions?
Am I over reacting? My husband does feel the same way. fyi another concern to do with sickness, unfortunalty we dont have insurance and make to much to qualify for chip.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the responses. I knew this would draw alot of opinions. In the end I will do what I think is right. I just simply wondered what others were doing. I expected criticism and I got it... but I asked. :) It was nice to hear from those that felt the same..... Mandy W. and Carolyn below her were 2 of my favorites (you should read them) Thank you for taking time to answer.

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S.K.

answers from Dallas on

Honestly, I think everyone is over-reacting. We seem to have forgotten how many people die from the "normal" flu each year. We don't shut down the country for it. Plus, Tamiflu, the latest and greatest flu "preventative," doesn't even work to prevent some strains, but it DOES help with the swine flu. Everyone can be extra carful by washing hands more thoroughly and more often, not eating or drinking after others, etc., but shutting down the way we are seems very extreme. (People who are especially susceptible to getting sick should probably take extra care in where they go, with whom they socialize, etc., though.) Additionally, this is treatable! If you start experiencing symptoms, go to the doctor. Most of the citizens of Mexico City either didn't seek treatment or they waited until it was too late; hence, they experienced a higher mortality rate than they should have.

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

I think you should do what you feel most comfortable in doing. I myself I have 19 month old son who constantly touches everything and puts his hands in his mouth etc. I have not taken him anywhere but his grandparents house down the street to play and get out of the house. I would rather be safe than sorry. I feel very sad that so many people are saying that 30,000-40,000 people die every year from the regular flu and make it seem like thats normal and ok. The numbers of this swine flu are going up because people just wont listen and stay at home. These are probably the same people that I see out with their sick kids with green goo coming out of their noses! Very irresponsible! I had the regular flu once...thats all it takes for me now to never want to get it again or any other kind of flu because I thought I was going to die! I wish you luck and great health. Do what you think is right. You are their mother and must protect them how you see fit.

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E.C.

answers from Dallas on

I took my kids to Canton this weekend for First Monday. We had a blast. Yes, continue to wash hands and be cautious; however, this should be normal practice anytime to prevent infectious disease. The flu kills 36,000 people every year and 250,000 people contract it each year. About 20-50% of the pop get its; however, no one is shutting down schools or cancelling events. I think we are not in a position to overeact just yet. Good luck!

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

The Media is making this worse than it is. over 30 THOUSAND people die each year from the REGULAR flu and people still go out during flu season and the flu vaccines are not very effictive. The swine flu so far is a mild flu and responds very well to tamiflu.

there has only been 1 US death and that was a child that was brought here to the US for treatment from mexico.

just live your life and have faith. wash your hands often and tell you kids to wash their hands often as well.

hth
A. J

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K.O.

answers from Dallas on

Hi K....

I don't think you're overreacting. Fort Worth is doing a great thing by protecting our children the best they can from an unknown danger. This is a new strain of flu... And, it could potentially be very serious. If it turns out NOT to be as dangerous as it could be, so what? You got the chance to spend some quality family time at home with your kids. Bonus!

Just remember this... These are YOUR babies! Swine Flu has a 7 to 10 day incubation period. So, you or they could be infected by someone who seems perfectly healthy. In addition, how many irresponsible parents do you see out there dragging their sick kids around to public play areas with green goo hanging out of their noses? How many people do you know who send their sick kids to school or daycare, or who go to work sick themselves because they don't want to (or can't) take time off?

So basically - Do you trust everyone else to "Do the right thing" and stay home when they're sick? To wash their hands like they should? To use common sense? I sure don't. There is always "that" person who can't be reasoned with and who will continue to behave recklessly.

Maybe this flu will turn out to be not as bad as they are concerned about. But, as of right now, it is know to be an H1N1 strain, which is *NOT* like the regular flu that goes around each year. It is a scary strain that is able to jump from animals to humans. So the CDC is being careful. They are warning us that this has the POTENTIAL to be dangerous. Why take a chance?

Swine flu cases are continuing to spread (much slower than they would have, if the schools were open!) and more and more school districts are shutting down. Now, they are saying that some districts may close for 2 weeks instead of one. Obviously, there is something to be concerned about. Don't let the recklessness of others make you doubt your parental instincts.

We're not panicked or scared. We're just being cautious and keeping our precious babies at home until more is known about this particular flu. We do small things, like go grocery shopping late at night when the stores are empty. And, we took our kids to play at a small, little used playground where there were only 2 other kids (and we sanitized before and after and made sure no one put their hands in their mouth). But, we're skipping fast food and restaurants for a while. And, we won't be going to any high-traffic public places. Anyway, go to the CDC website and read up on all their info and make your decision for yourself.

And, I applaud Fort Worth for having the guts to be careful with their citizen's health! Do you know what the representative from the Dallas Health Department said that their plan was to protect their citizens? They are going to put up signs outside of their public venues saying, "If you are sick, Please don't attend this event." Sounds real effective! Huh???

