Influenza, commonly know as the flu, is a highly contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory system, which includes the nose, bronchial tubes, and lungs. Because the H1N1 strain of the virus is new, your child is unlikely to have any immunity from it.
- Between 5 and 20 percent of the U.S. population is thought to contract influenza each year
- Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and a nonproductive cough.
- Many who contract influenza will be sick for only a few days, but some have a much more serious illness and may need to be hospitalized.
- In extreme cases, influenza can lead to pneumonia and/or death.
How Boston Children's Hospital is helping
At Children’s, statisticians and software developers have created HealthMap, a free Internet tool that collects data from different online sources and combines them to create a global map of different infectious disease outbreaks, categorized by disease type and location. Now, HealthMap includes the latest information on the geography of H1N1 flu outbreaks. This tool, now available as an app for iPhone and Android, has recently been updated to give users additional information on where to find flu vaccine clinics in Massachusetts.