Influenza, or the flu, is an upper respiratory tract infection caused by the influenza virus. The flu season usually lasts from November through April.
Influenza is not the "stomach flu." Vomiting, nausea and diarrhea are caused by other viruses or bacteria and are rarely related to influenza.
Symptoms, which may start quickly, include:
Your child's health care provider will do a general exam and may test to see if the virus is in your child's nose.
Antibiotics will not work on viruses.
In general, treatment for the flu includes:
Make sure your child:
Influenza is a serious disease. Each year, children and adults die from influenza.
Call your health care provider if your child has signs of other infection:
Call your health care provider if your child doesn't seem to improve in three to four days as most children show signs of getting better by this time. Your child will fully recover in 7 to 10 days.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition. To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic