Doctors say this year's flu strain difficult to diagnose, treat

Fighting the flu might be tougher this year because this year's strain is more difficult for doctors and parents to pinpoint.

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The Type A flu strain seems to be a particular anomaly that's troubling local doctors. They say they're seeing some patients test positive for the strain with only a fever and no other symptoms, making both diagnosis and knowing when to isolate your child more difficult.

It's never a good time to come down with the flu, but some families say its impacting their plans for February vacation.

"I want to take them to the Children's Museum, I want to take them to like a trampoline park, but Target is as far as I go. I do mobile pickup so I don't have to stay in there for too long," parent Jessica Becker said.

Doctor Lester Hartman of Westwood/Mansfield Pediatrics says unfortunately, we had a late flu season and the height of it seems to be happening this week. He said he has diagnosed 10 cases just this past weekend and this year's Type A strain is more difficult to diagnose.

"It looks like the cold, and suddenly you have the flu," said Hartman.

He says the Type A flu and the high fevers that come with it may seem to come out of nowhere for families because unlike in previous years, so far this strain doesn't come with the classic cough or other symptoms.

"It's a little different because no body aches, minimal headaches as well," said Hartman.

His advice to families this vacation week is to be smart about taking your kids out.

"For a child without complex medical needs and who is not immune suppressed I still think as long as you bring hand sanitizer, you try to avoid touching your face, hands, nose, eyes," said Hartman. "But I think kids should still have some fun, even though the season is here."

Hartman says if fever persists beyond five to seven days, or if a fever goes away and then comes back 48 hours later, you should bring your child back to the doctor to be checked for pneumonia.

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