Transcript: H1N1 virus chat

October 22, 2009 8:58:47 PM PDT
Below are the questions and responses from our live online chat on the H1N1 virus RS
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:Jacob

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:Heather

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:Michelle

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:TMP

\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.

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