Transcript: H1N1 virus chat

I got the seasonal flu shot several weeks ago. I am 59 years old. This week I had symptoms that I thought might be the flu, but if so, it was a very mild case. I was sick with chills, 102 fever, headache, muscles ached and joints hurt, also I was too tired to do anything, but stay in bed. Lasted about 24 hours. No cough or sore throat. What else could it have been? Can the swine flu be so mild?
Dr. Kelly Larkin:
this sounds like you may have had a mild virus like a cold, but we have also seen mild cases of flu as well.

Why are some schools just calling it the flu and not H1N1 anymore? I feel that parents need to know its active in the schools. Here in conroe isd it is and not many people know this.
Dr. Catherine Troisi:
The correct name is novel H1N1 influenza A, but I think people are just referring to it as the flu because it's the only influenza virus that is circulating right now (sometimes we have up to three influenza viruses circulating at the same time).

johnny j.
i have chronic asthma,and c.o.p.d.where can i get the vaccine.and if i cannot afford it can i get it free.

Dr. Catherine Troisi:
Check with your regular health care provider to see if she or he has the vaccine. Pharmacies will be offering it soon. The Houston health department serves as a safety net for people who don't have insurance. Check our website at The vaccine is free although there may be a small adminstration fee.

I recently got the flu shot. I have had mild reactions of flu like symptoms and fever for the last 4 days since I received it. I also have an autoimmune disease. Should I wait until my symptoms have resided before I get the H1N1 shot? Should I even be overlapping them? Do they contain some of the same strands of flu virus?
Dr. Kelly Larkin:
You need to wait until your symptoms have resolved by a week to 10 days. Usually you want to have around 2 weeks between vaccines. Next year these vaccines may be given together.

ernest frazier
I have Multiple Sclerosis and the swine flu, could this cause a flair up?
Dr. Kelly Larkin:
any virus can cause a flare up a your MS. But this is totally unpredictable.

Is the H1N1 virus always manifested with high fever?
Dr. Kelly Larkin:
No, the fever can be 101, does not need to be a high fever

IF you are hiv+ what should you do? should you get tha shot or take oever tha counter meds like airborne to help
Dr. Layne Gentry:

HIV patients should get the injectable vaccine...not the nasal live one...None of the over the counter things have been shown to give much help...

Why can't a person over 48 get a mist vaccine?
Dr. Layne Gentry:
The nasal vaccine is not as effective in adults as in children. There is also the risk that the live virus can be carried in the nasal passages, and spread to others at risk for flu

My daughter is 4. She has asthma and has been hospitalized 3 times in the last 3 yrs. I would like to get her the H1N1 vaccine. I have called the TCH Pediatricians office but they do not have the vaccine available yet. How do I go about getting it for her if she is high risk?
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
There is a shortage of the H1N1 flu vaccine. But due to her disease as soon it is available she has priority to get it. Unfortunately the next batch of vaccines for TExas will come after Nov 1. You can keep checking with your pediatrician for availability or you can go to this website for ore

What are known side effects of the vaccine? Would there be any greater potential for side effects or complications with a 2-yr old with thalassemia-minor?
Thanks for answering questions for us.
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
Jackie The most common side effects of the H1N1 vaccine are the same as the ones for the regular seasonal flu: pain, redness, swelling in the injection site. Very rarely headache, muscle aches, nausea or stomachache. It is o.k. to give it to your child since the blood disease is minor

Not only am I a labor and delivery nurse, but I am 5 months pregnant. I have not received the immunization and my hospital is not sure when they will receive any injections to give. Should I consider quitting my job early if my husband and I can afford it?
Dr. John Irwin:
You have a definite problem. At a minimum, you should notify your charge nurse that you cannot take care of laboring patients that have ANY flu-like symptoms. If you are assisgned a laboring patient, ask them this question immediately. Hospital personnel are going to be the very first to be vaccinated. most hospitals should get the vaccine in the next few weeks for their clinical personnel.

s. ward
my husband and i was sick f0r 3 days with high fever, chills, mucles and b0ne pains, and a s0re thr0ut. i als0 had a stuffing and running n0se. the fever 0nly lasted a day th0ugh. i was w0ndering what is the signs 0f swing flu? my s0n hasn't g0t what we has yet and im w0rried because he is 6. was this swine flu 0r s0mething eles?
Dr. Shital Patel:
The signs of "swine flu" H1N1 are much like regular flu. People can have fever, runny nose, cough, congestion, body aches, and low energy. However people may not have fever and may have only some of these symptoms. It is hard to say if your family has the H1N1 infection without testing you. There are many other viruses that are making people sick at this time and may look very similar.

What is the difference between the nasal spray and the vaccine?
Dr. Shital Patel:
The nasal spray people refer to is a nasal spray flu vaccine. The vaccine you are referring to is a shot (injection). The nasal spray vaccine is a live, weakened form of the virus and the vaccine shot is a dead flu virus.

Dr. Kelly Larkin:
The over 65 year old group still needs to get seasonal vaccine. It appears that this age group does have some immunity to swine flu so will not be a priority to immunize, but can eventually get the swine flu vaccine.

I have two children with autism and epilepsy..Do they have an increased risk for developing complications from the swine flu? Also, are they more susceptible than other children their age?
Dr. Layne Gentry:

Autism and epilepsy are not risk factors for flu...They are not more suscepible unless they are on medications which suppress the immune system, such as prednisone..

Michelle M
1. If you get the vaccine does in COMPLETELY prevent you from getting N1H1 even if you are in direct contact with someone that has the virus?

2. My two year old in constantly getting sick when she is around other children so it's safe to say that she has a low immune system. Is the shot form of the vaccine better for her rather than the nasal version?

3. I am 6 weeks pregnant and am worried that the vaccine might harm my baby. What trimester is the safest to receive the vaccine? Also, is there mercury in the vaccine?

4. As a pregnant women, is tamiflu safe for my baby?

5. Why are there so many deaths when tamiflu gets rid of the virus? I guess my question in how effective is tamiflu?
Dr. Layne Gentry:

The H1N1 vaccine is protective...You will not get H1N1 if you receive the vaccine...It does take 7 to 10 days to develop protective antibodies, so there is some risk with early exposure after vaccination.

i have a 1 month old dauther. whatcan i do To protect her? can she get the vaccination or can i get it, since i am breastfeeding?
Dr. John Irwin:
Your daughter cannot be vaccinated until she is 6 months old. You should get the vaccine for two reasons. There are some antibodies passively transmitted via the breastmilk which confers some protection. You should also get the vaccine because you are her primary caregiver and should not get the flu yourself.

I have had the normal flu shot and I don't get sick very often, do I need to get the H1N1 shot. I've been told because I'm obese I could be in trouble.
Dr. Shital Patel:
If you want to reduce your risk of getting H1N1 than you should get the vaccine. In one recent study in one hospital, many of the people admitted to the ICU for H1N1 infection were obese so there may be an increase risk but it is not clear yet.

Michelle V.
My question is with this flu should school districts send out letters to every parent even if it is only one case?
Dr. Catherine Troisi:
Once a case of influenza is identified in a school age child, his or her fellow students have already been exposed. Unlike meningitis, where exposed children can be given antibiotics to prevent infection, telling parents about a case of influenza wouldn't accomplish much.

I'm a 53 year old that just had 2 stents placed in the rear artery about three weeks ago. Should I have the H1N1 shot? I will be going over sea for a couple of weeks in less than a month. How can I get the H1N1 shot prior to leaving when the doctors say they don't have it.
Dr. Layne Gentry:

\The sents do not make your risk for flu increase...You should get the H1N1 vaccine because you have age and cardiac disease. You probably will not get vaccinated before you leave in one month. Our government is in charge of the vaccine, and as you might have sensed, things are slow to start and probably finish. I would suggest that you let you doctor know of your time table and see if he can help... Remember that all the healthcare facilities are responsible for pleading with the government for vaccine...

Brenda R
Have there ever been any cases of people coming down with Gulliain Barre syndrome after receiving the influenza vaccination.There was a news report stating that 1500 hundred people were affected from an imminization during a Flu outbreak years ago.Is this true?If so what are the risk for this vaccination.
Dr. Layne Gentry:
Brenda R

The Guillain Barre syndrome was seen with the Swine flu vaccine in the 1976 vaccination program...It has not been seen with any influenza vaccine program since. There are none of those old risk factors present in the modern flu vaccines.

my son had the virus 2 weeks ago and was treated with tama-flu for 10 days. now he is begining to show symptoms again . should i be worried he is getting it again
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
If your son got Tamiflu he should not get the same flu type virus. He may have other viruses such as the ones that cause the common cold (RSV, adenovirus, etc). If you are concerned you should go to your pediatrician.

