NEW YORK --Many parents are confused and worried by these latest swine flu cases, believing the H1NI strain had suddenly returned yesterday, but it actually never went away. Eyewitness News medical reporter Dr. Jay Adlersberg offers some clarification about this flu, and says this is what parents should concentrate on. To begin with, doctors are learning more and more about this flu every day. The virus is highly contagious, which means if it's around you or your child, you're both at risk for becoming infected. If a child does become infected, it's best to keep him or her away from family members over the age of 65 because they're more at risk for the flu. This flu, like all others, is also more dangerous to someone who already has a condition like heart disease or emphysema. If a child comes down with symptoms like fever, sore throat, cough, muscle ache or an upset stomach, parents should keep the child home. Monitor the child and it likely the flu will soon pass. However, if there is problem breathing or a fever goes up very high, a doctor should be called. Also, if children under the ago of 2 have flu symptoms, a doctor should be called right away. And a doctor should also be called at the first sign of illness in an older adult who already is dealing with an illness, like diabetes or a heart condition, or if a pregnant woman has symptoms. The reason a doctor should be called is the physician may want to prescribe a medication like Tamiflu. In other cases, doctors may just let the flu run its course. And parents should teach children to cover their mouths when coughing and sneezing. And of course, to remind kids to frequently wash their hands.
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