Enjoy your kiddos!

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M.W.

answers from Dallas on

Hi K.. I don't think you are overreacting AT ALL! I have done basically all the same things you have done. I have a 17 yr old who I had no choice but to have her go to school and a 2 1/2 yr. old and an almost 4 month old. I hated the idea of her being at school but we are in LISD and they have cancelled school for a week so that's been resolved. We are not going anywhere, not even the park. If the kids go with me to run errands I have my oldest stay with them in the car while I run in. Some people say the flu is just the flu, but this is Swine Flu, Influenza Type A and the Avian Flu all together. Those indiviually are bad enough but all together it's like a "super flu." I would not feel guilty about anything you are doing. As for your son's Pre-K, I would just keep him home for the rest of the year. It's not like actual school where he might miss testing and you can get into trouble for keeping him home. Hopefully this stuff will die out quickly, esp. before summer gets here. As for some of the rude, tacky responses you got...IGNORE them. You do what makes YOU feel most comfortable. I agree with the one response that said not to traumatize your kids. They are young enough luckily that they aren't going to question what you do. As for the woman who responded and asked if anyone even knew anyone who has gotten sick from this. Well, ladies...I can tell you that I do. I don't know this boy directly, true. However, one of the ladies in my Bunco group babysits children in her home and one of the after school kids that comes in is the brother of the kid who tested positive at Hebron Valley in LISD. It may not be as bad as we initially feared but that doesn't mean everyone should just blow it off as if there is nothing to be concerned about. Also, the statistic the mom quoted about 36,000 people a year who die from Influenza is no longer accurate. My husband told me the same thing and after researching it I learned that statistic is from 2003. They no longer give a set number of deaths from the flu each year because it's difficult to know if it was the actual virus that killed the individual or complications related to it. All in all, none of us truly knows what we are dealing with do we? If you want to keep your children home because it makes you feel more comfortable then by all means you do that. Don't feel bullied or pressured by anyone on here or your personal friends and family to do something that makes you ill at ease. Best of luck to you. Take care!!

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J.R.

answers from Dallas on

Whether its the swine flu or the regular flu...I don't want it! Everyone keeps saying its just the flu, but have you ever had just the flu...with kids? Not fun. Especially if you don't have insurance. While we do have insurance, my kids already have asthma and any sickness always is worse with them. And if it is more contagious or spreading quickly, then yes, I am being way more cautious. I do go to the store with my kids but we use wipes, wash our hands, etc. And they are QUICK trips. I stay away from Chuck e cheese, mall playgrounds, anywhere that is a breeding ground for germs where kids are usually not as hygiene aware and haven't learned to cover their mouths. I am not confining myself to the house, but we are going on walks around the neighborhood and quick store trips. My husband and I both agreed, no matter how much people think others are over reacting, I am going to be proactive in trying to keep my kids germ free until things seem to be in the clear.

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T.C.

answers from Dallas on

I do not think you are over reacting at all. We have to be careful and protect our children. I have been keeping my daughter away from as much as possible to make sure she does not catch it. I make her keep hand sanitizer and wash her hands more often. Do not worry you are doing the right thing.

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

Uhm.. YES.

I think it's ridiculous they are even shutting down schools and I work at a school! It's just the flu.. seriously.

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C.R.

answers from Dallas on

You know it seems that a lot sickness is going around now whether it's Swine flu or not I'm staying away from crowds for now. I took advantage of my husband being home today and ran to the grocery store with out the kids. In my opinion you can never wash hands enough. I also keep us on Elderberry during the flu season and it keeps us healthy. So no I don't think you over reacting I think you are just being wise for now.
Best Regards,
C.

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E.T.

answers from Dallas on

What's really funny (I think) is that last Saturday, one of my son's classmates had a bday party. The next day, one of his classmates came down with a stomach bug. Throughout the week, 4-5 classmates came down with the same stomach bug, including my husband. My husband was absolutely miserable for 24 hours, but the kids handled it better than he did (he's such a wimp). ;) My son's class saw more absent kids due to the stomach bug than H1N1 (zero kids affected by H1N1 at his school).

Anyway, my point is that his school never closes when strep makes its round, when pink eye makes its round, the regular flu makes its round, or when the nasty spring/fall cold makes its round. No US citizen has died, only a toddler from Mexico with a pre-existing condition who was visiting the US. I am very blessed to have a very healthy son with a strong immune system. We practice very clean habits and his preschool is ultra clean. Given all of that, we are living our life the way we always do.

All of that being said, if we didn't have insurance, or if I were pg, or if I had a child with a pre-existing condition, I would probably make slight adjustments, but all in all, as long as people just do what they're supposed to do all the time (practice good clean habits), we'll be just fine.

