Unfortunately, flu season is still in full effect, with no sign of backing down. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention marked 2018 as one of the most dangerous flu seasons we've seen in a while, with reports of widespread flu activity in every part of the U.S. So far, 37 children have died from this year's virus. What's even scarier is those numbers are expected to increase.
If you think your child may have the flu, you should see a medical professional as soon as possible. But sometimes it's hard to know when to see a doctor, especially if your kid's symptoms aren't what you'd expect — which is exactly what happened to Brodi Willard, a nurse and mother from Blair, Nebraska.
Willard shocked the Facebook community on Friday by posting a photo of her son, Seb, who had a case of seemingly harmless hives on his arm. Her caption, however, revealed otherwise: "My son came home from school with hives. Every time he would scratch, more would appear. We tried changing his clothes and giving him a bath, but nothing helped. I called his pediatrician. They said they had two kids come into the office that day with the same symptoms and tested positive for influenza. I took him to the doctor this morning, and he tested positive for influenza B. He has had no symptoms. No fever, no cough, and no runny nose. He only has hives. Please keep watch on your children so if they develop hives, please call your pediatrician. I have never heard of this symptom, but it is obviously something to be on the lookout for."
Yikes! We're sure Willard was shocked after she heard the diagnosis for her son's hives— and now her warning has gone viral, with thousands of mothers sharing her post about how the flu had caught her family off guard.
“I didn't realize it was going to go as viral as it did on the web, and I even saw some comments of people saying, ‘Yes, my child had hives and they also tested positive for Influenza B,’” Willard told WOWT News.
How to Avoid the Flu
While hives are not an unusual way for the body to react to a virus, it's scary to think the flu virus could present itself with this symptom alone, which is why Willard's message is so important. If your child has an unexplained rash, call or visit a doctor right away. And take measures to prevent the flu entirely by getting the flu shot; it's not too late! Because the flu virus is constantly mutating, experts say it's best to get a new vaccine each year. Visit vaccinefinder.org to find a flu shot location near you.
“It always changes slightly,” Anne O'Keefe, MD, with the Douglas Co. Health Department told WOWT News. “That's why we have to have a new vaccine every year. We watch the changes happening in other parts of the world right before it gets here.”
As for Willard's son, Seb? He's doing just fine. The doctors prescribed him Tamiflu and he'll return to school on Wednesday. What a relief!