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New Warning to Parents After Milwaukee Area Child Dies from Complications of the Flu

Dr. Kevin Dahlman, pediatrician with Aurora Healthcare, wants to get the word out that it's not too late to get vaccinated for the flu.

The advice is especially important considering the recent death of a Milwaukee area child from complications of the flu.

One of the biggest hurdles is telling the difference among the various ailments that seem to strike this time of year. 

The stomach flu, or a virus called gastroenteritis, actually has nothing to do with influenza, or the flu.

You can have influenza without having any stomach issues.

Gastroenteritis, or the stomach flu, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever and poor appetite. It is actually an infection of the stomach and intestines.

Influenza tends to come on fast and is more intense than a cold.

Symptoms include:

A high-grade fever up to 104 degrees

Chills and shakes with the fever

Extreme tiredness

Headache and body aches

Sore throat

Dry, hacking cough

Vomiting and belly pain

Depending on the age and other health conditions a child may have, it can be very dangerous.

The flu can also lead to other problems like ear infections, sinus infections or pneumonia.

You should call your pediatrician if the fever last more than 3-4 days, or immediately if the child has trouble breathing, ear pain or a cough that won’t go away or seems to be getting worse.  

The best way to avoid the flu is to get a yearly flu shot. According to the CDC, anyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot every year.

Other than that, you want to make sure your child is washing his or her hands regularly, and doing so properly – washing long enough, with soap.

If your child is sick, eep them home from school or daycare.

Remind your child not to share cups or eating utensils with other children.

Also, getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and water, is a great way to avoid many illnesses.

The clock is ticking on the flu shot.

The flu usually peaks in April  and it can take two weeks after you get the flu shot to become immune to the flu.

So if you haven’t yet gotten a flu shot for your child, act quickly.

For more information click here

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