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CDC on swine flu: what parents should know

The swine flu (now referred to as the Mexican flu or Novel H1N1 flu) has now spread to 41 states in the US with 642 confirmed cases (as of May 6) and 23 countries worldwide. The US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) has provided recommendations for the general public but also to specific sectors for the population. Here are some info and recommendations for parents and parents-to-be:

  • For moms who are breastfeeding
    According to the CDC, breast milk is one of the best defense against the flu for your baby. Do not stop breastfeeding even if you or your baby are ill. Continue to breastfeed even if you are being treated for the flu.
  • For women who are pregnant
    The CDC does not know what the effect of this novel flu will be on pregnant women and their unborn babies. Pregnant women are thought to be very susceptible and are advised to take extra care. The CDC also cannot give much information about the effects of the antiviral agents on the pregnancy. Pregnant women who present with flu symptoms should contact their doctors immediately.
  • For pregnant women who work in education, child care, and health care
    Pregnant women who work in schools, daycares, and hospital are especially vulnerable. Like all pregnant women, they should take extra precautionary measures in their workplace. Pregnant healthcare workers should consider temporary transfer to lower risk assignments.
  • For parents with daycare- and school-aged children
    Parents should closely monitor their kids for early symptoms. They should also discuss the issue with their child care providers/teachers. Children who present with flu symptoms should stay at home and parents should inform the school/daycare immediately.
  • For child care providers
    The CDC has also issued recommendations for child care providers, both center-based and home based. It has provided Child Care and Preschool Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist for caregivers.
  • For parents who want to talk to their children about the flu
    The CDC is encouraging parents to talk to their children openly about the flu. This is the best opportunity to focus on health and hygiene.

Click on the links for the full CDC recommendations!

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