I am hesitant in getting my 18 month old granddaughter the H1N1 because--was this really tested enough? are there/could there be any "long term" side affects? Yes, there are risks with any vaccination but most have been around for years and years. My main concern is how will it affect her in the future?
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
Susan I understand your concern BUT the H1N1 flu vaccine has been created in the same way as the season flu. So you can assume that they both will have the same long term effects whcih are NONE. At this point we do not believe it will have any effect in the long term

I have 22 month old twins with Asthma. My pediatrician stated that they need to get the H1N1 vaccine because they are "high risk". My pediatrician does not have the injection and does not know if they will in the future. I called the Brazoria County Dept of Health (I reside in Pearland) and they also informed me that they do not have it and will not have it. What do I do? I am very concerned.
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
Unfortunately it is a hard situation since we have a huge shortage. So my recommendation is prevention, prevention, prevention. Right now we do not who or where the H1N1 flu vaccine will be distributed. The City of Houston has a website that you can check:

Anna D.
hello, i have a 5 weeks old daugther. hwat can i do to protect her? can she be vaccinated or should i get the vaccination to protect her since i am breastfeeding? i am 33 years old.
thank you
Dr. John Irwin:
Your 5 week old cannot be vaccinated until she is 6 months old. Some protection for your daughter does occur if you get the vaccine. Also, since you are her primary caregiver, you do not want to get the flu yourself and further expose her. Get the vaccine.

Dr. Shital Patel:
Tamiflu is being used in indivuduals at high risk for complications from the flu.

I am a retail manager is there a way I can help avoid getting H1N1 I know I need the shot but its not available yet..
Dr. Shital Patel:
Until the vaccine is available to you, I would advocate good hygeine. Wash your hands as often as you can and consider using hand gel often since you are interacting with customers.

Is there more of a risk factor of Guille-Barre syndrome or other nerve related problems associated with this shot? Has the vaccine been tested to see if there is more of a risk?
Dr. Shital Patel:
The H1N1 vaccine is made just like the regular flu vaccine so no increase risk for Guillian-Barre syndrome is expected. The vaccine is being tested and has been given to many thousands of people in the US thus far.

I have 2 children ages 7 and 8, I recently took them to their dr for the Flu shot, but they said they were all out and for me to keep calling back to see if they have some come in. Should I get them the regular flu shot or the H1N1 shot? Besides their regular dr can I take them some where else to get the shot?
Dr. Catherine Troisi:
Yes, both the seasonal and H1N1 vaccine are recommened for children. Unfortunately the H1N1 vaccine is in limited supply right now so the best thing to do is to keep calling your medical provider. Your children are old enought to be vaccinated at a pharmacy, once they get vaccine in.

My wife is a very healthy 44 yr old. She is traveling to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next month and will be gone for 2 months. Should she get the H1N1 shot?

Dr. Catherine Troisi:
Right now vaccine is available in limited supply. Keep checking with your medical provider first. Eventually (a few weeks, we hope) more vaccine will be available to doctors and pharmacies. In the meantime, get the seasonal flu vaccine which will protect you against that strain of the virus.

I get the flu shot every year, because I have asthma, and am very susceptible to getting bronchitis and pneumonia. I also teach at an elementary school. I did get the regular flu shot about 3 weeks ago, but there is no H1N1 vaccines available yet in our community. I am worried about getting the swine flu before I can be vaccinated. Is tamiflu still effective against the swine flu? I heard that it is starting to show resistance, in about 30% of the cases. Is that still true? Do you happen to know if it's higher or lower?
Dr. Kelly Larkin:
Tamiflu is still very effective against - resistance is very rare to H1N1. It is more resistant to seasonal flu.

I have asthma should i be getting the swine flu vaccine along with my regular flu vaccine
Dr. Kelly Larkin:
Yes, you should get both

What is the incubation period for the flu? I am nursing a husband with 100 temp and cough, he's on day 2 of flu - some strain. But I am leaving Nov.1 to care for 85 yr old mother. If I can find a flu shot Monday, is it too late to protect myself or to prevent carrying it to mother?
Dr. Kelly Larkin:
You would usually have the flu within 7 days of exposure (incubation period). If you get the flu shot it takes 2 weeks to develop immunity.

Arthur R.
I am 36 years old, and have trouble breathing, i quit smoking 1.5 months ago. my lungs are in very bad shape. I fear that if i don't get the vaccine, i'll catch swine flu, and my lungs wont be able to tolerate the awfulness of the virus, i'd die. where can I get a shot in the Cypress area?
Dr. Kelly Larkin:
The H1N1 vaccine will soon be available at doctor's offices first then pharmacies. Contact your physician to see if they have vaccine. Stopping smoking is very beneficial to you if you get the swine flu as your lungs have been repairing over the past month and a half. See you physician if you develope swine flu symptoms.

Ervin T
Correct me if I?m wrong but my understanding is that the seasonal flu and the h1n1 vaccine are manufactured the same containing the same ingredients with the difference being the h1n1 vaccine contains an added strain to combat the h1n1 virus with that be said what is the purpose of receiving both vaccines when one being the h1n1 vaccine can protect us again both illnesses assuming my understanding is correct.
Dr. Layne Gentry:
Ervin T

All your assumptions are correct except for the fact that H1N1 is a distinctly separate virus, and will not protect against other strains of A, or at least we have no evidence to suggest this. Likewise, the other A viruses will not protect you against the we have to use more than one vaccine...

I have a 6 month old who is a preemie born 2 Months Early but no health problems so far should she receive a flu vaccine?
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
The answer is YES!!! Get her immunized

Where can I get my 9 year old child the H1N1 vaccine? Her pedi office said they are only vaccinating 2 year olds. I have a 9 year old - where can I go in Houston to get the vaccine in either form?
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
For your 9 yrs old you need to wait until Houston gets more supplies of the vaccines. We are immunizing the high risk group first, that is why your 2 yrs old got it. So keep checking with your pediatrician for new supplies or the Hosuton City Dept at:

I have never had the flu or a flu shot. What is may option?
Dr. Shital Patel:
If you want to reduce your risk of getting the flu or serious complications from the flu then you should get the flu vaccine. Your options are the nasal spray vaccine or the flu shot. You can get the nasal spray vaccine if you are an healthy person between the ages of 2 and 49; otherwise you should get the shot.

My son is allergic to eggs so he cannot get the vaccine, what precautions should I take to keep him from getting it? He is 12 years old.
Dr. Shital Patel:
Good hygeine -- he should wash his hands as often as possible, carry hand gel to be used in public places. Also, household members could get the vaccine to reduce the risk of exposing the child.

What are the most common symptoms this flu has?
Dr. Shital Patel:
The signs of "swine flu" H1N1 are much like regular flu. People can have fever, runny nose, cough, congestion, body aches, and low energy. However people may not have fever and may have only some of these symptoms. It is hard to say if your family has the H1N1 infection without testing you. There are many other viruses that are making people sick at this time and may look very similar.

My 19-year-old college student completed a year of chemo in January for Hodgekin's Lymphoma and has been in remission ever since. Is it dangerous for him to take the live nasal vaccination, or is the shot safer if his immune system is still compromised? Also last flu season, our pediatrician said all of us needed to take the shot and not live nasal treatment since we were around someone with a compromised immune system. Should our entire family take the shot?
Dr. Shital Patel:
The nasal vaccination is reccommended for healthy individuals between the ages of 2 and 49. He should get the flu shot. As far as the entire family, it depends on how immune compromised he is at this time. You should ask his doctor about this and then your family can make a more informed decision. If he is not getting chemo anymore then the family could potentially get the nasal vaccine.

James/12 years old
Should everyone do what mexico is doing ,wear mask over our face to make sure we dont enhale a cough or anything from SWIN FLU
Dr. Shital Patel:
Wearing masks in public is not recommended at this time. They do not protect 100% and seems to cause more alarm. The best thing to do is to practice good hygeine. Wash hands routinely, use hand gels, cough/sneeze into your elbow rather than hands.

If you get the swine flu can you get it again?

