Doctor: Know the difference between common cold and the flu
A Long Island pediatrician says it's important for parents to distinguish between the common cold and the flu, as another seemingly healthy child in Florida has died in the epidemic.
Reports say 12-year-old Dylan Winnik was sick for just a few days with what parents thought was a cold. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says 37 children have died from the flu in the U.S.
Dr. John Zaso, of East Meadow, says the H3N2 strain of the flu has been the predominant cause of illness. He says it seems to have mutated, which makes the current vaccine not an exact match.
Dr. Zaso says parents should take children to a medical provider right away if they exhibit any flu-like symptoms. Kids will likely have a high temperature, usually above 102, in flu cases. They could experience headaches, severe vomiting and severe body aches. Dr. Zaso also says they'll be extremely lethargic.
"The cold is usually mild congestion, low grade fever...The flu is not a bad cold," said Dr. Zaso.
Dr. Zaso says about 80 percent of the children who died from the flu this season did not get the flu vaccine.
"That's why we're trying to get the message out to the parents: It's never too late to get the flu shot," says Dr. Zaso.