A mom and registered nurse, Brodi Willard, shared an image on social media this week and the picture has crazy sharing and reach (250,000 shares on Facebook alone) for a medical warning. Her 6-year-old son came home from school with a terrible, hive-looking rash. Did you know this type of rash could be a symptom of the flu? Get flu tested before it becomes a medical emergency.
“My son came home from school with hives. Every time he would scratch, more would appear. We tried changing his clothes and giving him a bath, but nothing helped.”
Obviously, this skilled nurse was thinking her son was having an allergic reaction to something – detergent, clothes, or an environmental something. Upon calling her son’s pediatrician, the doctor shared that two patients had visited the office that same day with the same symptoms as her son’s ended. Both of her pediatrician’s patients testing positive for the flu.
This “on top of it” mom took her son to the pediatrician’s office and had him tested for strep and the flu. Guess what? The poor boy tested positive for influenza B and they got to it before it became a medical emergency.
He has had NO symptoms,” she wrote on Facebook. “No fever, no cough, and no runny nose. He only has hives. Please keep watch on your children so if they develop hives, please call your pediatrician. I have never heard of this symptom but it is obviously something to be on the lookout for,” she ended her warning.
On the Today Show, Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, explained that medical professionals consider this case as “very, very odd.”
“We’re all scratching our heads. We’ve never heard of it before, so I think the answer is a strong maybe. It certainly is unusual,” Dr. Schaffner told TODAY. “Just a rash alone without any other symptoms… I wouldn’t run right away with a diagnosis of influenza on the basis of this anecdote.”
Regardless, anyone and everyone should be aware of potential “flu symptoms” and should get to a doctor when feeling poorly prior to the arising of a medical emergency. The symptoms could be anything from fever and chills to cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, and even diarrhea. Officially reported by the CDC have been 37 influenza-associated pediatric deaths recorded for the 2017-18 season.
As we always say, stay aware – stay healthy. The operative during this extremely bad flu season is: GO TO A DOCTOR if you feel bad. If you feel REALLY BAD with flu-like symptoms, visit your nearest 24-hour emergency room. With treatments, your flu symptoms can last longer and you won’t expose as many people if you are well-informed.