Dr. Shital Patel:
For now the virus has not changed. Very young kids can possibly get reinfected, but for the most part most people can not get reinfected unless the virus changes.

my 7yr old tested positive with a light form of the swine flu. she is on tamiflu for 5days. what should i watch for or be concerned about?
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
Just make sure she is recuperating well. Her fever is going down, she is eating o.k. or at least drinking a lot, make sure she is urinating well and that she doesn't develop any respiratory difficulty. Make sure she is still awake and alert.

Hears my queston how young do you have to be to get H1N vaccine When it becomes aviable to the public?
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
The youngest you can give the H1N1 vaccine as well as the regular season one is 6 months. But the Center for Disease Control recommends all children younger than 2 yrs old

My son is severly allergic to eggs. Is there something for him to take to prevent the swine flu? And if he were to get the swine flu is there medicines that can be given to him to help him fight the swine flu? I just pray we never have to deal with it. Thank you.
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
If your child has sever allergies to egg HE CAN NOT GET any of the flu vaccines. The only thing you can do is prevention, prevention, prevention. Everybody washes their hands, etc. if he gets flu like symptoms he can be treated with tamiflu.

will H1N1 if i go to my son doctor . will it make him sick yes or no?
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
Nicole You question did not come out right so I do not know exactly what are you asking. But if the question is where to get the H1N1 vaccine, the answer id through your pediatrician's office once it is available (there is a shortage). And if the other question is if it is goign tomake him sick, if he gets the shot it is a killed virus so NO, he shouldn't get sick (only pain, redness, swelling onthe injection site). But is he gets the live one because he is older than 2 yrs old (which is the nasal spray) then he can have mild illness such as fever, sore throat, headaches

What locations will they have the H1N1 vaccine for 12 month olds? Is there any close to the Clear Lake Area?
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
I do not know if around the Clear Lake Area there is going to be availabilty You should check with the Health Dept around that area.

I have a 3 yr girl , she born premature she is healthy but Im scare to get the swine flu shot for her and put on risk my healthy baby. and also we palnning to go to mexico on chrismas and I really want to protect her. What you recomendme.
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
You can give the 3yrs old the killed virus which is a shot and will not put at risk any other family members. And if you plan to travel to Mexico, YES, you should vaccinte everybody.

My kids (ages 2 & 4) and I (28) were diagnosed on Monday with the flu the doctor did not specify which flu. I have heard from others that doctors have not actually seen the seasonal flu in any patients as of yet and therefore if you were diagnosed with the flu it is most likely the swine flu, it is just to expensive to test for positive. Is this true and if so should I be worried about my 2 yr old who is asthmatic? We are on Tamiflu but he gets tired easy and does not what to eat much!!
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
It is true that if you test positive for flu A we are assuming is swine flu, because this is the season for it. We are not seen a lot of the regular flu. And yes, it costs a lot to send a specific nasal wash, on a special tube to get it tested for swine flu. It has to go to Atlanta to the CEnter for Control of Disease (CDC). And it is a special test called PCR. So that is why we are not testing. If all of you are on tamiflu you should be o.k. About your child with asthma if youa re concerned go to the pediatrician so they can listen to his lungs, etc. But remember that the flu makes us sick, tired, we do not want to eat a lot, but make sure he is drinking a lot of fluid and urinating well.

Blanca Soto
My 1 year old will have her scheduled vaccines on Monday. And her doctors office are only giving the swine flu vaccine for children 3 and up. Should I get her vaccinated anyway at another clinic. Also does this vaccine contain thimerosal? If it does, are there any other options for the vaccine.

Thank you so much.
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
There are single shot vaccines that are thimesoral free, so you can talk to your doctor about it. The City of Houston is very low on supplies, so you can check this website and see where the City is distributing the vaccines and go there:

I'm a 50-something female with diabetes and asthma as well as lung and thoracic Sarcoidosis. Due to the Sarcoidosis I also take a drug for rheumatoid arthritis that causes me to have a "compromised immune system". Since my doctor is unable to get the H1N1 vaccine, I am terrified to go anywhere but I do have to get groceries and I have other doctor and therapy appointments. I'm even afraid to go to the hospital to get my mammogram week after next. Questions: 1)Should I be this paranoid about this virus? 2) If our doctors can't get the vaccine is there anywhere else we can try (I live in Ft. Bend Co.)? Thanks
Dr. Shital Patel:
It is understandable to be concerned about getting the H1N1 infection since you are immunocompromised. Until vaccine is avialable in your community, you should practice good hygeine and ask friends that are ill not to expose you. You have to live a normal life and do your routine activities, but wash your hands and use hand gels when out. This can help reduce the risk. As far vaccine, try to continue to contact your health department.

kay raley
I have 2 grandsons 3 & 5. One has asthma and the other one reactive airway
disease. Their physician stated they could not have the nasal vaccine but needed the injection. She also said she
would not get it. What are we to do?
These 2 clearly will be in trouble if
they get the H1N1. We live in Baytown. Thanks

Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
You need to check with the Health Department in Baytown and see if they are going to get a supply of the H1N1 shot. For now is a lot of prevention, prevention, prevention: washing thair hands, keep them away from people that are sick, etc.

My three children have already had confirmed cases of the H1N1 Flu and recovered with no complications. Do they still need to get the vaccine since they have already been exposed to the virus?
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
No, they do not need the vaccine

Jessica Z
I have been following up on the H1N1 virus ever since the break out in Mexico. I've gathered a good amount of information too. I read that there couldn't be two different strains on the flu virus at the same time. That one would over power the other. Since we have had quite a few swine flu cases in our area for a while, Why would there be very much doubt if any that it is swine flu that everyone is contracting now? What I've researched is that almost every test that has been taken has come back positive regarding Swine flu. Is there any for sure way to be certain that it is Swine Flu? Because Dr's are not testing patients unless they are seriously ill or have died of an unknown illness. Will there be a swine flu test that will be available for Dr's offices so maybe we can have a little peace of mind?
Dr. Shital Patel:
For now the majority of the cases that test positive for Influenza A on the rapid test are H1N1 "swine" flu. Confirmation tests are done by limited labs at this time and there is no quick test that can be done in the office. As the season continues we will expect to see regular seasonal flu in the community. Throughout the US there are survillence labs that keep track of what viruses are circulating. In Houston Texas Children's labs helps provide this information. For now we can assume it is H1N1, but that may change in a few months.

My grandchildren are ages 9 and 5, but their doctor says they do not need the H1N1 vaccine. Why is that? I thought they were in the high risk group.
Dr. Shital Patel:
They are not in the high risk group right now. Since there is a shortage of the vaccine the new recommendations is to give it to children 2 yrs old or younger, or children with chronic disease such as heart disease, asthma, etc.

my daughter had the seasonal flu mist 3 weeks ago and then started getting sick with a runny nose 4 days ago . we took her to the doctors office and they gave her a flu test and it was positive for flu a . they told us it was swine , could it be a positive test from the seasonal flu mist.
Dr. Shital Patel:
The regular seasonal flu mist will not protect your daughter from the swine flu. So it is possible to get it. The flu mist will not give your daughter a positive test

I currently have H1N1, but haven't had fever since Tuesday. (Infact, it's been lower than average temp.) When will I be considered non-contagious?
Dr. Shital Patel:
No, they do not need to get the H1N1 vaccine

if i take the h1n1 vaccine shot am i immune to the that swine flu
Dr. Shital Patel:
To reduce your risk of getting "swine" flu (H1N1) or serious illness from H1N1 then you should get the vaccine.

I am 58 wife 57 both very healthy overall. Should we wait to get the vaccine later after the ones who need it most?
Dr. Shital Patel:
There are priority groups for vaccine however if available to you you should consider getting the vaccine. Some cases of serious illness has occurred in those that have no underlying health problems.

I would like to get the nasal mist vaccine for the Swine Flu for my 3yr old son and 5 yr old daughter, however my husband believes the side effects are more to worry about then the flu itself. What side effects have been a result from getting the vaccine and do you reccommend giving the kids the vaccine?
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
There are priority groups for vaccine however if available to you you should consider getting the vaccine. Some cases of serious illness has occurred in those that have no underlying health problems.


Dr. Shital Patel:
Young adults are at risk of H1N1 infection. So far, it seems that those under 24 are at higher risk of serious illness. That does not mean that you are not at risk of getting the infection. It also depends on our health status.

