H1N1, Residual Coughing, Vaccination

Since the girls have attended their school only since last February when we moved to Colorado, I suppose the nurse there doesn’t know me well enough to recognize what kind of parent I am. Which would explain why, when I walked my kid into the office this morning to discuss her inhaler use for the rest of the week, that nurse acted like we’d brought bubonic plague into the room with us.

Yes, AG is back at school today.

She’s still coughing frequently while the actual H1N1 has passed, (because that is her thing) so she has to forgo recess and P.E. for the rest of this week. The cough explains the nurse’s cold shoulder to me this morning, I’m guessing, but A) AG hasn’t had a fever since Sunday night, nor any other flu symptoms since Monday morning, B) to know her is to know her asthma cough, and C) if I kept that kid home every time she coughed, she’d never go to school.

Frankly, the nurse surprised me even as the rest of the office staff was perfectly pleasant and welcomed my kid back. I mean, hello? The second AG came down with symptoms last Thursday, I immediately put her on the couch with albuterol because I’d been sick and I knew – I knew – it was going to get bad. Plus, I took her to the pediatrician for testing and Tamiflu the very next day. All of which I’ve told the nurse in my daily updates.

And if the coughing all over the school this morning is any indication, most of the parents there aren’t being half as vigilant as I’ve been.


Rant over, and here’s my real reason for posting this morning:

I’ve gotten lots of comments and emails questioning the safety of the H1N1 vaccine and asking for my take it, but I’m afraid my recent bout with swine flu and then AG’s have taken their toll. Right now, I’m just not up-to-speed on enough of the vaccination news to have an informed opinion yet, though I need one since the Steadfast Sidekick has remained flu-free through it all.

So I open it up to you guys. What are your thoughts on the swine flu vaccine? Getting it? Not getting it? Have any reputable, science-based links to share? Throw ‘em all in the comments.

Previous H1N1 posting here

13 responses to “H1N1, Residual Coughing, Vaccination”

  1. Asthma Mom » Swine Flu and Asthma says:

    […] H1N1 Vaccination Safety […]

  2. kerri says:

    The whole school vs. no school thing is always such a tough call, especially when you’ve got kids who you think have just got colds.
    Unless I’m really bad, I pretty much always go to school when I’ve got a cold. Before I had asthma, I didn’t get very many colds, but ALWAYS persisted through school when I was sick.

    I’m bad in the way I think of it as “Well, I probably got sick AT school, so, I’m not missing it”. Not a good thought process to have, but the only one that’s constructive to learning . . .

  3. Her Grace says:

    Sorry she gave you a rough time! It seems like you followed protocol, though, and like you said, she’d fall so far behind if you waited until the coughing was gone.

    As for vaccines: I’ve been anxiously waiting for them since spring, SURE that — barring infection first — we’d all get them. I’m still 99.9 percent sure we will. According to what I’m reading, the shot is made exactly like the seasonal flu shot — no extra additives, etc. The only thing different is the virus.

    BUT, I’ve been talking to any medical personnel I can about it and there’s a lot of hesitation. The nurse at the allergist today said she won’t get it because she’s pregnant. That seems like a really good reason to get it to me.

    I keep hearing “It’s too new,” but has anyone ever paid attention to what viruses are in the seasonal flu shot? Those could be new too.

    Short answer: I’m 99.9 percent sure that I want to get all four people in my family vaccinated.

    As far as your survival guide, we just started using the neti pot regularly (we all have colds right now) and I can’t say enough about it. I’m still sick, but my nasal congestion has really been kept in check. I’m going to start using on my older daughter, who is prone to sinus infections, every time she gets sick. My younger daughter too, if she’ll let me 🙂

    And I took three showers between 8 pm and 4 am last night, too, for my bronchitis, have always depended on them for cough. Seriously good tips there!