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E.S.

answers from Dallas on

While I understand your not wanting to get them sick due to lack of insurance I personally think you're overreacting a bit. The media has hyped this up quite a bit and while everyone should be careful and take precautions it hasn't yet affected that many people in Texas, and especially in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Thousands die every year from the flu and those strands are the ones we are already aware of and prepared for healthcare wise. Less people have died from the Swine flu...which they're re-naming by the way...than the other influenza strands. In addition I think that right now it's not that big of a crisis...if a pandemic starts...and I'm not saying it will...it'll be a few months and you can't keep your children inside forever, they and you will eventually go crazy. I work in healthcare industry and deal with sick patients everyday and other than the occasional cold about once a year I'm perfectly healthy. You just gotta be careful, cough into your arm, throw away used tissues, and wash hands carefully after the bathroom, before eating, and after being outside etc. You can't prevent all infections Good luck.

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E.C.

answers from Dallas on

K.,

Usually I don't voice my opinion on here opposite of the way the person posted but:

Today I had a birthday party for my daughter. We were on a wait list for this place since last July and this was the first opening they had. As of this past Wednesday 20 of the 28 invited kids were coming. Because of the flu only 11 of the 20 showed up. The rest cancelled. To be honest I was furious I had an over $100 custom cake coming and a place with stuff for 20 kids etc. I can not return opened plates, napkins, gift bags etc.

All the other parents that were there couldnt believe that these parents didnt show up. They send their kids to school (saw them Friday) or go to the grocery store etc where they are exposed. It is just like the flu virus we have here EXCPET there is no vaccine. But there is 2 other drugs to help! This is treatable. If you go to the dr and get fixed. Simple as that.

You said you went out and ran an errand. So you took the risk to expose your self to the virus and then have possibility of bringing it home to your kids. Same thing as bringing them to where you went.

The flu strain we are used to kills and sickens people every year and people don't freak out like this.

I understand with the no ins. I am transitioning my daughter from CHIPS to my health ins becuase I make to much money now so I don't qualify with my new job.

I think you need to live your life normally, take the same precausions as normal, sanitize etc. And if anything happens and your children get sick take them to the dr even if you dont have ins and treat them. Some dr will work with you if you let them know you dont have ins and are paying cash that day.

HTH,

E.

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G.A.

answers from Dallas on

Keep up the great job. This seems to be more serious then we think. I got an e-mail that someone attended and they said they think the President will soon forbid all meetings of social events. Keep those kiddos home. I have a home day care and had a call from the state. They say wash kiddo's hands for 15-20 seconds. Long enough to sign the birthday song twice. I also have the right to keep my enollment down. So this is serious. Well done to minimize the risks to your family. The media is not telling the us the complete stories. There is a baby fighting for his life and a pg mom south of San Antonio fighting for her life. There are more cases then just one. Tons have fallen sick and there is as much here in the states as in Mexico. I do not believe they would close schools over one. There is more they are not telling us. I have never had a state phone call to follow guidlines of the Public Safety and even though we do, why would they make that call? Be careful and protected. I just think closing schools parents then take kids out but we ate out yesteerday and the restraurant was empty. Thank God people with sense are staying home. it does not react to meds what I have heard. G. W

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M.F.

answers from Dallas on

Interestingly enough, my son had MORE illness the 2 yrs I stayed home with him that he has in a year-and-a-half of daycare. He has asthma, and we've just stepped his once-daily preventative treatments up to twice-daily. And we've given him a pocket-sized bottle of hand-sanitizer to carry with him.
Yes, this could be bad if he gets it, and I won't be taking him to the grocery store, but we've seen more cases of regular flu (Type A influenza) and stomach viruses, and strep in the past week than we have of H1N1 flu. He went to 2 birthdya parties today and at both places (gym places) they had hand sanitizer out and kept things pretty sanitary.

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B.P.

answers from Dallas on

This is just my opinion, but personally I think everyone is overreacting. I have read and heard all the statistics from when Swine Flu killed many thousands back before the depression, however we now have much better doctors, hospitals, technology, and medications, not to mention vaccines. I haven't changed one thing I normally do during this time. The main thing is be proactive, wash your hands, use Kleenex when you sneeze, cover your mouth when you cough and teach your kids the same. Teach them to be smart. Take your vitamins, insist your kids take vitamins, get plenty of sleep, and drink plenty of water. The flu is never fun, especially with little kids, but it is treatable. I have never known a single person in my life who died of the flu. Not one. Good luck!

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

It's an uncertain thing, but I wouldn't FEAR sickness. Keep your kids sanitized. I am still sending my son to school, he's in 1st grade. If you are in a school district with positive cases I would be a little more concerned, but if not, enjoy life. So many times the media and people have blown so many things out of proportion you don't really know when to take them serious. Use your precaution but don't live in fear. Your kids will feel it and feed off of it. They say that it doesn't spread as easily in outside areas. I think school would be okay because people are so scared right now there is a much better chance of them keeping their kids home even if their faces are flushed. That's just my advice. Psalms 91, and Psalm 56:3 are good scriptures to hold onto right now during this uncertainty.

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A.B.

answers from Dallas on

I say so what! Unless you generally overreact or are an unreasonable person, than you should do what you feel comfortable with. I don't know why people get so irritated if this scares people. It's new to me and it's scary. I kept mine out of Mother's Day Out. Just for one day, but now I'm not as nervous about it so they'll go back for their last few weeks. UNLESS something changes. I don't mind having them home with me and we saved money on gas and the 'going' that we normally would do for those few days. All this to just say, yes you may be overreacting or you may not be (guess we'll find out in the next few months), but who cares. You went with your gut and that's the best we can do!

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R.C.

answers from Dallas on

We sure can't count on the media to give us balanced truth, so do we really know what we're dealing with? Especially because you don't have insurance, I think you are handling it how you need to. You can't afford to take any risks.
I have continued to take my son to our small Y daycare, but they are refusing any child with a runny nose, etc. I also have an AirSource in-home air purifyier that uses PHI (photohydroionization) technology that turns my home into an aseptic (but not sterile) environment. That means that germs cannot survive on surfaces. It's the same technology China used during the SARS outbreak, so I feel better having that too.
We did end up going to church, but it concerned me to see a mom wiping her child's nose--you can't count on other parents keeping their symptomatic kids at home! The safest bet is to take them out of the equation and stay home!

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

bravo for you. i'm not even reading the other responses because i'm so sick of people criticizing cautious people.
better safe than sorry. being careful with the most precious gift in your life does not mean you are an alarmist. go with your gut. my daughter isn't going back to daycare until things subside. you are blessed to be able to stay home with your kids. we are having to split the days-- he takes 1/2 day & i take 1/2 day off. our jobs just have to understand. this is a new virus they know very little about. i believe it has slowed down because of the precautions the schools & cities have taken. stick to your guns. you're a good mom!

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

K., what matters is how you feel about protecting your family from illness. Those that think you are overreacting do not live your life. My sister can't afford insurance although she works every day and she takes extra precautions 365 days a year out of necessity. I am a cancer survivor and have immune issues. You can believe that I am taking extra care and avoiding crowds like the plague. I carry hand sanitizer and wipes with me as well as a can of Lysol. It goes without saying that I wash my hands often. You have your husband's support so go ahead and do whatever you believe is necessary for your family's good health. I sincerely appreciate the proactive stance taken by schools, etc. That alone is a huge step towards prevention. Hang in there, K.. Your family is blessed to have such a conscientious wife and mother.

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J.J.

answers from Dallas on

I would say you are only slightly overreacting. I have certainly cut down on where my kids get to go and am making them (and myself) wash hands and sanitize much more often. I still sent my son to MDO Thursday and probably would have next week if they hadn't made the decision for me by closing along with LISD. I am not taking them to public play places that I am not certain of their cleanliness, but I still allow small play dates and Little Gym (where I trust their seriousness in taking precautions). I am not taking them to the grocery store and places like that. I think so long as there is no reason to believe anyone is sick at your PreK school, you should continue to send him.

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

We haven't changed much of what we are doing since the swine flu outbreak. Just making sure we wash our hands a little more than usual, like we do during the regular flu season. My 5 y/o son went to two b-day parties today, again making sure to wash hands. FYI, we live in Dallas where there have been some confirmed cases but not at our kids' school. My husband and I are both physicians and we think the media has really caused an unnecessary panic over this. We do all need to take general precautions to prevent spread of infection and seek medical care promptly if you get sick, but I do not think we need to completely quarantine ourselves.

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

Your best bet is to log on to the CDC website, do a little light reading and make your judgements from there. It's what you feel is the safest course of action for your family. Nobody else's opinion should matter.

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B.S.

answers from Dallas on

Do what you feel is right for your kids. The people who are posting on here are just going by what they see in the media, just like you. Swine flu or regular flu, I don't want me or my kids (one is 2 1/2 and the other is 4 months) getting it. I am going to make the decision that I feel comfortable with for my kids as I am the one that would regret my decisions if something bad happened. Good luck!

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S.L.

answers from Dallas on

i think you and the people who are closing parties and schools down are overreacting. you can die from germs that are on your purse or toliet or cell phone for grief's sake. are you never gonna touch them again? don't let this rule your life. i'm living my life as normally as possible, thanks to the stupid school closings, not even bothering with hand sanitizer.

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N.M.

answers from Dallas on

I guess no one has a right to judge you for how you handle this, especially with the insurance issue, but I personally don't see the need to go to such extremes. My son still went to Pre-K last week, I still subbed at his school, and both my kids went to an indoor birthday party on Friday. No one enjoys getting the flu, but it's not the worst thing in the world. I hate being cooped up in the house (even for a day), so I'm not going to let my fear of an illness keep us home. Just my 2 cents - either way this will all blow over in another week or so.