If you've already contracted the H1N1 virus within the last 90 days, is it still advisable the get vaccinated against a second attack?
Dr. Shital Patel:
If you have had confirmed "swine" H1N1 infection then at this time you should not get infection again. Some very young children could poosibly get reinfected, but for the most part most people will not get reinfected unless the virus changes. Also if you have confirmed infection, then at this time since the virus has not changed you do not need to get the vaccine.
I don't know if my 10 month old daughter is allergic to eggs so I am worried about her getting the shot. Is it okay if I get the shot (I already had the regular flu shot for this season) and pass my immunities on to my daughter? Please answer, thank you!
Dr. Amalia Guardiola:
ARe you nursing?? Still, you will not pass your immunity to your daughter. She still needs to get it. About the allergy to egg you can talk to your pediatrician about it. Usually it is pretty safe and your pediatrician can observe her after the shot is given.

My son has Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW)can he get the flu shot?
Dr. Shital Patel:
Yes, he can get the flu shot.

My wife is a RA patient currently taking Methotrexate. She has a uterine polyp that her OB-GYN wants to remove via a hysterectomy. Prior to surgery, she will have to stop taking the Methotrexate so that she can improve her immune system. Not knowing how much exposure she will have at the hospital, should she postpone the surgery until she can get the H1N1 vaccine?
Dr. Shital Patel:
Post poning surgery depends on how important the surgery is and whether there would be any issues if postponed. This would have to be discussed with her physician. It is difficult to predict when she will be able to get vaccine and thus this decision should be made together with your wife's physician who knows her best.

Should I ask my physician to prescribe me Tamiflu if I was tested for the swine flu?
Should I also get my 2yr old and my 5yr old vaccinated. Are there any severe risks for in the vaccine?
Dr. Shital Patel:
Your physician will help you decide if he thinks you have "swine flu "H1N1 and whether you need Tamiflu. You and your kids should get the vaccine if you want ro reduce the risk of infection. The vaccine is made just like the regular flu vaccine.

My wife and I have a 8 year old and 19 month old, it seems the vaccine was produced fairly quickly and we are skeptical what possible side that are not know yet. Would be putting our chlidren at a higher risk for problems if choose not to get them the vaccine? Or is it the opinion of most Doctors to get the vaccine, we did get them the seasonal flu shot, do we have to wait so many days before we get them the H1N1 vaccine? Thanks
Dr. Shital Patel:
My wife and I have a 8 year old and 19 month old, it seems the vaccine was produced fairly quickly and we are skeptical what possible side that are not know yet. Would be putting our chlidren at a higher risk for problems if choose not to get them the vaccine? Or is it the opinion of most Doctors to get the vaccine, we did get them the seasonal flu shot, do we have to wait so many days before we get them the H1N1 vaccine? Thanks

2 weeks ago I was in the hospital for Acute Bronchitis, viral infection and flu. I don't know which one..The hospital said that the test was not back yet to determine which flu it was. I am still weak, still have some congestion and just does not feel good. Should I still get the flu shot
Dr. Shital Patel:
You should discuss with your doctor to see if he or she can find out if you had the flu. If can not be confirmed you may want to consider getting the flu shot because other respiratory viruses can cause similar symptoms.

Will type A flu tests be screened for the H1N1 flu? If I have the H1N1 flu, do I still need to get the H1N1 vaccine?
Dr. Shital Patel:
If you have had confirmed "swine" H1N1 infection then at this time you should not get infection again. Some very young children could poosibly get reinfected, but for the most part most people will not get reinfected unless the virus changes. At this time since the virus has not changed you do not need to get the vaccine.

I have a healthy teen boy with mild Asthma is that considered a underlying condition.
Dr. Shital Patel:
Asthma is considered a underlying condition.

Tamme S.
My son has type 1 diabetes and we see that from the other questions that he should be on the priority list, how do you get on this list?
Dr. Shital Patel:
The CDC has developed a priority list -- individuals at increased risk of complications from H1N1 -- you can go to the CDC webisite to see the list.

My daughter just received the H1N1 vaccine today. I spoke extensively with her Pediatrican regarding the pro and cons of the vaccine. I didn't think to ask since she received the nasal vaccine should I be concerned about her being around her grandmother for a few days since she is Diabetic?
Dr. Shital Patel:
You do not have to be concerned about your daughter being around her grandmother who is diabetic.

My daughter was sick w/ flu symptoms & was treated w/ Tamiflu for H1N1 even though she wasn't tested. I'm not 100% sure she had H1N1 since there's no confirmed lab test... Will it hurt her to have the immunization for H1N1 if she did indeed already have the virus?
Dr. Shital Patel:
Getting the flu shot will not hurt her if she already had the virus infection.

I am 54 years old and I've been told by a nurse at my clinic I need to have the H1N1 vaccination because I have several chronic medical conditions.However,my clinic doesn't have the vaccine yet. I don't have the cash to pay to get the vaccine from any other source. Also, I'm very concerned the vaccine would cause me to get sick. What is your suggestion and opinion?
Dr. Shital Patel:
The vaccine is made like the regular flu vaccine. You will not get flu from the flu shot. You may have a mild reaction like low grade fever, headache, and mild body ache that lasts 1-2 days and usually does not interfere with your activities. The vaccine will be coming in at different times and thus keep talking to your clinic and health department.

