Is it a stomach virus or influenza? How to tell and why you need to know

Posted at 12:20 PM, Jan 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 12:22:49-05

Tha latest statistics show 30 children across the nation have died after contracting influenza.

It can be very scary for a parent to have a young child with influenza - even if a parent is a doctor. Hear from pediatrician / parent Dr. Lauren Kuwik, MD who fears parents are confusing a stomach virus for what is really dangerous influenza.

Dr. Kuwik is speaking out after hearing the news earlier this week that a 10-year-old Connecticut boy, who had been in Buffalo for a hockey tournament, died from flu-related complications which appeared to have caused sepsis and death.

The pediatrician / mother fears parents are waiting too long to get treatment for their young children because of confusion over what is really influenza.

She is also very concerned because influenza can be deadly, even for healthy children.  Influenza can also cause long-lasting medical harm to a child's brain.

Adding to the doctor's worry is the fact that there are still many children who have not gotten a flu shot this year.

Kuwik said when her own son, who is vaccinated, got influenza, she was scared to think that he might end up in the hospital.  She is asking parents, especially ones who are against vaccines, to think twice because influenza could have devastating consequences for your child if they are not vaccinated.

And there are no indications that the flu epidemic will end soon.  Dr. Kuwik said it appears the crisis could last into March.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly will have more on this story tonight at 5 & 6.