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Are children at increased risk for swine flu?

In general, influenza, including swine flu (H1N1) affects children differently than adults. In children, the fever associated with influenza is likely to be higher, on average, than an adult's fever. In addition, children more often experience symptoms related to the digestive system, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The H1N1 flu -- which was referred to as swine flu during the 2009 pandemic and is still circulating today -- is more likely to strike people under the age of 65, including children. In contrast, the seasonal flu normally strikes hardest in the senior population.

Children under the age of five (and especially those under the age of two) who develop H1N1 flu, or any other flu, are at greater risk for complications such as ear infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. This is especially true if a child has a chronic health condition like asthma or diabetes.

Experts say this means two things: Make sure that your child -- and anyone who is in close contact with your child -- gets the seasonal flu vaccine, which protects against H1N1; and if your child does become sick with the flu, talk with her pediatrician.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.