Pediatricians are seeing almost double the number of patients this year than in the past because of the flu outbreak.
Dr. Michael Ramsey with Dothan Pediatric Clinic said, “We are having between 50 and 100 positive flu tests a day."
The H1N1 virus continues to spread. Emilee is one of hundreds of children diagnosed with the virus this week alone.
Dr. Ramsey said, “Over the last two weeks we've seen a marked increase in the number of flu cases, we'd usually see 200 patients and we've jumped to about 500 patients a day."
While pediatricians say the H1N1 virus can be serious they also say it's not necessary to bring all sick children to the doctor.
Dr. Ramsey said, "We're just seeing fever and aches that last a few days, so most healthy children can treat these symptoms at home so they don’t have to come to the doctor."
Most children with flu like symptoms can be treated with over the counter medications.
Dr. Angie Blaxton with Southeastern Pediatric Associates said, “We recommend symptomatic treatment, rest, Motrin to keep the fever down."
In a few days most symptoms will disappear.
You do need to take your child to the doctor's office if they have flu like symptoms coupled with asthma, sickle cell anemia, diabetes or any other disorder that puts them an increased risk for severe complications from the virus.
Pediatricians also are encouraging parents to postpone routine doctor's visits, like physicals, for their children until the pandemic subsides.