Where can I get my 14 month old the regular flu shot? My pediatrician is out and doesn't know when he will be getting any more. Also, why aren't kids younger than 3 getting the H1N1?
Dr. Catherine Troisi: Check the Houston Health Dept website at for clinics which have the seasonal vaccine. Children younger than 3 years of age can certainly get the flu but they may not be exposed to as many people as school age children are.
I hear ya'll say to check with our regular physician, but what if you don't have one? My kids don't have one nor do they have insurance, where can i get them vaccinated and how much is it?
Dr. Catherine Troisi: The Houston health department serves as a safety net for people who don't have insurance. Check our website at The vaccine is free and the health department does not charge an administration fee. Anika Gilmore I need to find out if a fever btween 103-105 is safe. Dr. Kelly Larkin: A fever up to 104 can be OK. 105 is a high fever. before a fever gets to 105 you should have taken tylenol or motrin to prevent the fever. Vanessa If you were breastfed by a parent born before 1957, would you have any immunity to the virus. Thanks (12651) Dr. Kelly Larkin: No, you would not have immunity. Your parent might. ernest frazier I have had the swine flu since last Sat. and I am on tamiflu but it is not working, what else is good to help with the swine flu? Dr. Lane Gentry: Earnest frazier Tamifllu is effective against the H1N1, but has to be given early in the course to be effective in decreasing the symptoms...Also there is a rare case of H1N1 which is resistant to Tamiflu...You may not have started early enough to get the effects...I doubt that the virus is resistant... Nicole My husband and I got the nasal version of the H1N1 vaccine, he has sore throat is fatigued with a sore back. This happened the day after he got the vaccine. He now has congestion. We have a 8 week old baby and I am nursing. Should we be concerned..? Also my three year old has not gotten the vaccine, he is allergic to eggs. Dr. Amalia Guardiola: Wow! This is a hard one. If the 8 wks old baby is not sick and you are not sick you should go ahead and keep nursing. But your husband should not be in close contact with the baby as much as he can (I know this is going to be super hard). Then the whole family needs to be EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS. Everybody needs to be washing their hands, hand sanitizer everywhere, do not "kiss a lot" as much as you can. And if at any point the 8wks old child gets a fever, or any other problems go to the pediatrician as soon as possible. For the 3 yrs old is all about prevention. Anna D. (07:11 CDT): hello, i have a 5 weeks old daugther. hwat can i do to protect her? can she be vaccinated or should i get the vaccination to protect her since i am breastfeeding? i am 33 years old. thank you Dr. John Irwin: Your daughter cannot be vaccinated until she is 6 months old. You should get the vaccination for two reasons. Antibodies are passively transmitted through the breast milk. Your baby benefits. You are also her primary caregiver and do not want to get the flu. Get the vaccine. callmetink I have end stage liver disease and no spleen. My liver transplant doctors want me to get the vaccine... but I don't know where to go to get it. No one has it. Any suggestions? Dr. John Irwin: You should definitely get the H1N1 vaccine. It is just as safe as the seasonal flu vaccine. I suspect that the story you relate is not actually a side effect or related to the vaccine. It is just coincidental. You should feel confident that the vaccine is safe. We have decades of experience with influenza vaccine in pregnancy. Tammy I'm natuarally feeding my 3 month old baby and I was wondering if I get the shot will my immunity to the H1N1 virus be passed on to her through lactation? Or should I wait until my baby is old enough to get the shot herself? Dr. John Irwin: Your baby may indeed receive some antibodies to the virus from breast milk. When your baby is 6 months old, she should be vaccinated. Regina R. What is the probablity of catching Swine Flu twice in the same season? We have already had it, and am wondering if I should risk getting the vaccination. Dr. Shital Patel: If you have had confirmed "swine" H1N1 infection then at this time you should not get infection again. Some very young children could poosibly get reinfected, but for the most part most people will not get reinfected unless the virus changes. Also if you have confirmed infection, then at this time since the virus has not changed you do not need to get the vaccine. W. Farmer I have progressive congested heart failure and COPD. I take a large number of RX's. So far, I have not been able to acquire the swine flue vaccine or the regular flu vaccine thru our clinics. Could there be a severe interaction with the RXs? Also, I am scheduled to take a trip in 10 days. I feel I should have one or both but have not been able to acquire them. Dr. Lane Gentry: The vaccine does not interact with any of the usual medications...The seasonal flu vaccine is still available at pharmacies...H1N1 vaccine will be available in probaly 6 to 8 weeks.. Mary I am a healthcare worker. Everytime in the past that I have gotten the flu shot I have gotten very sick shortly after, so I do not take it any more. Now with this new flu I am scared for me and my family, but do not want to get sick from the shot like I have in the past. What should I do? Dr. Kelly Larkin: Generally illness with the vaccine is limited. It is recommended to get the vaccine to prevent illness, but you can chose not to. Brad I have a trip to China planned for mid November and would like to be vaccinated. My concern is whether the H1N1 vaccine will be available? Also, my job has me in hospitals and cancer centers daily, would that elevate my priority for vaccination? Dr. Catherine Troisi: We should have a steady supply of vaccine by mid-November (but it takes about two weeks after you receive the vaccine for your body to make antibodies to be fully protected against the virus). If you have contact with patients in the hospitals, then yes, you would be in a priority group to receive the H1N1 vaccine. Judy I have Polymyostis, diabetis, and chorsis of the liver. I am 64. Should I get the H1N1 shot? Dr. Amalia Guardiola: With all those risk factors, you are on the very top of the list to get the vaccine.. Bryan (05:43 CDT): We have a three year old and are concerned as to the side effects that may arise from her recieving the H1N1 vaccine, ie Autism. Could you please advise us on the risk involved if she is given the vaccine and if the reward out ways the risk? Kindest Regards, Bryan Dr. Amalia Guardiola: There hasn't been any correlation between the flu vaccine and autism. There are no studies showing this correletion. Also the flu shot has been around a long time and we haven't seen any consequences in the long term. And yes, the benefits outweight the risks. Sarika My Son is 16 month old and we are planning to travel out of country in the next month....I want to give him H1N1 vaccine, but is it safe for him to get available live vaccine? Dr. Amalia Guardiola: The live vaccine, flumist, is recommended for children older than 2 yrs old. Your 16 months old should get the shot. kansas im 10wks pregnant, my doc recomends i wait til im 12wks pregnant to get any type of flu shot. is it safe for me to get either now, or is it safer to wait til 12wks? Dr. John Irwin: You can get both vaccines AT ANY TIME IN PREGNANCY. There is no benefit for anyone to delay getting the vaccine until 12 weeks of pregnancy. Get both as soon as you can. Miles Walker Is there any side effects to the swine flu vaccination and when is the earliest college students can get the shot Dr. Shital Patel: The reactions to "swine" flu shot (H1N1) are expected to be the same as regular flu vaccine. The vaccine is made the same way as regular flu vaccine. The most commone reactions include low grade fever, headache, bodyaches, low energy that is usully mild to moderate and usually does not interfere with your activity. These usually lasts 1-2 days and go away. A college student can get the vaccine as soon it is available to them. deb What are the symptoms as opposed to the regular type a or b flu? Dr. Shital Patel: The symproms in most people are simliar to the regular flu a or b. H1N1 is a type of Influenza A. However, because we do not have preexisting immunity, some individuals may be at higher risk of serious complications from H1N1. Natalie I am breastfeeding my 9 day old newborn should I get the H1N1 shot to protect my son and have my 15 month old daughter vaccinated? Dr. John Irwin: You should indeed get the H1N1 vaccine for two reasons. Getting the vaccine does confer some immunity to your breastfed baby. In addition, you will be protecting yourself--the primary caregiver for both your children. Your 15 month old should be vaccinated. Frank Lomelo (05:40 CDT): Is my 3 year old safe if she get the vaccine? Dr. Amalia Guardiola: If your child gets the vaccine she should be protected pretty good. But rememebr that there are multiple types of the flu virus, so she may still get the flu from a type that is not covered by the vaccine. IF she gets it the disease is much milder, less severe than if she did not get the shot. AnnetteJ My husband and I are in our late fifties and caregivers for our two grandchildren two days a week. The children are 4yrs. and 21 months, respectively. The 4 yr. old attends pre-school. Should we be vaccinated for the H1N1 virus? If so, where can we go to get it if supplies are so limited? (We have already been vaccinated for the seasonal flu this year.) Dr. Lane Gentry: As caregivers for children, it would be a good idea for you to get vaccinated. Unfortunately, the supply of H1N1 vaccine is very slow to arrive here in Houston...Within the next 6 weeks, there should be sufficient vaccine to get most people like you...The largest supplies of H1N1 for patients will be large clinics or your doctor's office...He had to request the supply, and should share with you. Grace I have asthma and diabetes. I hear all the time that people with asthma are dying after contracting the H1N1 flu. What are my chances of "surviving" the H1N1 flu if I contract it because of my underlying conditions? What is the current national survival rate of those with underlying conditions such as I who have survived the flu? Dr. Kelly Larkin: We do not have exact numbers. Your risk is higher if your asthma requires steroids. If you get tamiflu within 48 hours of flu symptoms then your survival rate is very high. Nick How can retail workers help keep from getting sick from all the customers? Dr. Catherine