childrens doctors- Dr. Constance Walker McMullan- Gastonia pediatricianChildrens doctors warn of influenza B

Childrens doctors warn that flu season isn’t over until April or May, and recommend you always be alert for cases of the flu. Thousands of children have to spend time in the hospital every year due to influenza, creating suffering for both children and their parents. Children with asthma, diabetes or other chronic conditions are especially vulnerable to complications.Now the CDC is reporting that in addition to the epidemic dominating this season, another strain of influenza is coming, and younger children are particularly at risk. Earlier this month, reports of new cases of influenza B overtook new cases of influenza A.

The symptoms of influenza B are similar to those of influenza A, but less severe. The virus may infect the stomach instead of the lungs, which is why it’s sometimes called the stomach flu. Both forms of influenza are potentially fatal, but children are more at risk from this strain of flu.

The bad news is that if you or your child has already had influenza A this year, they won’t be protected against influenza B. The good news is that the flu vaccine is more effective against influenza B than against influenza A.

Flu shots are safe

The CDC recommends annual flu shots for any child over six months. Some pharmacies will do this, but a Gastonia, NC children’s doctor will be better at talking your children through it. You can get flu shots at the same time as other shots, and there are now vaccines for children who suffer from egg allergies. Just in case, a children’s doctor will be alert for any allergic symptoms.

Kids can’t catch the flu from the vaccine, because the virus is dead, but some do experience brief periods of head and muscle aches, nausea, chills and sleepiness after the shot. Very small children may have a slight fever within a day of getting a shot. None of these things are as bad as a real case of the flu.

With all the strains of influenza out there, a flu shot isn’t guaranteed to prevent the fly, but it is about 60 percent effective and may lead to a milder form of the flu even if it fails. Children’s doctors have found that encouraging parents to vaccinate their children against the flu results in a significant drop in emergency room visits from children with flu symptoms.

Childrens doctors in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a children’s clinic conveniently located west of Charlotte.It’s one of the first medical practices for children in the Gastonia, NC area, has served three generations of families with personalized care and offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. Gastonia Pediatrics is owned and directed by its own physicians. If you need a children’s doctor, call today.