It seems with my former colleagues from Foreign Affairs dominating the airwaves recently that H1N1 has taken a back seat. That's not really such a bad thing since I think we were all probably tired of hearing about it and worrying. People are still contracting it though and wondering what to do if their child gets sick or if they get sick or if they should get the vaccination.
Emily actually had H1N1 a couple of weeks ago. Of course, she wasn't actually tested since doctors aren't doing that anymore but she had all the symptoms. She recovered just fine but I worried through the whole thing and she felt miserable.
I worried about Hope, I worried about myself. About a week before Emily got sick I booked our appointment with my family doctor to be vaccinated. I decided that I didn't want to lose any more sleep over it and I didn't want to put baby #3 at risk. The risk of losing this baby or the girls getting seriously ill outweighed any perceived risk of a vaccine for me. The girls were vaccinated the day before Emily got sick. I waited for the unadjuvanted version and got it about a week ago.
Even so, our family is still making sure that we're being diligent about hand-washing and other preventive measures: we're using more hand sanitizer when we're out and about (at the library, grocery store and school), John and I are gargling religiously with Listerine at night and we're all taking Vitamin D supplements.
Most families are being diligent this year but there does seem to be competing information out there about what to do to stay healthy, whether or not to get vaccinated, and how to recognize the flu. In order to make sure we're all getting accurate information on flu symptoms, prevention and how to take care of a child with the flu, the Government of Ontario has three websites that will help to make sure we have the information we need to get through this flu season as best as we can.
For Ontarians still considering a vaccination, you can find updated flu clinic information here.
The Ontario Ministry of Health has an assessment tool that can help you determine if your child needs medical care. You can find it here. I just used it to determine whether Emily did in fact have H1N1 and it looks as though she definitely did. It's really easy to use and takes away the guessing factor.
And finally, other useful flu information can be found here. I particularly liked the FAQ videos by Dr. Michael Gardam, Director of Infection, Disease Prevention and Control for the Ontario Ministry of Health.
Hopefully by informing ourselves using these tools we will all sleep a little easier at night. And stay healthy!
Disclosure: This blog tour is being organized by Mom Central Canada. Mom Central Canada is sending me a "fight the flu" kit as a thank you for participating.