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A.M.

answers from Wichita Falls on

Hey sister!! I think that they are going way overboard. yesterday they reported that swine flu is comparable to regular seasonal flu. According to Ali's pulminologist we had a late and short flu season. The reason that this is such a "shock" is because it is a new strain of an old bug. I think if you wanted to take Jerin and Kambrie to the park, or to visit friends - that aren't sick of course - that would be fine. And if Jerin enjoys Pre-K let him go. Besides, that is 2 half days you can spend with just Kambrie. Hand washing is the key to preventing the spread of any and all infections. You have to break the chain on transmission through hand washing. Before eating, after pottying and after touching public surfaces - esp. door knobs.

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

The primary reason the schools are closing is financial. The schools are funded based upon attendance. If people pull their kids out of school, then there is a real fear that attendance will be too low to qualify for the full funding dollars. If the schools close the funding issue subsides.

By the way, the state is not requiring the schools to make up the lost days as they normally do for "snow days."

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K.P.

answers from Dallas on

You need to do what makes you feel better about your children.

I would be more concerned that you have no health insurance.

Call Blue Cross of Texas or Unicare and ask about an "Individual Family Plan". You can research plans online without signing up. The monthly premiums can be high depending on the deductible you choose but there are many plans to choose from that can fit your needs.
I have had individual insurance for years because my husband is self-employed and it is not the best, but I have had friends that have ruined their credit by defaulting on medical bills.

Good luck!

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V.A.

answers from Amarillo on

Yes, you are over reacting. So are alot of other people. The flu that people go and get shots for every year is just as deadly, and it doesn't seem like it makes the news like this is. I don't think that going to school is dangerous, I don't think that going out of the house is dangerous. What I do think is dangerous is the hype that the government is putting out on this strain. It is just another type of flu, just like there is a new strain every year, even the shot that is supposed to keep you from getting the flu doesn't cover EVERY strain that is out there. If you and your kids are healthy otherwise, even if you get this strain, you will be alright, it won't be any different than getting any other strain. The OCD hand washing and sanitizing everything is only making it harder for people to fight off illness, you have to be exposed sometimes in order to build your immune system, if you don't you are setting yourself up to get sick, and really sick because you don't have any natural defense against the illness. Take them out, do things just like you normally would, chances are, that you won't have any problem.

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

The main stream media is really blowing this out of proportion!

It is a little known fact that 40,000 people worldwide die from some type of flu a year!

Consistant personal hygeine is the key. Wash your hanbs thoroughly many times a day. Stay home when you're sick. Cover your mouth and nose with your arm when you sneeze or cough.

We are ultimately not the ones in control anyway. He is.

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R.N.

answers from Dallas on

I don't know why everyone is reacting like this. It's the same as the regular flu. You just have to maintain good hygene. Wash hands and clean like you normally do and stay home when you are sick. Use the wipes at the stores for yourself and your kids. The schools are doing everything they can, taking extra precaution for this.The media has exaderated this too much. It's scaring people. Like yourself. Just maintain what you would normally.

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K.B.

answers from Dallas on

It is my opinion that it is the flu and with any virus, if you have a compromised immune system it could be dangerous. I am living our normal lives, with a little extra hand washing and more fruits and veggies to help us stay strong. I think it is a little crazy that we are cancelling sports and field trips, etc.

B.B.

answers from Dallas on

Personally, I think you're way over reacting!! I truly belive that the media is instilling fear in us and blowing this way out of proportion. I do think that we should be cautious and to steer clear of anyone who's really sick, and that anyone who is sick should stay at home (DUH!). Those just seem like common sense to me, though. Do we act like this dduring the normal flu season? NO. This is essentially the regular flu, and is reacting to the normal flu meds. The only death in the US was a young boy who was here from Mexico and unfortunately received care too late. The # of people who have died from the swine flu in Mexico compared to the regular flu is minute. It is very sad that people have died from it, especially when we hear about young children. But they didin't receive proper care to prevent that from happening. I am very tired of hearing about all the hype about the swine flu pandemic. This isn't the first time it's happened. I read that in 1976 there was a threat of a swine flu outbreak, and the government mandated a new untested vaccine be given. More people died from the vaccine than from the swine flu. So waht does that tell you?

Yes, be cautious.
Yes, go to the dr. if you show symptoms.
Yes, stay home IF YOU'RE SICK.
Yes, wash your hands.
But I don't think anyone needs to stay at home and cut themselves off from the rest of the world.

Remember....more people die from the regulaar flu each year than from this swine flu. Take precautions, but don't freak out and panic. That does absolutely no good, IMHO.

