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School, day care, kindergarten


The first cases [of swine flu] are occurring now in our local school and kindergarten. Should I take my son (6 years old, CF) out of the kindergarten? We have not been able to get him vaccinated due to a lack of vaccine.


The H1N1 influenza (swine flu) has gained a lot of momentum in a second, much bigger wave. This affects southern Germany in particular, but the frequency is increasing significantly in the rest of the country as well. Therefore, being in contact with other people in any environment bears the risk of getting infected. This is not restricted to kindergarten or school, but is also the case for public transport, the bakery, the post office, etc.

Fortunately, the initial panic that this would become a swine flu pandemic that would be similar in its severity to the very serious wave of the “Spanish flu” in 1918 has not been confirmed. Nevertheless, even the current pandemic can lead to complications. However, it often occurs with milder and atypical symptoms such as moderate fever, cold, and a cough or even stomach ache and diarrhea. The German CF Association now very clearly recommends a consistent vaccination of CF patients, which is what you are aiming at with your son. Given the limited amounts of vaccine, patients with pre-existing diseases such as CF should be given priority. If there has not been a vaccination yet, and if you can provide appropriate care within the family, this is currently justifiable until the vaccine is available, but it is not imperative.

If a CF patient contracts swine flu, a generous administration of antibiotics is very important, even though it does not help against the viruses that cause the flu. However, the bacteria that mostly occur in the respiratory tracts proliferate due to the virus infection, so that administering antibiotics helps avoid complications.

Kind regards
Dr. Jochen Mainz