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Swine flu medics advice please....In process of buying own supplies of tamiflu&travel

(39 Posts)
shhhh Mon 13-Jul-09 20:19:16

Mainly after medical advice (although other advice appreciated).

This may be long so I will thank you in advance for your

Background info: ds was born with a bowel disorder, surgically he is "fixed" although still under his surgeons care. Due to the operations he has had in his 2 yrs of life his immune system is not the best and we find that whatever is going around ds tends to get it and gets it bad. It also affects his tummy.

An example would be: us on a day trip to lapland last dec. Ds became ill on the flight and saw us in a finnish hospital for 4 hours.sad.

Thinking about it, each holiday abroard we have had has seen us taking him to the docs. a family we are not seen as at risk of swine flu. Fine. BUT that doesn't mean we won't get it and what worries us is if we get it and ds gets it mainly his ability of fighting it.
Although given what ds has been through, he is still not an at risk toddler.

We are wanting to book a holiday abroard in Aug (dd due to start school so want a last sunshine hol before she starts school). We always feel illness are picked up on the plane and it seems that the majority with/having had swine flu are coming from hols.

I today spoke to our local private childrens immunisation centre. They confirmed no flu vac's available atm and nothing to protect against swine flu BUT suggest buying tamiflu to take either orally as a precaution on hol OR to take an if anyone becomes ill on hol then we have immediate supplies (even if its taken and turns out it wasn't swine flue iykwim).

We understand that swine flu can be contracted abroard as well as within the uk so don't really want to be scared out of flying iykwim.

I know we may sound OTT but we are the type of parents who would rather be this way. We are in a situation where we can buy tamiflu and can buy it now while stocks are available and also esp as this situation is expected to go worse over the coming months.

So, would you buy tamiflu and would you tavel abroard..?

TIA xx

MrsJamesMartin Mon 13-Jul-09 20:27:23

Is this tamiflu the real deal? All current stocks in UK are quarantined and can only be prescribed under swine flu protocol so where are they getting this stock from? I would be concerned that it is not real tamiflu.

WRT going abroad then it is always possible he could pick something up on the plane and tamiflu would only help to , hopefully, lessen the symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness by about a day so it wouldn't stop him picking it up iyswim.

bigstripeytiger Mon 13-Jul-09 20:28:22

There are a few things that spring to mind reading your post

Are you sure that what you are buying would be real Tamiflu- would you be getting it as a private prescrition in the UK or would it be from an internet pharmacy. Some drugs sold over the internet are counterfeit, which would obviously be worse than useless.

Tamiflu has side effects, and I would worry about giving it to a child who didnt 'need' it, but as you say its the difficulty of decidining when it is needed.

I dont know if you are any safer from swine flu staying in the UK or going on holiday?

CrushWithEyeliner Mon 13-Jul-09 20:35:26

I wouldn't buy it if I were you, it will not particularlly protect you and has rotten side effects for your DS. I speak in a very similar situation to you - DD is vulnerable but not seen as high risk...

shhhh Mon 13-Jul-09 20:35:32

Yes, it will be the "real" tamiflu because its being bought from a private childrens immunisation clinic. They are a familiar clinic and have been for year. Dd and ds both had the single MMR there. Due to this I really don't think they would sell a "fake" tamiflu.

They told me that the suppliers to them have been told by the government that no more supplies are to go to private clincs (so the government can keep supplies for who they deem the right people to get it 1st..such as politicans,police,fire service,doctors,nurses,health workers then as risk joe public..we feature much further down this list...)

Its from a private clinic and not from the internet.

Yes, mu understanding is that it wouldn't stop anyone getting the illness BUT would lessen symptoms and make it clear quicker...

shhhh Mon 13-Jul-09 20:36:48

CWE, but surely the side effects of giving it to an ill ds would outweigh the other results..??!

shhhh Mon 13-Jul-09 20:36:48

CWE, but surely the side effects of giving it to an ill ds would outweigh the other results..??!

MrsJamesMartin Mon 13-Jul-09 20:45:14

Quite right that stocks to private clinics should be stopped you are in a position to pay for it others, who may be in worse health than you, are not and availability should not be dictated by who can afford it and front line public service personnel keep the infrastructure running too so should be a priority but thats a whole other thread.

fwiw tamiflu seems to be realtively well tolerated but , as others have said, until your DS takes it then you won't know whether he will react to it or not.

If I was you i would go abroad as you all want a holiday and it would be a shame to miss out on that because of what may happen

fishie Mon 13-Jul-09 20:45:36

shhh ds has just had swine flu and didn't qualify for tamiflu - he caught it from a friend who did get tamiflu as he has asthma. it didn't seem to make much difference although tamiflu taker didn't vomit and had higher temps. they are both 4.

tamiflu might possibly lessen duration but it doesn't do much more on this particular virus as i understand it.

agree planes are hell. why bother, go to brittany or devon.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 13-Jul-09 20:48:57

I would give up my holiday as the risk would be too much for me.

minko Mon 13-Jul-09 20:49:59

So is it possible to have swine flu in your family and not for everyone to catch it??