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

As long as your children are in good health, I think you are really overreacting. It is just like the regulare flu. If anyone comes down with symptoms, you just need to take him to the doctor. There are antiviral meds that are working. Check out cdc.gov and read up on it, you'll feel better. Handwashing and keeping your hands away from you face are always a good idea, but it is important to not to get to anxious around the kids...it might freak them out, possibly with lasting effects. (I just watched the movie Aviator :o)

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L.H.

answers from Dallas on

Please do the research, 13.00 people died last year of regular flu. There has been only one death in the US and the 2 year old who died was in poor health already. I have been out this past week and apparently all the kids who are out of school are out in public. Scientist have determined that it is very mild and washing your hands and staying away from sick people is a great way to avoid it. The schools have closed because they are afraid of being sued if they don't. Five thousand people a month die from AIDS and nobody even seems to notice or take precaution. Good luck

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H.B.

answers from Dallas on

I think if you have little children, then you should be careful. I haven't been taking my kids anywhere either, but am at home for now anyway because I just had a baby four weeks ago. I would just make sure that you are washing hands as much as possible.
I think that the media is making it worse than it actually is, but it is in our nature as mothers to overreact to things like this. Just do what you feel is best for your children, but know that we can't protect them from everything.

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

I think we should teach our children to wash their hands often with soap, cough and sneeze into their arm instead of hands, and we should use common sense when our children become sick. I am taking my children to the grocery store, church and MDO(however it is now closed for the week). I'm not taking my children to gatherings and celebrations with hundreds of people. Over 30,000 people die of the flu each year and I've only heard of one death from this type of flu. I think schools are being overly cautious because they are concerned for the health and safety of our children, but I know it is a strain on working parents. You will have to do what you feel is right for your children and since you do not have insurance it may be wise to be overly protective.

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

Well, I really hope that all the posts that tell you (us, actually, as I am taking the same precautions as you) you are going overboard are correct. My children are the same age as yours, and to me, the fact is that the flu, in whatever form, is dangerous for little ones, and there is no vaccine yet for this strain.
I will not be able to keep the kids in for the entire summer, of course, but I am limiting their access to confined spaces and lots of people as much as possible, and washing our hands like crazy. Now, I still have to go to work, so I am potentially exposing myself and therefore them, but I can't control that.
I am glad that I am still nursing my soon-to-be-one year old, (her bday is tomorrow!) so hopefully that would offer her some protection.
Anyway, we are all crossing our fingers that this will "fizzle out." If it were just me, I wouldn't give a darn about the swine flu, but we have to watch with these little ones.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

In my personal opinion- yes, probably overreacting- but really... it would be better to be cautious than to be sorry. I have decided since we are healthy and this illness is no worse than other colds and flus that go around to let my daughter continue her activities, but I have increased hand washing and carry clorox wipes around for tables and toys... mild illness or not- who wants to get sick? It doesn't scare me though.

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L.B.

answers from Dallas on

Instead of getting your information from the news media (who jumps on anything they can find to sensationalize), you would be better served by going to your county health website and the website of the Center for Disease Control. You will be getting the facts and precautions that you should be doing.

BTW, these precautions are things we ALL should be doing ALL the time. The number one thing that most people do that cause the spread of disease??? They go to work and out in public when they are sick.

If you are sick, STAY HOME! This is the only real change we have taken at my work. All managers and supervisors have been instructed to send anyone who is sick home and they will need a doctor's note to come back to work.

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

I believe that you may be going a bit overboard. Do you know how many microbes (virus/bacteria) are out there normally? Microbes can survive anywhere from seconds to 100s of years on objects. Honestly, you should be vigilant about germs, etc. anytime you leave your house--H1N1 or not. My family is taking the precautions we always take when we leave our house, including adding a little more in-home sanitizing. I don't know where Ginger got her info, but 15 seconds is the normal amount of time that is recommended to wash hands. It would have been of more concern had she been ask to close down her daycare busines. However, as earlier responders mentioned, this illness is not worse and may even be milder than the regular flu. Fox News has many good articles on this including this one which talks about how this is much milder than 1st thought and has tips to protect against this illness: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,518578,00.html.

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R.O.

answers from Dallas on

Yes you are going overboard. If your kiddos get the flu, they will not die. You know the signs of illness and you would react appropriately. The mainstream media is really blowing this out of proportion! There were 600 people in the ER in McKinney last WEd night just wanting to be tested for the swine flu..... What a waste of tax payers money, time, and energy!! Teaching your kiddos good hygiene is great, but don't make them anxious or obsessed over this.
Common sense is what you need. The swine flu will pass.

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I believe most people are over-reacting. More people die each year from the regular flu that goes around. Tamiflu and Relenza both work to relieve the symptoms and cut the duration of the flu. I know from experience on that one....daughter (14) used Relenza and it was a miracle drug.

I think the news agencies are anxious to hype something up to instill fear in people. The media LOVES to create drama and sensationalize whatever they can and this a prime example.

As for precautions....just wash hands regularly, be sensible, just as you do when the stomach bug, strep and all the other sicknesses are going around.

I'm not saying ignore it, I'm saying be proactive about it....just as you probably are about the regular day to day things that come around.

