Flu Season

The Tennessean reports today that the flu season "has been unusually light this year," with only "21 laboratory-confirmed cases" thus far.

My first question is, whose laboratory are they counting? 

I took Gamma to her pediatrician on Thursday, because she woke up quite sick with flu-like symptoms.  The scary one though, was her pitiful complaint of how much it hurt to cough.  Gamma doesn’t complain much, and really has to be made to stay home from school even when she really is too sick to go.

The doctor ran two tests: one for flu, and another for a bacterial infection that has been causing walking pneumonia in a lot of kids locally.  Both came back positive, but we got her on Tamiflu (to shorten the flu) and antibiotics (for the bacterial infection, whose name I can’t remember) in time to shut both down in a relatively short time.  Thankfully, she’s all better now and back to school today.

So, does the Tennessee Health Department only count cases that are analyzed in their own laboratory, or do they collect information from the many doctors around the state who do run lab tests to make a definite diagnosis? 

It seems really hard for me to believe that there were only 12 confirmed cases last year, and I’m afraid that such a benign-sounding number could lull some busy parents into letting their children "tough it out," sending sick kids on to school.  That’s not fair to the sick ones, nor to their teachers and classmates.

Flu season may be running late, but it’s here. 

4 thoughts on “Flu Season

  1. And in full force. In the past two weeks I have heard of at least 8 cases. That does not count all the cases I heard of in December. Beware of the Stomach Virus also. That one is a killer, believe me.

  2. The bacteria to which you refer is probably the pesky michroplasma. My daughter had it in December, overcame it and then picked it up again by the end of January with a dose of RSV. While we spent our week in the hospital, the nurses said that respiratory ailments have been particularly bad this season.

  3. To those of us who don’t study such stuff, they sound pretty close to the same. All I remember is that it started with an “m,” but all I really needed to know was what to do to help her get well (and not contaminate anyone else).

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