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June 6, 2009

Other Illnesses, Other Medications

Question from Edmond, Oklahoma, USA:

With the new swine flu outbreak, is there anything special, other than washing hands, that we should be doing for prevention? Is Tamiflu safe and effective for children with type 1 diabetes? If it were found in our metro area, should we keep our type 1 child home?

Answer:

To the best of my knowledge, the current swine flu epidemic is not very much different than other flu epidemics except that it seems to target middle school and high school as well as college age folk more than the extremely young or the extremely old. So, there is nothing special except hand washing and avoiding obvious exposure if there were an outbreak. Thus, the reasons the CDC and school districts are closing schools when there is a large and obvious outbreak the past few weeks. In terms of diabetes, follow the same “rules” as any other obvious illnesses, use common sense; avoid exposures, if known; review sick day guidelines vis-a-vis extra insulin; fluids; ketone monitoring; etc.

SB

[Editor’s comment: Our daughter was given Tamiflu several years ago after being diagnosed with the flu. She suffered no side effects, if I recall correctly.

BH]