I am suprised schools are closing. It will end up being the best decision they ever made OR a huge over-reaction. In any case, if my daughter's school is closed next week, she will end up with excused absence which is fine with me because I have to take her out to fly to a funeral for the last half of the week and the principal did not excuse that. My proactive approach with flying is having my little clorox wipes (as I normally do), sanitizer gel for hands (as I normally do)..........we never fly without things like this because it is an attempt to be 1 step further from the germs and whatever else is around in the plane.

Best wishes! Do what you feel is right for your family.

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

You are correct to do what you think is right to protect your family. If more people stayed out of public when it wasn't absolutely necessary it would help stop the spread of this disease.

Here's some information about antibacterial soaps, sprays, etc. The active ingredient in most antibacterial products on the market is alcohol. It kills germs but only until it evaporates, which is about 5 seconds. Then you touch a door knob or whatever and are reinfected. Other products contain antibiotics, which can cause "super bugs" as germs become resistant; and some contain pesticides, which we certainly don't want on our skin. PureWorks contains none of those and is the only product on the market with "persistence"; which means it continues to be effective for up to 3 or 4 hours or more. For more information about these wonderful products go to www.protectedbypureworks.com. To order contact me at [email protected]____.com.

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M.

answers from Dallas on

I just have a question, does someone knows a person who actually got the virus??? really this seems to me like a big scam.
my family lives in Mexico and nobody knows a real case of the swine flu virus.....that's intresting isn't it?

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

fyi... I've heard more than once that TEA (Texas Education Agency) has guaranteed that schools will get their funding whether or not they close schools for the swine flu. They do not want schools to stay open for financial reasons. Believe it or not, schools do really care about the kids.

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

This whole thing has been so blown out of proportion - I just don't get it. Being careful is fine, but this is no different than any other flu season. What did you do earlier in the year as people came down with the flu? My daughter had the flu in Feb.. Fifty four kids were out of school on the days she was home with the flu - school didn't close. Now we get one kid diagnosed with Swine and we close a district of 80,000 kids. What is wrong with this picture. It is treated with flu remedy's so I don't know why everyone is getting so scared. Take normal precautions - wash your hands, try not to touch your face, if you get sick - stay home and get the flu meds to help the symptoms. By the way, I had the swine flu earlier last week - I'm not one of the cases they'll talk about on the news because Collin County Health Dept doesn't test for it but I tested positive for type A - I had had symptoms for over 4 days before I started the meds but I got better quickly once I started the meds. Regular flu doesn't react to the meds unless it is given within the first 48 hrs. Let's be smart about this but not run around in a total panic.
With that being said, if going out in public is going to put you into a panic when you are at home, it may just be better if you hang around the house for your piece of mind.

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

Do not let other people judge or determine what you do with your family. That means people saying you're over reacting AND media-driven panic reports. Try to stay informed by 3 sources: a medical source, a local news source and a national news source. I say don't panic, but do whatever makes you feel comfortable as a mother, as long it doesn't traumatize your sweet kiddos.

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N.J.

answers from Dallas on

Goodness! I don't know that I would say you're overreacting but compared to me you are! I have 2 grown daughter and 4 kids still at home ages 16, 12, 9 and 6. It's been business as usual for us along with the reminder to wash your hands frequently and try to pay attention to the people around you. We had soccer games yesterday and a birthday party Friday that we attended. It's my opinion that the media has really gone overboard on the swine flu.
N.

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J.T.

answers from Dallas on

K.,

My advice to you is to stop watching the news. It has over-reported deaths. As of today only 20 people have died from the swine flu, 19 in Mexico and one here on US soil which was a child from Mexico. Let's put this in perspective, more people have died over the past week from auto accidents than the swine flu. Those that get it are recovering without a hospital stay within a week, just like any other flu.
Be diligent with hand-washing and other forms of hygiene, just as you would during the regular flu season and get out and live!!
I do not get my info from the news as they tend to sensationalize everything. The over 100 deaths you keep hearing about are not confirmed cases, but most likely pneumonia that can occur all year round in some people. Please refer to the link provided below of the World Health Organization:
http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_05_03/en/index.html

I hope this helps to ease you and your husband's mind. Although this new virus is something we should be aware of, it's nothing to panic over.

God Bless

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I'm not overly concerned. My kids are still going to school, we went on field trips with school last week. I try to wash hands, but not necessarily more than normal. If we tracked the regular flu and watched where it had outbreaks, and how many people died, we would probably be shocked. On another note, you said you don't have insurance. Might I suggest you start listening to Dave Ramsey - AM 520 from 2-4 - and start working on financial freedom. It's got to be seriously hard for you to think that you can't risk having anyone get sick, especially with 2 little ones, because you don't have insurance. I think I'd rather not have my kids go to preK than not have insurance.

