Health Chats
Palo Alto Menlo Park Parents Club Swine Flu Chat
Friday May 08, 2009, 12:00AM - 01:00AM (EST)
Enoch Choi, MDBlank
Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Urgent Care, Palo Alto, CA
Do you have swine flu? Dr. Enoch Choi, MD from Palo Alto Medical Foundation Urgent Care will help answer questions on how to tell swine flu from a cold, and from seasonal influenza. Swine flu has not yet been proven to be a serious enough virus to declare this to be a pandemic, but nations around the globe are discouraging travel to USA and Mexico. Just how dangerous is this virus? How can you protect yourself? How can you stay healthy? Come ask these questions and more from a physician on the front lines, treating folks coming back from Mexico with upper respiratory illnesses that match the CDC's protocols for treating suspected swine flu patients.<br><br> <img src="http://www.medhelp.org/images/email/arrow.jpg">&nbsp;&nbsp; Learn more about Swine Flu from Dr. Enoch Choi's blog post <a href="http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/83652">Do I have Swine Flu?</a> <br><br> <img src="http://www.medhelp.org/images/email/arrow.jpg">&nbsp;&nbsp; Read the chat transcript from Dr. Enoch Choi's first <a href="http://www.medhelp.org/health_chats/archive/17">Swine Flu Health Chat</a> on April 29, 2009.
Dr. Enoch Choi:
We'll be starting in a few minutes!  
Med Help:
Welcome Palo Alto Menlo Park Parents to the Swine Flu Health Chat with Doctor Enoch Choi.
Med Help:
Please feel free to submit your questions.
smartwater:
Have you received any info about local school closings ?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
All Santa Clara County schools reopened today
Dr. Enoch Choi:
Based on CDC recommnedations that kids who have fever and upper respiratory illness stay home for 7 days, and after that until without symptoms
Dr. Enoch Choi:
including staff and teachers too
Dr. Enoch Choi:
this is based on the fact that the illness is less severe than initially expected based on mexico's experience
JereKing:
At what point does flu go from normal to needed medical attention?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/parents.htm is great information from the cdc that shares how to tell
Dr. Enoch Choi:
when a flu gets more serious
Dr. Enoch Choi:
a child may have higher fever, faster breathing, become "not like themselves"
Dr. Enoch Choi:
this could be an indication of pneumonia
JereKing:
Of the list of symptoms that I have seen for swine flu (temperature, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue) -- how many need to be present for a diagnosis?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
current guidelines http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/ are fever >=100 degrees farenheit, + 2 of the following symptoms: sore throat, cough, runny nose (and can also include headache, vomiting, diarrhea)
Dr. Enoch Choi:
although the chills, muscle aches and fatigue are a part of flu, they're not part of diagnostic criteria for H1N1.  clinically, i'd pay attention to them, since they're part of flu-like symptoms
smartwater:
What is the current temperature about swine flu i.e. still immense fair or is it fading a bit?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
it's fading a bit since the severity was found to be similar to seasonal influenza
Dr. Enoch Choi:
that is to say that in the USA we haven't seen the deaths that Mexico saw, with more severe illness from pneumonia
Dr. Enoch Choi:
But the 1918 flu was mild in the first waves of illness, and after mutating, became more severe, eventually killing millions
Dr. Enoch Choi:
That's why it's important to keep 2 weeks of supplies (water, food, medicine if you're chronically ill) just in case you're asked to stay at home for 2 weeks.   you won't want to go out to get groceries and get exposed to others
Dr. Enoch Choi:
my school has tested our pandemia flu plan
Dr. Enoch Choi:
tested our CallFire.com system for sending recorded message to every parent
Dr. Enoch Choi:
preparing our teachers to provide 2 weeks of homework via email, and set up video conferencing to teach remotely
Dr. Enoch Choi:
the govt has set up mobile clinics, that could deal with the surge in patients that we started to see over the last 2 weeks
Dr. Enoch Choi:
i was innundated in urgent care with many folks without these symptoms , asking if they had swine flu
Dr. Enoch Choi:
they needlessly exposed themselves to other sick pateitns
smartwater:
There is suddenly very little media coverage about swine flu compared to last week. Why is that?
Dr. Enoch Choi:
there has been a slow down in new cases, and the severity of illness has been low, similar to seasonal influenza
Dr. Enoch Choi:
when we get more deaths, people will pay attention again
Dr. Enoch Choi:
it's false security, it could mutate and get worse
Dr. Enoch Choi:
especially as the fall flu season starts