A Blair, Nebraska mother took a photo of her son's arm, saying he had hives, and posted it to Facebook as a warning to parents of an unusual symptom she said is a sign of the flu.
The warning from Brodi Willard, the Nebraska boy's mother, comes at a time when many people, young and old, are succumbing to a dangerous flu season, but hives are not generally recognized as a symptom of the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, does not list hives as a symptom of the flu.
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WOWT reported that Willard, a nurse, posted on Facebook Jan. 26 about her son's unusual symptoms, saying that she called the pediatrician and was told that two other children were brought in that day with hives. Willard, a nurse, said the pediatrician told her that the two children tested positive for the flu that day.
“I took him to the doctor this morning, and he tested POSITIVE for INFLUENZA B. He has had NO symptoms. No fever, no cough, and no runny nose,” Willard wrote in the post. “He only has hives. Please keep watch on your children so if they develop hives, please call your pediatrician. I have never heard of this symptom,but it is obviously something to be on the lookout for.”
The post with Willard's claim has been shared over 227,000 times. Willard did not say whether or not her son got a flu shot this season. In some people, the flu shot can cause hives if they are allergic to eggs, because the vaccine is made using egg-based technology. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, infections could be a cause of hives.