Flu Marches On, Vaccine Supplies Low

Flu Marches On, Vaccine Supplies Low

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John Daley reportingThe flu and flu-like symptoms are on the march. The situation is so severe, supplies of vaccines are running out.

Four health departments, in Utah are completely out of flu- vaccine. And it's in short supply nationwide.

From Texas to California, many hospitals have been swamped with sick kids. Without vaccine, avoiding contact with sick people may be the only option.

Already this flu season looks extraordinary. It is earlier than usual, with many more people getting sick. And more dangerous complications are showing up in children, including staph infections, pneumonia, and occasionally something worse.

So what should parents do if their child gets sick?

Scott Williams, M.D. / Executive Dir., State Health Dept: "When the medical system is overwhelmed like it is right now with lots and lots of patients, it's always better to call and talk it through with a nurse or a doctor, because they can help guide your decision."

Flu Warning Signs:

  1. comes on quickly
  2. high fever, doesn't come down
  3. can't keep food down
  4. won't take foods, liquids
  5. labored breathing
  6. doesn't want to play Scott Williams, M.D. / Executive Dir., State Health Dept: "When a child doesn't want to play, you know they're at a level of illness that's beyond your average cold, because most children will play through a cold." If you see those symptoms call the doctor's office, talk it over, and possibly go in. Meantime, there's a lot we can all do on the preventative side. Hand washing is key. If you're have any respiratory illness, get a mask, so you don't spread it around. And even though it's tough during the holiday season, consider skipping events where you're likely to encounter sick people--or likely to spread your germs if you're sick. Scott Williams, M.D. / Executive Dir., State Health Dept: "It's really hard to say stay home from Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner or don't go to that special church Christmas program but it's really better if you can say it's just one year, I'm going to step back this year."

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