It seems like we can't catch a break this year. First, it was the brutally cold weather. Now, it's a devastating flu season. Get this: There's widespread flu activity in every continental state in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No matter how much you wash your hands, avoid coughing commuters, or wipe down your work space, the flu is out there — and it's seriously hard to avoid at this point.
Children are among the most vulnerable to this illness. In a viral Facebook post, Brodi Willard, a nurse, pointed out that there's one flu symptom that may catch you off guard: hives.
Willard's son, Seb, came home from school with hives. She tried everything to make them go away — changing his clothes, giving him baths, and asking him to stop scratching. After calling her son's pediatrician, she learned that other children had the same symptoms and tested positive for the flu. Low and behold, Seb also tested positive for Influenza B.
What's most shocking to Willard is that her son didn't have any other traditional flu symptoms. "No fever, no cough, and no runny nose. He only has hives," she wrote.
Thankfully, she caught the illness before it got worse. "They put him on the Tamiflu, and he's been fine," she told WOWT News in an interview. "He's still playing and running around."
Her message serves as a warning to fellow parents. "Please keep watch on your children so if they develop hives, please call your pediatrician," she wrote. "I have never heard of this symptom but it is obviously something to be on the lookout for."
Acute hives, like Seb's, are very common in children. They typically flare up as a response to a viral infection (a.k.a the flu). Negative reactions to food, insect bites, or drugs, especially Penicillin, may be also be a trigger.
Along with hives, the flu has a number of symptoms, including fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, headache, body aches, fatigue, and nausea. The CDC recommends that children over the age of 6 months get the flu shot. And no, it's not too late!
(h/t Scary Mommy)