What Every Parent Should Know About the Swine Flu Vaccine
"The pandemic influenza vaccines are being produced using the same manufacturing process as seasonal influenza vaccines," Dr. Morita says. "When seasonal influenza vaccines are administered according to licensed indication and usage information, they are safe. However, vaccines, like any medical product, carry some risks."
Dr. Osterholm agrees. "It is the seasonal flu vaccine, just a different antigen in it," he says. "We've been giving that successfully for the past 25 years without any problems at all."
If you think you or your children have contracted swine flu, what should you do?
Dr. Osterholm says the first thing you should do is pick up the phone and call your physician. "Don't go in," he says. "Call them."
Dr. Morita says it's important for infected people to stay away from others as much as possible. "Do not go to work or school while ill," she says. Her other recommendations for recovery from pandemic flu are what you'd do to recover from seasonal flu: Get plenty of rest, drink clear liquids, cover coughs and sneezes and wash your hands regularly.
Worsening influenza symptoms include: difficulty breathing, purple or blue discoloration of the lips, vomiting, signs of dehydration like dizziness or absence of urination, seizures or convulsions and confusion. If you see any of these, Dr. Morita says to get emergency medical care right away.