Flu or Flu-like illness in chronically ill or disabled children

Recovery from flu or flu-like illness

Recovering from flu or flu-like illness can take longer for a child with a long term medical condition or disability. Many of the parents we spoke to said that their child took longer to recover after having flu or flu-like illness, and in some cases the symptoms or treatment of their long term medical condition or disability also changed and took time to adjust back to normal. 

A couple of weeks to recover from flu or flu-like illness was common. Parents noticed that even if their child took less than two weeks to recover their brothers and sisters would be better more quickly.
El and Arthur were very tired and weak for a while. Building up their immune system again took some children longer after flu or flu-like illness. Lyndey noticed that her children had more frequent illness episodes after flu or flu-like illness because they were run down and their immune system was low. Alfie has leukaemia and after he had flu or flu-like illness he had a cough that lasted for a month afterwards.
Some children had no longer term effects from having flu or flu-like illness.

Clare said it took Eliza, age 11, no longer than anyone else to recover from flu-like illness. Adam’s son has skeletal dysplasia. He took longer to recover when he was aged three or four than he does now, he is seven, and he usually recovers from flu or flu-like illness in a week.
During flu or flu-like illness, children often had the treatment of their chronic health condition adjusted. This also took time to return back to normal for some children. Mirella’s three year old son had his asthma medication increased and it was a five day period to return to normal levels. Lyndey was advised by the asthma nurse to keep her child’s inhalers at a high dose for a couple of weeks after having flu-like illness. Jack had to be weaned off the oxygen that he was taking at night. Louise son’s insulin needs changed dramatically during flu or flu-like illness and she said it was hard to get back to normal.
Flu or flu-like illness also had an impact on children’s long term health condition. Karen explained that it took a while for Alex’s asthma to return to how it was before he had flu-like illness. Kwame who has chronic lung disease was short of breath for a couple of weeks after having flu-like illness and was on more oxygen overnight for a while.


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