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

I think you should do what makes you feel comfortable. My daughter has a compromised immune system because she is on several medications for an autoimmune disease. I just asked her school to alert me if they suddenly see a spike in kids out sick. Someone at the school came down with the Chicken Pox last week even though the child had the vaccine, so there's that danger too. My daughter can't have the Chicken Pox vaccine because of her illness. I can't protect my daughter from everything out there that can harm her, but I can be alert and prepared.

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S.R.

answers from Dallas on

We talked with our pediatrician last week about the swine flu. She said it is less severe than the regular flu and you just need to use common sense, such as don't be around people that are sick, wash hands, and don't go to Mexico. She said it is being overcommercialized because there is nothing else going on for the media to jump on. She said if someone does get the swine flu it is easily treatable. She said the media is sending people into a panic making them think you will die if you get it, but the only 22 month old that died had other health issues and came from Mexico. Don't freak out over this. The media is what has sent you into a state of panic and you need to quit listening to them.

N.H.

answers from Dallas on

I don't think you are over reacting but I'm not sure if you should take your child out of pre-k. I was very close to taking my daughter out of her school (public, 1st grade) and I feel that the teachers and staff are doing their part to watch every child and send them to the nurse if they seem ill and they're also increasing the amount of hand washing the kids do and making them use sanitizers as well. I like the fact that if 1 student tests posotive for the flu, the schools ARE closing the schools so I'm sure your sons daycare will do the same. This is important to do because there is NO vaccine yet to prevent it from spreading and yes it may just be the flu, it's still dangerous and no one wants to get sick from the flu especially with the increased symptoms of vomiting & diarrehea with this flu.

I too feel nervous about taking my kids to the grocery stores, parks, restaurants, etc. right now but I feel like I'm getting better. Recent news reporst are saying that it looks as if the virus is being contained and it doesn't seem to be anything worse than the seasonal flu. They also said that a great thing discovered about this flu is it does NOT stick in the lungs which is why so many have not died from it in America.
Many were dying in Mexico because they have poor health care and many were waiting too long to get health care so the flu turned into pneumonia. If you don't have health insurance and say IF you or your children catch it, you can always take them to the ER.
They will give you a prescription for tamiflu and you don't have to pay in full up front. You can always tell them you have no money on you and you can be billed for everything done. I think I was more worried at the beginning of learing about this flu but even though it's still spreading, it seems that everyone is recovering fairly quickly and no deaths in the US besides the little boy who "came from Mexico" to get treatment and it sounds like the parents unfortunately waited to long to get treatment which caused the death. Keep doing what you are doing and remember it's important for your kids to get out and get fresh air too.
Take them for neighborhood walks, bike/wagon rides, etc to get out of the house but for now I do think it's best to keep them out of any crowded places. If you ever have to take your kids to the hospital and you live near Rockwall, take them to the new Presbyterian of Rockwall.....it's the BEST hospital I've ever been to.

Short waits, cleaner and less crowded waiting room, good doctors and so on.
Take care and keep up the good work!

* In response to the mom who said tamiflu is a cure, sorry but NO it's not a "cure"! It can ONLY decrease the flu symptoms from turning into pneumonia and ONLY if it's taken within 48 hrs of onset. If someone goes to the doctor after a week of symptoms, tamiflu won't do anything to help them so be cautious on giving out false information.*

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N.H.

answers from Dallas on

According to channel 8 news you are more likely to get struck by lightening than catch this virus and more likely to win a gold medal at this year's Olympics than die fro
swine flu. With that said, you should probably give yourself a break and definitely send your kids back to school! Ft Worth is just going crazy...don't follow their model.

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I am still going to work - teaching part time in the public schools - and I still send my kids to birthday parties and such for their friends at school. We wash our hands a little more often, and gel everytime we get in the car from being in public. My 12 year old and I wear our hair back, to keep our hands away from our face.

The only change we've made was rethinking going to Chuck E Cheese because of the concentration of children and the (probable) lack of sanitation every day; combined with the fact that one of the elementary schools here has been closed due to 2 probable cases of H1 Flu.

I think, as a mom, it's very hard not to panic any time there is something out there that might hurt our child. That said - what would you do if it were a Measles outbreak that unvaccinated kids were getting - or if it were RSV. RSV goes around every winter - did you keep your baby out of the grocery store, out of gym daycare, etc.? RSV kills babies, 'regular' flu kills several thousand people world wide every year, even CHICKEN POX can be deadly.

From a science perspective, swine flu is statistically not significantly (if any) more deadly than 'regular' flu. The deaths in Mexico can be attributed to the fact that the nearest hospital is 2 hours away for many people - and the fact that few hospitals there have the kind of equipment and training that is standard here. And your children would get that treatment - thanks to EMTALA, your child would get that treatment regardless of your ability to pay.

I know it's scary. I think it's important to take precautions according to your own security - but it is absolutely crucial that we DO NOT PANIC. Panic and Terror are more debilitating than any disease that we can imagine.

S.

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