House Full of Sick Kids! Keep Your Family Healthy this Flu Season

House Full of Sick Kids! Keep Your Family Healthy this Flu Season

Face facts: Being a parent isn’t always that easy. And a parent’s job becomes a lot harder when he or she is managing a house full of sick kids.  Here is what you need to know to be smart flu fighters.

Flu is highly contagious, very unpredictable and serious – especially in young children:
• Each year, an average of 20,000 children under 5 are hospitalized because of flu-related complications
• Children are also contagious longer – about 7 more days than adults
• While the annual flu vaccine is still a family’s best first defense, getting your children vaccinated does not guarantee that they won’t catch the flu. Last year proved it. During the 2014-2015 flu season, the flu vaccine was only 23% effective (the last time it was this low was the 2005-2006 flu season).

Cold and flu are different and cannot be treated in the same way…
• Typical cold symptoms include runny nose, mild sore throat or a hacking cough
• But if your child suddenly gets hit with fever (100+), aches, chills and extreme tiredness, you can bet that it’s the flu
• It’s a common misperception that flu cannot be treated with antibiotics, but antibiotics are for bacterial infections. Flu is a virus!
• While OTCs like acetaminophen may help soothe flu symptoms, they cannot stop the virus from multiplying.

The good news: If your family gets the flu, there are ways to fight it…
• You don’t have to just wait for the virus to pass – there are medicines called antivirals that can actually shorten the length of the time that your child – or anyone else in your family – is sick.
• Antivirals such as Tamiflu® (oseltamivir phosphate) can help your family get back on their feet 30% (or 1.3 days) faster.
• Antivirals can also prevent the flu. So if one family member is sick, talk to the doctor about prevention for the rest of your family.
• Available as a capsule or liquid, Tamiflu is safe for patients as young as 2 weeks who have had flu symptoms for 2 days or less.

Remember, quick action is needed to fight the flu. Antiviral treatment must be started within 48 hours. If you suspect that you or anyone in your family has the flu, call your doctor immediately. If your doctor is unavailable, remember you can get a prescription at your nearest drop-in Urgent Care clinic. To find one in your area, go to


Tamiflu is a prescription medicine used to treat the flu (influenza) in people 2 weeks of age and older who have had flu symptoms for no more than 2 days. Tamiflu can also reduce the chance of getting the flu in people 1 year and older.
Tamiflu does not prevent bacterial infections that may happen with the flu.
Tamiflu is not a substitute for an annual flu vaccination.
Do not take Tamiflu if you are allergic to oseltamivir phosphate or any of the ingredients in Tamiflu.
Important Safety Information
• If you have an allergic reaction or a severe rash with Tamiflu, stop taking it, and contact your doctor right away. This may be very serious.
• People with the flu, particularly children and adolescents, may be at an increased risk of seizure, confusion, or abnormal behavior early during their illness.
• Let your doctor know if you are pregnant, nursing, have heart problems, breathing problems, a weakened immune system (immunocompromised), kidney problems or other medical conditions as Tamiflu may not be right for you.
• Also tell your doctor about any medications you are taking or if you’ve received a nasal-spray flu vaccine in the past two weeks.
• The most common side effects are mild to moderate nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain.

You are encouraged to report side effects to Genentech by calling 1-888-835-2555 or to the FDA by visiting or calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

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