When should children go to the doctor for swine flu?

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Local clinics have been seeing an overload of patients who think they may have the swine flu.

Doctors at the Children's Clinic in Lake Charles say flu visits usually don't kick in as early as August.

"Everybody who has walked through the door thinks they have swine flu," says Dr. Stuart Landy, a Children's Clinic Pediatrician. "This last week has been chaos."

The clinic says they have tested nearly 300 patients for swine flu within the last week.

"I would say a majority of those tests have been positive so this is a flu outbreak," says Dr. Landry.

However, the clinic is only testing for Influenza A, which is the closest test available for swine flu.

"Swine flu is an Influenza A, but it is a sub strain of that influenza," says Dr. Landry. "Swine flu is a milder strain than we have seen in many years."

And while it should not be taken lightly, Dr. Landry wants parents to only get their children tested if certain symptoms worsen within three to four days.

These symptoms include fever, coughing, head aches, or body aches.

"The problem with swine flu is that no one is immune because there is no vaccine," says Dr. Landry.

Doctors warn everyone to practice regular hand washing and proper sneezing and coughing etiquette through this flu season.

The clinic says that this is only the tip of the ice berg for cases of the flu.

They warn everyone to get vaccinated for the regular flu as soon as possible.

Swine flu vaccines are expected to come out by October.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)