Health Department: treat swine flu, seasonal flu the same way

Omaha, NE – The Douglas County Health Department says parents shouldn't panic if their children come down with the flu this season.

Health experts say this flu season could bring both the seasonal flu and the swine flu. Health Department Resource Specialist Phil Rooney says those viruses are similar. If a child catches either type of the flu, Rooney says parents should keep the children at home, give them plenty of fluids and medication to dull pain. Rooney says parents shouldn't rush children to hospitals if the flu symptoms are mild because those cases can be treated at home. He says children can be exposed to other serious illnesses if they're taken to the hospital for a mild or moderate case of flu.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that schools not close if students catch the flu. Rather, parents should keep their children at home until they're well. Rooney says most of the flu cases are mild to moderate and children only need hospitalization for the flu if they're seriously ill.

The seasonal flu vaccine is already available. A vaccine against the swine flu is expected to be available next month.