  4. Louise says:

    Firstly, I am glad that AG has made such a speedy recovery. My 19 year old niece has this right now, and is very sick, throwing up, more congested than she’s ever been. It really seems to effect people differently. I am glad that you are all on the mend and it was relatively mild, given how worried we have all been. I am counting the days to the vaccination. My kids have had seasonal flu shots for the past 4 years and I really feel this is just another strain of flu and the vaccination will be no more risky than those they have already received. My twins are healthy right now, but my daughter came home from school today and said 3 kids in their class are really coughing and one is complaining of a sore throat. One child was next to my daughter, the other next to my asthma son. My daughter asked the teacher to move her brother because he gets asthma when he gets a cold. (this is not news to her, I went over everything at the beginning of the year.) Teacher told my daughter she can’t move him every time someone has a cold. SO, my kids are staying home tomorrow and Friday, I choose for them not to get sick. The school will think I am crazy when I tell them tomorrow, but perhaps if they had ever woken up in the night with a child who couldn’t catch his breath due to a runny nose, they might understand. Okay, I am the one ranting now..

  5. karen says:

    I guess I think of it in different terms… not how safe is the shot but how safe is it to go without when my both of my sons (3&7) have asthma histories… the older ones pretty rough during seasonal bouts. Yes, we are getting the shot (even with egg allergies for the older).. I agree with the other comment… same level of comfort as seasonal flu shot. We are getting it to protect ourselves, but friends that may be pregnant, others with asthma… this is a decision for the greater good of all to me.

  6. Marcia says:

    My son’s school will actually send a kid home for coughing. Too disruptive to the rest of the class.

    I remember reading that H1N1 is contagious 5-7 days after contracting it and it’s the lingering cough that can spread it, thus, the staying home for an entire week recommendation after the onset of symptoms.

    I agree with Karen on the vaccine safety. I know when my asthma son gets sick, it’s serious, that’s a fact. That the vaccine is unsafe, not a fact.

    We’ll all be getting the vaccine to protect our son.

  7. Allison says:

    It’s so great to read all of the comments here. In some crowds where I live, I feel like a bad parent for injecting my kids with “dangerous” vaccines. But, they don’t really seem to understand how dangerous it is for my kid to get a nasty cold, not to mention the flu.

  8. Amy says:

    HI Marcia–I’ve read the same thing about coughing & actually linked to an article about it, too. My main issue w/the school nurse is that my daughter did stay home for that long after the onset of symptoms–and the nurse knew it– & her cough right now is very much an asthma one, not an illness-related one. She always does this when she’s been sick, even with just a cold, and actually went back to the pediatrician (before I sent her back to school) to verify this. I know the nurse was just looking out for the spread of contagion–I just don’t think the dirty looks were necessary. (Although to be honest, this lady is not the friendliest person around, even on a good day, lol)

  9. Amy says:

    To everyone–Thanks for all your input, well wishes for the kid, and opinions on the vaccine. I’m coming down on the same side as you guys–while I recognize WHY there’s some hesitation over the quick production of this particular shot, at the same time I’m reassured b/c of its similarities to the seasonal flu vaccine. Plus, as some of you have mentioned, it’s the best way to stop/slow the spread of contagion for everyone, and that’s especially important (to my mind) b/c of possible future virus mutation.

  10. Danielle says:

    How did AG’s return to school go? Hopefully she isn’t too exhausted.

    About the vaccine, I haven’t researched it which is not great on my part but I am inclined to feel pretty confident about anything put out that’s approved by the FDA. I trust the governments to do their job on public health. Is that blind of me? I’m not too sure…
    Reiterating what others said, I think the biggest danger of all is me, an asthmatic, walking around unprotected against such a serious threat to my health.

    I’m fairly certain I already came down with this virus back in June, but I’ll certainly get my seasonal flu shot and I’ll be talking to my doctor about the H1N1 vaccine.

  11. SJMom says:

    The pediatrician was thinking since my daughter had tested positive the other day for Type A (which 99% is H1N1) that she won’t need the H1N1 vaccine. I think she should still have it since it seems there are so many strains of Type A right now,what do you think?

  12. Asthma Mom » Swine Flu Update - Week Ending Oct. 2 says:

    […] I recognize getting children vaccinated is a personal choice that involves multiple variables, but basing that decision on just a guess or the blind hope that […]

  13. Amy says:

    Hi, SJMom–I’ve been assuming my asthmatic daughter and I won’t need the vaccine, either, b/c she tested positive for Type A and got it from me. According to my pediatrician, H1N1 is the only Type A circulating right now, so it’s basically a de facto swine flu test. Now that you mention it, though, I think I’ll put in a call and verify this–I’d hate to assume we don’t need the vaccine and be wrong. As it stands now, though, I’m not planning on getting it for either one of us, unless I found out otherwise.