MrsJamesMartin Mon 13-Jul-09 21:02:13

Minko there will be people who have an inate immunity to it and others that will have 'sub clinical' disease ie; so mild they hardly even notice it

shhhh Mon 13-Jul-09 21:04:32

Thanks for the tips and advice.

MrsJM,I disagree with your initial statement, each to their own wink.

Fishie thanks for your 1st hand advice...I guess it may vary with each individual..I didn't realise that it varied to each individual as to whether tamiflu is given...I thought swine flu= tamiflu, you have given me something to think about there...

Now, holidays..that is our concern...we so need a holiday and british weather isn't guaranteed but then why risk things further...hmm...

Minko, my understanding is that its like any virus/ can have it and your dh/dp doesn't etc...I assume that someone can have swine flu and other family member won't..

I spoke to our gp today and he said that they would give tamiflu to someone should someone they live with get swine flu so maybe the risk is higher..?

MrsJamesMartin Mon 13-Jul-09 21:09:47

Swine flu is an unknown thats why , at the moment, GPs can use their discretion whether they prescribe or not.

Iworryalot Mon 13-Jul-09 21:18:14

This is a nightmare isn't it ?

so its a question of not if but when ...and how good your immune system is to how good/mild you may get it ..

the symptoms what r they exactly ...

temp , cough , runny noise , sick , upset stomach ?

Iworryalot Mon 13-Jul-09 21:20:09

im Health Anx and bad , get chest pains anxiety / indigestion /IBS so would i be a high risk patient ?

shhhh Mon 13-Jul-09 21:28:36

iwa, from what I have read they symptoms are very similar to flu...a very fine line between them.

So mrsjm,isn't it a tad unfair that gp's can use their descretion over who does/doesn't get tamiflu..? like the gp that said yesterday of the little girl who he said had tonsilitus..died today or swine flu sad.

Just can't see why there is no "uniform", any doubt iykiwm...

Luck of the draw which is sad.

MrsJamesMartin Mon 13-Jul-09 21:33:25

The trouble is that diagnosis is on symptoms alone now and generally over the 'phone, as its not ideal for suspected cases to be presenting at surgery.

The GP can only go on what the patient describes and apply it to what the notes tell them.

I have no idea of exact stocks of tamiflu but a huge guess would be that there is enough for 1 course per person so there may be people who have received tamiflu but didn't actually have swine flu and so may go on to get it later and then need tamiflu again, the GPs are caught between a the devil and the deep blue sea.

fishie Mon 13-Jul-09 21:35:06

but i really don't think tamiflu is any great panacea - more important to be in teh priority group for vaccination when it is available.

i have seen an algorithm posted for gps to use for tamiflu but couldn't find it after a quick look.

shhhh Mon 13-Jul-09 21:54:32

I agree that its hard on gp's mrsjm. BUT that I guess is no consolation when its you or a dear one who is ill and indeed if it results in death...

Surely it would be better to be safe than sorry..?

I guess it comes down to NHS spending as usual..

Iworryalot Mon 13-Jul-09 21:59:53

This is so scary .... dont dare watch the news tonight ...
was hoping for someone to slap me round the face and tell me im overreacting again ....but none of you have .....shock

shhhh Mon 13-Jul-09 22:31:11

No, I don't think you are over reacting.

Im not an avid newswatcher, just catch up now and then...find it to depressing.sad.

Iworryalot Mon 13-Jul-09 22:44:28

Yep your right , very depressing ... Watched it , doubt I will sleep well as thinking about SF ... Going to get some multi vit tomorrow try and keep myself & family as healthy as poss ...

Elibean Mon 13-Jul-09 22:54:10

Ummm. My father, who is in his 80s but fit (though was treated for early prostate cancer 18 months ago) was advised NOT to fly until he'd had the flu jab. Mostly because the chances of catching it, if someone on the plane has it, are pretty high - and he's elderly.

Re Tamiflu, I thought all young kids would be offered antivirals if diagnosed (albeit over the phone)? Aren't children under 5 in the 'at risk' group?

There's a lot of confusion over who does and doesn't get offered Tamiflu...hmm

Either way, it seems your question is more about flying or not - as you are comfortable with the option of Tamiflu from your private clinic. Its a tough one. We are holidaying in the UK anyway this year, so its not an issue, but if we'd planned a holiday abroad...I don't know....I also have a high-risk 2 yr old.

mumonthenet Mon 13-Jul-09 23:00:58

Right, here is what I am doing:

The whole family will start taking echinacea and extra vitamins.

I will do what I can to ensure that dd2(asthmatic) is in line for a possible vaccination, if and when it becomes available and is tested.

The kids will wash their hands at least four times a day and more often when in enclosed spaces.

I will not watch Skynews or read the DailyMail.

If I want facts I will read the Times online/BBC online or the NHS site. Nothing else.

I will not watch the news more than once a day.

I will only read a MN SF thread once per week!

There is not much more I can do. And, anyway, we may never get it or if we do it may be mild like it is in most people. Never forget that!

I will GET A GRIP!

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