Troisi: Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol based sanitzer often. If you see someone coughing, stay away from them or ask them to cover their cough. Staying healthy by eating right and getting enough sleep helps as well. Get the vaccine when it's available. Amanda My two-month-old daughter is breastfed. How much protection from h1n1 is she getting from breastmilk? Dr. John Irwin: Breastfeeding a baby does confer some passive immunity to H1N1. A lot better than nothing. The baby cannot be vaccinated until she is 6 months old. Patty My daughter (8yrs) last week was diagnosed with H1N1 because she had all the symptoms but was given a flu test and it was negative. The pediatrician indicated it was H1N1 because seasonal flu is not even active our area (woodlands). Is this true? Dr. Amalia Guardiola: Yes it is tru. The rapid flu test may be negative, it is not a perfect test, it has a 30% chance to be negative even when you have the flu. And yes, we are seen more H1N1 so far, this is the season for this type of flu instead of the regular season flu. Patty If my child was diagnosed with H1N1 should she still receive the vaccine? Also because she had it I'm on Tamiflu and it gives me really bad nausea. Is that normal? Dr. Amalia Guardiola: If your child was diagnosed with H1N1 he/she doesn't need the vaccine. And Tamiflu may cause nausea, rarely but it can cause it. Amanda Two of three of my chldren had the flu already and doctor said the only flu they have seen was swine flu. Do they still need to be vaccin for the flu. Dr. Amalia Guardiola: Your children should get vaccinate for the regular seasonal flu, which it is a different vaccine from the H1N1 flu vaccine. cassandra Can a person get sick of swine flu even though they are ready got the vaccine? who should get the vaccine?where can you get vaccine? Dr. Lane Gentry: Cassandra If you have received the vaccine, you will not get sick again with this infection...Children ages 2 to 6 are the highest risk group...followed by pregnant women, then older individuals with diabetes heart disease and those taking prednisone... Wanda I am 60 years old. I had breast cancer in 2008. I had radiation a year ago. No chemo. Presently I'm taking arimadex and iron 3X a day. Does this make me higher risk? (Overall good health.) Thanks Dr. Lane Gentry: Wanda Your age and the meds do make you at risk, however, the meds are not as big of a factor as prednisone....You should take the vaccine when it is offered.. ernest frazier I have never had the flu like I have it now, is it a stronger strain? Dr. Lane Gentry: Ernest frazier There is no evidence that this current season has "stronger strains" It may be that you are older! diane what is the best thing I can do do keep from getting the flu, can I get the flu if i have sinus and earaches. have been sick with sinus and earaches for along time, I use saline and have been to the dr. alot can I get the shot with sinus and earache ? Also can not take penicille Dr. Lane Gentry: diane The best thing you can do to not get the flu, is to take the vaccines, both the seasonal and the H1N1. Other precautions, include vigorous hand washing, controlling your sneezes, if you are sick, and avoiding large crowds, during the time we are having large numbers of cases... stephanie My son is 3 yrs old.. He is suppose to get the H1N1 mist vaccine tomorrow. Can he still get it, if he has a runny nose? Does he need both shots? Dr. Kelly Larkin: He needs to get both the seasonal vaccine and the H1N1. He cannot get the vaccine if he is sick or with a fever, but if he has a mild runny nose, he can get the nasal mist vaccine as long as he can breathe in and keep the vaccine in his nose. Otherwise, he will need to get the shot. Crystal Baker My son (14 yrs) had Swine Flu three weeks ago. He can't get it again, can he? Dr. Kelly Larkin: He cannot get it again once he has had it. He could get a different strain next year, but not this year. randi Davisson I am a high risk person (diabetes, thyroid, blood clots, gastroparesis............ My dr has not gotten the vaccine yet, I called my gynecologist to see if she had it, but no. If I am high risk, what am I to do? Dr. Kelly Larkin: Eventually the vaccine will be available at pharmacies and all around. In the meantime, it is just available at clinics or doctors offices. You can ask your doctor if he/she knows someone he can refer you to in order to get the vaccine because you are at high risk. Bennett In the Southwest Houston Locations, where can i find swine flu vaccines for pregnant women? And how much will it cost? Dr. Catherine Troisi: Right now vaccine is available in limited supply. Check with your medical provider first. Eventually (a few weeks, we hope) vaccine will be available in pharmacies and in city of Houston health dept clinics we well as other health department clinics. The vaccine will be free. An administration fee (up to approximately $15) can be charged by the doctor or pharmacy. Vanessa To Dr. Catherine Troisi It was reported on TV that a mask would not provide much protection against H1N1. My question is what is the mode of transmission of this virus? If the virus is airborne, then why wouldn't the same precautions work as any other contagious airborne virus or TB? Dr. Catherine Troisi: The virus is spread in two ways - through the air (a sick person coughs or sneezes out the virus and someone else breathes it in). We still don't have a definitive answer as to protection that masks afford - some studies show they do protect and others show they don't. We do know that it has to be a special mask called an N-95 and the mask has to be specially fit-tested. Regular surgical or dust masks definitely won't protect you because the virus is very very small and can go through these masks. TB is caused by a bacteria, not a virus, and bacteria are much bigger than viruses so can't go through the mask. Don When is this swine flu going stop? (12617) Dr. Catherine Troisi: The one thing we can say about influenza is that the virus continually surprises us. In a regular flu season, we don't see activity until October, it peaks around February, and we don't see many cases after March or April. This year was different as we saw H1N1 in the spring, it continued through the summer, and came back with a vengeance in the fall. Bottom line is that we don't know when the H1N1 virus (swine flu) will stop circulating. Cindy I have Asthma and currently have Pneumonia. How long do I have to wait after I recover from Pneumonia to get the H1N1 injection? How will I know who has it available? Dr. Kelly Larkin: You need to wait 24 hours until you have recovered and have been fever free without tylenol. Then you can get the vaccine. Gina I have a concern with the adjuvants squalene and Thimerosal, which will be added in the manufacturing of the injectable form of the vaccination according to NIP and ISO. My 4 year old son can only receive the injectable version due to his asthma. How might these adjuvants negativly affect him? Will there be any manufacturers who will not include these additives? Dr. Shital Patel: Squalene and thimerosal are not adjuvants that are added in the vaccine. Thimerisal is a perservative. Many studies have soon no association of thimerisol with developmental issues in children. These components are used in other vaccines and regualr flu vaccine. There are single dose syringe shots available that are thimerisol free if you are concerned. Amber My 10-year-old son is on asthma medications(singulair, flovent, veramist, zyntec) and allergy shots once every 3 weeks. Can he get H1N1 flu shots? Which works better, flu mist or shot? I called his doctor's office and they don't have the vaccine yet. Where else can I take him for the vaccine ASAP? The flu is spreading like a wild fire in this school. I'm really concerned. Thanks Dr. Amalia Guardiola: Amber It sounds like your son has pretty bad allergies and asthma. In this case the only recommendation is to receive the shot, NOT the flumist. But you should ask your allergist BEFORE getting the vaccine. This specialist will know "how bad" your son's allergies are and if it is safe to give the shot. At this poitn there is a shortage of the H1N1 vaccine so your only choice right now is to wait until your pediatrician gets it. You can also check this website for availability: Kay My daughter had type A flu last month. She was not tested to see if it was H1N1. Should she still get the vaccine? Dr. Lane Gentry: Kay Your daughter should take the vaccine when it is offered... Remember that A flu consists of many different viruses. H1N1, is one of the very serious ones for your daughter.. Concerned Mother (03:21 CDT): Since this vaccine has never been given, what are the long term side effects on children? Dr. Kelly Larkin: There are no long term studies with the swine flu vaccine. But, the swine flu vaccine is made the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine. So, we assume the same safe profile of side effects that we have seen with seasonal flu vaccine. Peggy Davis: My husband suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest a year ago this past July. He had an anoxic brain injury. I am wondering where to get the flu shot and should he have the flu shot. He is 47 years old. His doctor is still waiting for their supply and the home health agency we are using does not give out flu shots. You all say we need the shot, but they are no where to be found. Dr. Lane Gentry: Peggy Davis Your husband should have both injections...Seasonal flu is available at clinics and thru the large pharmacies here in town...The H1N1 vaccine is being distributed by our government, and is trickling thru the supply chain...It may be several months before we get enough for everybody.. Lawrence D. Harvey (04:42 CDT): I have COPD & emphsyema and would like to know if I am secure the H1N1 shot. I live close to Huntsvlle - will I be eligible? Dr. Lane Gentry: Lawrence D. Harvey You are elgible and should take the H1N1...You should also have had the pneumonia vaccine.. Sue Wukoson I have diabetes and want to get the H1N1 vaccine. I have already gotten the seasonal flu shot, but don't know what course to take to get the H1N1 vaccine. What do you suggest? Dr. Lane Gentry: Sue wukoson With diabetes, you should get the H1N1 vaccine. Diabetics are in the risk group for flu and the subsequent side effects.. Scott M Is it true that people born before 1950 are more immune to H1N1? Yes, it is true that there is a probable immunity for those born before 1950 because of prior exposure. This group is considered lower risk for H1N1. rockell What should you look out for in babies new born to 12 months for the H1N1 virus. Dr. Amalia Guardiola: For children 12 months and younger you