Pediatrician's son has brush with H1N1 virus

October 28, 2009 3:18:47 PM PDT
A northwest Indiana pediatrician had a personal experience dealing with the H1N1 flu virus. Her otherwise healthy 7-year-old son became so sick with the swine flu that he had to be hospitalized.

The child's mother now has a message for other parents.

Sam Gold is back on the mend. Two weeks ago the Crown Point, Indiana second grader came home from school with the typical symptoms of the flu.

"He started with the high fever, cough, sniffles, and very tired," said Dr. Lisa Gold, his mother.

After a couple of days Sam was feeling better, but that changed on the third day. His mother, who is also a pediatrician, noticed Sam's fever was back, along with a bad cough. She did something she rarely does at home; she pulled out her stethoscope.

"I listened to him, heard the crackles of pneumonia," Gold said.

Sam was admitted to a hospital where he was given oxygen to breathe.

"I didn't like when they put the needle in my arm," Sam said.

Thirty-six hours after he was admitted, Sam's parents brought him to Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago for more sophisticated testing. It was there where Sam was diagnosed with H1N1 and severe pneumonia.

Given that she is a pediatrician and her husband a teacher, it does not surprise Gold that her son developed H1N1 but what does surprise her is that he developed complications. Dr. Gold says it's highly unusual for an otherwise healthy child to develop complications, but in case they do, she advises parents to constantly monitor their children.

"Don't panic but be prepared. When your child has swine flu or flu-like symptoms, watch them. Take their shirt off and look at their breathing," Gold said.

She advises people to go to the Centers for Disease Control H1N1 web site and get children vaccinated.

Sam is now healthy enough that he hopes to go trick-or-treating this weekend.


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