Hospitals continue to watch H1-N1 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hospitals continue to watch H1-N1

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  Young children face the greatest danger from swine flu. Health officials released new information on the effect the virus is having on children.

They call it a young people's disease because of how quickly it's spreading in schools, and they remind parents to be vigilant.

Health officials say the number of hospitalizations in southwest Georgia due to the H1-N1 virus continues to climb. It's around 50 now. Phoebe Putney is still keeping kids from visiting the hospital and now wants parents to be even more vigilant with younger kids.

Despite all the information schools have sent home concerning the H1N1 virus parents like Richard Vickers, who has three kids, are concerned.

"I've look on H-N1 through the CDC and through other venues military sites and stuff like that," said Richard Vickers, a concerned Parent.

Health officials say parents are right to be concerned especially with children under the age of five who are more susceptible to the H1-N1 virus.

"Kids that are less than five years of age, particularly less than two, are a high risk group," said Southwest Georgia Health District Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant.

Children with other chronic health ailments are at even greater risk. "Children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, children with asthma, or chronic lung disease, or any other chronic illnesses those children are at risk as well," said Grant.

Parents really need to watch for signs of co-infection. "The child initially responds well starts to feel better and then they are not having a fever any more then after a few days then they start back having a fever," said Grant.

Because that could lead to complications. Health officials say making sure that those young kids get their flu shot is just as important as making sure they wash their hands, eat well, and practice good hygiene.

"In any situation you make sure that you're cognizant of what's going around," said Vickers.

Parents with an empty nest are just as concerned about those students who may have already left for a college campus. Now you can check up on them without being too nosey, or at least letting them know. There's a website that's watching the virus' attack rate on college campuses. For concerned parents we'll put a link to that website on our website walb.com.

Georgia college campuses reported 283 cases of flu-like illnesses, that's the most of other state in the nation.

      • Here are some Internet resources-

American College Health Association's Pandemic Influenza Surveillance Report

HealthMap | Global disease alert map

Googles' Flu trends  

Try this iPhone app: Outbreaks Near Me

World Health Organization

 Voluntary public health network-  ProMed

 

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