should look out for fever, irritability, cough, runny nose, nasal congestion, vomiting, diarrhea, not wanting to eat or drink, breathing fast stacey Where can you get the shot form of h1n1 for children who have chronic asthma and diabetes? Dr. Amalia Guardiola: To my understanding there is no form requiered to get the H1N1 flu vaccine for any children. You should go to your peditrician and obtain the vaccine once it is available Rae So if anyone has another medical condition like psoriasis, or MS, or thyroid problems and if they get the swine flu it becomes fatal because of your other illness. It seems everyone who has passed away from the flu it states they had other medical conditions as well. Not sure what that means. Dr. Lane Gentry: Rae The medical conditions which are related to bad outcomes with flu, are diabetes, heart disease, and the use of cortisone, or Prednisone. Psoriasis without being treated, and thyroid problems will not put people in the high risk groups...The people who die with influenza as one of the problems, usually have underlying diabetes, heart failure, stokes, etc. Donya C. How do you know if you have that virus or not?Are the symptons the same as the flu that we normally see around this time of the year?My nephew was ill last week running temp etc.the sighns of the flu.Taken to the doctor was told he did'nt have it.10/22/09 my 2yr.old neice has the H1N1 but brother don't.What are the chances of our intire household catching this from her?Do you think that' it's possible for the doctor to mistake one for the other? Dr. Kelly Larkin: Swine flu and Influenza A or other common flu do have similar symptoms. Swine flu is a bit different because it also has gastrointestinal symptoms. Up to 48% of swine flu have some vomiting or diarrhea (this is not seen with the seasonal flu). Any infectious disease can be spread among family members. This can be limited by good hand washing, using tissues and limiting shared things like utensils. It can be difficult to sometimes determine between seasonal flu and H1N1 flu. Sunnyside123 Why would you allow people to get this shot and you have'nt tested it you are putting many inncoent lives at risk. So why have'nt you tested it? (12603) Dr. Kelly Larkin: The swine flu vaccine is made the exact same way the seasonal flu vaccine is, so we assume that it will be as safe as the seasonal flu vaccine. MaryRose Husband and I are heart patients and both have asthma. Med Center Heart Group states they will not be getting any vaccines like they thought. Patients are on their own to find the vaccine. 211 is no help. Heard on TV that Texas is the only state that did not order enough for their citizens. We are very scard and don't know where to turn. Should we fly back to our home in Michigan to get the vaccine where family members have already received them and now are protected? Thanks much. Dr. Catherine Troisi: I know that it's frustrating not to be able to get the H1N1 vaccine. I would not recommend flying to Michigan as it's possible to be exposed to influenza during your travels. Wash your hands often, stay away from sick people, and, if you're really worried, stay away from large groups where you might be exposed to a sick person. You didn't mention your age but those who are 60 years and older seem to have some immunity already to H1N1 so if you are in that age group, you may be protected. Be sure you get a seasonal flu vaccination and a pneumoccocal vaccination if you're over age 60. Jessica Is it dangerous for a pregnant woman to be around children who have recieved the live mist vaccine? Is the h1n1 flu able to spread from a person vaccinated with the live virus to other who are succeptible? (12601) Although generally children do not shed virus after the live virus vaccine, they might. Therefore, avoid close contact with anyone who has received the live virus vaccine recently. In the same family, children and pregnant women should get the killed virus vaccine-the shot. Amy I'm allergic to the preservatives (not sure which one). The last shot I got was seasonal allergy shot and I had a heart attack hours after it. So I don't want to take the risk to get the regular flu shot, but where can I go to get a shot without preservatives? Dr. Shital Patel: You should discuss this with your physician. The perservatives in the allergy shot can be compared to what is in the flu shot. There is flu vaccine that is thimerisol free (a perservative) in single dose syringes. You can ask your doctor if they will be getting that type. If not, you can try to find it as more vaccine comes into Houston. Carla When was the research started on the vaccine for the H1N1 virus ? Dr. Shital Patel: The trials with the H1N1 vaccine were started as early as June/July in other parts of the world. In the US, the trials began in August, however the vaccine is made the same way by the same companies that make regular flu vaccine. kimberly j I think th vaccine was made to fast, should effect my decision on getting the vaccine ? Dr. Shital Patel: The vaccine was made with the same processes as regular flu vaccine, by the same companies and in the same facilities that have been regulated for regular flu vaccine. Lori I am pregnant - 36 weeks, and my doctor has not received the H1N1 vaccine. Where in Houston can I get one? I will deliver in 2 weeks. Dr. John Irwin: Your doctor is likely not going to get the vaccine prior to your delivery. There is no where in Houston that you can reliably get the vaccine now. Get the vaccine as soon as you can. Even after you deliver you should get it. If you are breast feeding your baby, your baby will actually get some passive immunity from your milk. Since your baby cannot be vaccinated until 6 months of age, it is important that you, the caregiver do not get the flu. Kathy I've heard about several young children in Houston on heart/lung machines due to H1N1. Is this true? Dr. Amalia Guardiola: Yes, there have been cases of children on these machines. Alyssa Which shot is more effective? The nose spray or injection shot? Dr. Lane Gentry: Alyssa, The nasal spray is more effective in children, probably should not be used in adults...There is risk that the live virus in the nasal vaccine will linger in adults and can be spread...Kids do not shed virus as long as adults will from a nasal dose... jessica Once vaccinated can someone still get the virus....? Dr. Lane Gentry: Jessica If you have received the H1N1 vaccine, it is very very unlikely that you will have any effect from exposure to the virus...The vaccine is a good one and protects.. Cristina Bonilla How much do we really know about the possible side affects this vaccine could have later in the future? Dr. Lane Gentry: Cristina Bonilla The current H1N1 vaccine is prepared in exactly the same process as the seasonal influenza vaccines we have used for 20+ years...The side effects will be extremely low as they have been over the 20 years.S Diane-Pasadena, TX My seventeen year old daughter, who is a Senior in high school has had the Flu since last Thursday. My husband and I thought that her fever would go away but her fever is still there. She has to take the Tamiflu for 10 days. Could this be the H1N1 virus? When will her fever break? Dr. Kelly Larkin: This could be H1N1, but you do not know that since you have to test for that. This may be a bacterial infection that has developed since we would expect your fever to have resolved in less than a week with the flu. I suggest you bring her back to her doctor to check if there is another source of the fever. Brandon: Can H1N1 be transmitted sexually? Dr. Shital Patel: It is not trasmitted sexually, but is transmitted by coughing or sneezing or sharing items that are infected. So, close contact such as sexual would give you an increased risk of developing H1N1 just because of proximity. sylvia i always get the regular flu shot but i have now been told that having the regular flu shot every year can cause dimentia or worse, i refuse to have the new h1n1. is this true what i ask? ty Dr. Shital Patel: The regular flu shot as been given to people for many decades and there is no evidence that the flu shot can cause dementia or other long term issues. The H1N1 shot is made the same way by the same companies as regular flu vaccine. If you want to reduce your risk of getting the flu you should get the flu shot. Sandy Graves My son is 13 and has no underlying health issues - is typically very healthy. Would it still be necessary for him to have the H1N1 antivirus administered anyway? Thank you, Dr. Amalia Guardiola: If your son is 13 yrs old and healthy he should get the H1N1, but he will not have priority for now since the state is low on the supplies. But once the supplies are back to "normal" he can get it. DavidMM Do air filter systems help with H1N1? I have an ultra-violet germicidal filter...will it kill H1N1? Dr. Lane Gentry: David Air filter systems will probably not filter out the virus...The Hepa Filters may get most of the viruses, however, because the influenza virus is in secretions, a filter will help... Ultra violet will kill the virus, however, it has to have a close direct exposure to be effective... Deb Hi, I was wondering if you have Hepatitis C, should you get the vaccine? And if so, should it be shot or nasal mist? Thank you, Deb Dr. Shital Patel: If you want to reduce your risk of getting the flu or serious complications from the flu and you have Chronic Hepatitis C, you should get the vaccine shot Marissa: My child's school website shows the number of children out with the flu. Recently they show 0 absenses due to fl, but lots of the children in the classroom ARE out sick with confirmed swine flu. Parents are not coming forward with information because the school does not require them to. Thus there in inaccurate information being reported. My other child's class had 18 out of 42 out with the flu in a single day. There was no report from the school at all that there was a problem. I do not thing we are getting accurate information on how many out there have the swine flu. Why isn't it being reported more clearly and accurately? Dr. Amalia Guardiola: Marissa It is true, we may not know how many cases are out there of swine flu. And also the school may not know which of those kids have the true swine flu vs the seasonal flu. The only way to confirm a child has swine flu is through a special testing call PCR, and the only way to do that is usually on hospitalized persons. SO if any kid is diagnosed with the flu by their physician it could be the regular flu and not necesssary the swine flu. Right now the Houston Health Department is not reporting the number of cases of flu, that statistic is not available. So it will be very difficult for the school to report these cases. in any case you may want to visit this website: Bryan and Lisa: How does the vaccine preparation today differ from that seen in the vaccine developed for H1N1 in the 1970's that led to many people getting Guillian Barre syndrome? What risk of this condition is there from the current seasonal and/or the H1N1 virus? Dr. Lane Gentry: Bryan and Lisa. The vaccine of today, is prepared exactly as the seasonal flu vaccines have been prepared for 20 years. We know the safety profile is excellent, and consistent. The Swine flu of the 70's was from a different viral source, was prepared in eggs, however, there were different preservatives added, and the processing to remove impurities was nothing like what we have now...The actual cause of the Guillan Barre syndrome related to the 1970's vaccine was never determined. wendy and tony Should i get swine shot if i just was diag with asma at age 47 thanks Wendy and tony League City Tx Dr. Lane Gentry: Wendy and tony You should get a swine flu vaccination because of the asthma...You are in the age group which is at risk, and the asthma makes you even higher risk. Rosie In 1976 I received the swine flu vaccine, I was very sick with complications to the shot. I have asthma and have questions regarding this year's swine flu vaccine. I have already received this year's flu shot but, worry about the side effects. Waiting to hear your comments. Dr. Lane Gentry: Rosie The 1976 vaccine was different, and the current vaccine is safe, and has minimal side effects. I would suggest that you get the vaccine... diana: what is the difference between the flu shot and the nasal spray shot? (12582) Dr. Kelly Larkin: The flu shot is given in the arm with a needle. It is an inactivated vaccine which means it contains a killed virus. This is the same as the seasonal flu. H1N1 is made the same way. The nasal spray flu vaccine is a vaccine made with a live, weakened virus that does not cause the flu. It can be used in healthy people 2 years to 49 years who are not pregnant. Again the nasal spray H1N1 vaccine is being made the same way. (92460) Anonymous (07:30 CDT): Our teenage daughter has a compromised immune system. On 9/4/09 she received the seasonal flu shot. On 9/14/09, she was admitted to the emergency room and diagnosed with "the flu". They said they did not test for a specific strain, but that it probably was the H1N1. Question, is it necessary and safe for her to get the H1N1 vaccination if she actually had the H1N1 virus already? (12581) Dr. Kelly Larkin: It may be that she had H1N1, but that is not for sure. So, in this case, she needs to get the H1N1 vaccine just in case she did not have H1N1. Taking the vaccine will not hurt her. (92768) Ashley Waters (06:16 CDT): As an asthmatic & diabetic, I was strongly advised by my physician to get the H1N1 inoculation. As of YESTERDAY (10/21), my doctor's office insists they have been told they WILL NOT be receiving the vaccine. My insurance carrier (Blue Cross) advised me to call the Kroger Pharmacy in Willis... who ALSO advised that while reported in the Conroe Courier, they WILL NOT be getting the vaccine. I called Congressman Kevin Brady's office, who reports they have "NO INFORMATION" as to where the vaccine may be obtained. The State of Texas web site is totally worthless on the subject. Who can help? Ashley Waters - Huntsville Dr. Catherine Troisi: I know it's frustrating that more vaccine is not available. One place you can go to for information is the Houston Health Dept's website at We'll have information about clinics and pharmacies where vaccine is available, when it becomes available. We won't have information about private physicians' offices, though, so you'll need to keep calling to see when vaccine's available. ann : I've had a successful kidney transplant (10 yrs) I'm 55, I teach 4th graders once a week and I can't seem to get a clear answer about whether I need to get the H1N1 shot...I know I shouldn't get the nasal spray, also my area doesn't have the vaccine yet at the Galveston Health dept and they couldn't even tell me if I am eligible. What do you think? Dr. Shital Patel: You definitely should get vaccine if you want to reduce your risk of getting H1N1. Your health condition puts you in the high risk category and thus at increase risk of a serious illness if you get the flu. You are correct that you can not get the nasal spray vaccine. You should get the vaccine that is a shot. You are also around 4th graders that increases your risk of getting flu. So as soon as the health dept can get vaccine -- you are in the priority group and you should get vaccine. I would also add that you should also protect yourself from seasonal flu but getting the regular flu vaccine. Chautel Jackson : I have asthma, and I was wondering, is it true that if an individual has asthma and gets swine flu that they are at a higher risk for death? If so, why? Dr. Shital Patel: A person that has asthma is at higher risk of serious illness and complications from the regular flu and H1N1. The virus can result in pneumonia which can make asthma worse and may result in hospitalization and possibly death. Teresa : I am 7 months pregnant and am frustrated that I can't find the vaccine anywhere. I understand how important it is and just want to protect myself and the baby. Please tell me where and/or when I can expect to gain access to the vaccine. I have spoken to my dr. and she said she hasn't received any information either. This is very frustrating as we keep hearing how bad this is, but we can't seem to do anything to protect ourselves! Dr. John Irwin: I feel your frustration! As an obstetrician who realizes how important this vaccine is for my pregnant patients, I am as frustrated as you are. Texas just seems not be be getting much vaccine. Interestingly, my pregnant daughter resides in Delaware. There seems to be plenty of vaccine there. She got it two weeks ago. We do not get much information from the CDC, the manufacturers, the government, or distributors regarding when or how much vaccine we will get. You obstetrician, if she applied to get the vaccine months ago, will indeed get some doses. There is no telling when. Tell her to notify you when it gets to her office. Christina : I have a 2 year old in daycare and I've had asthma my entire life. I am in my early 30s. I already received my seasonal flu shot (as did my son and husband). Should I go ahead and get a pneumonia vaccination too? Dr. Amalia Guardiola: If you haven't had it yes, get the pneumonia vaccine. Adults with asthma should have the pneumonia vaccine at least once every 10 years, especially if you are taking prednisone. In any case you can ask your physician too. Kim : One of my husband's employees died from swine flu on Saturday, Oct. 17. His last day in the office was October 6. What is the incubation time for the H1N1 virus? If no one else in the office has shown any symptoms as of today, October 22, what is the likelyhood that another person in the office will be diagnosed with H1N1? Dr. Lane Gentry: Kim The incubation for H1N1 is 7 days. The likelihood that anybody else will be infected is slim to none... Chris Tenney : Are Swine Flu masks being mandated? Dr. Kelly Larkin: Swine flu masks are not mandated. If a patient presents to the emergency department with concerning symptoms we put a mask on them and the care givers will also wear a mask until it is determined they are not infective to others. donna (11:27 CDT): Has congress received the H1N1 vaccine? Has President Obama received the H1N1 vaccine? Dr. Catherine Troisi: I'm not sure if Congress or President Obama have received the vaccine. President Obama, as a healthy adult, is not in one of the priority groups to receive vaccine but he may get special consideration. Russell : Why is it that Texas is the ONLY state that did not order the vaccine in time for NOW delvery? My cardiologist was suppose to receive these vaccines by this week. They did not get any of it. Many transplant and other seriously ill heart patients are without. This is sad indeed. Dr. Catherine Troisi: You'd have to check with the Department of State Health Services to see where the breakdown occurred. We are hoping that we'll see larger quantities of vaccine in the next few weeks. A.Maas : If you are in the over 65 age group, I understand that this group is not at risk for swine flu, is this correct? Dr. Kelly Larkin: The over 65 year old group still needs to get seasonal vaccine. It appears that this age group does have some immunity to swine flu so will not be a priority to immunize, but can eventually get the swine flu vaccine. Susan L : I am a 63 year old healthy female. should i get the h1n1 vaccine Dr. Catherine Troisi: Right now seniors are not in a priority group to receive the H1N1 vaccine. This is because many seem to have some immunity from viruses that circulated before 1957 and so we have not seen many cases of H1N1 in this age group. However, you should make sure to get a seasonal flu vaccine. Terri Gray : I have Lupus, Asthma, and dysautonomia, I am 32yrs old and I work as a substitute teacher at an Elementary School, I have enough health issues without complicating any of them or inviting new ones on board, Should I get the swine flu vaccination and should my 7yr old daughter? I am very uneasy about this......We have had a lot of children diagnosed with this in the area in which I live. Looking for answers! Thanks so much, Terri Gray in Alabama Dr. Shital Patel: Terri, You at high risk for getting flu including H1N1. 1. you have a illness that can suppress your immune system -- Lupus; asthma also puts you at higher risk of complications like pneumonia from the flu. You can be exposed at home from your child that could bring it home from school and you can get exposed at work. Both you and your daugther should get the H1N1 vaccine. NanaB. : My kids will not allow my grandchgildren to get the H1N1 vaccine. Why? Because they were told by various school nurses that the vaccine is too new to know its safety in children. I am very concerned. Signed: NanaB. Dr. Amalia Guardiola: The H1N1 flu vaccine has the same safety then the seasonal flu....both are prety safe. The most common side effects are pain, swelling and redness around the injection site. There may be some rare side effects such as nausea and stomachache. But so far no serious side effects have been reported. But if you or your kids have questions please visit the Center for Disease Control website:

Find us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | More social networking
ABC13 widget | Most popular stories | Street-level weather
ABC13 wireless | Slideshow archive | Help solve crimes

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.