Nurse's Warning About Unexpected Flu Symptom Goes Viral

by Valerie Williams
Image via Facebook/Brodi Willard

Her son had only one symptom — hives

Not only is this year’s flu season still very much in full swing, it’s also one of the most dangerous in recent years with the CDC reporting widespread flu activity in every part of the continental United States. 37 children have died so far from this year’s virus, and those numbers are expected to grow. If you suspect your child has the flu, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. But it’s hard to know to see a doctor when your child’s flu symptoms are not what you’d expect.

That’s why one mom is sharing her son’s unusual story in the hopes that others will take action too.

Brodi Willard’s son Seb came home from school recently with hives. Willard had no idea the child’s rash, unaccompanied by any other symptoms, was actually caused by the flu.

She writes, “Every time he would scratch, more would appear. We tried changing his clothes and giving him a bath, but nothing helped.” Willard decided to call the pediatrician.

“They said they had two kids come into the office that day with the same symptoms and tested POSITIVE FOR INFLUENZA. I took him to the doctor this morning, and he tested POSITIVE for INFLUENZA B,” she shares.

A flu diagnosis is scary on its own, but Seb’s lack of any other typical flu symptoms is even more so. “No fever, no cough, and no runny nose. He only has hives,” she writes.

Now, Willard’s warning has gone viral with thousands sharing her post. “I didn’t realize it was going to go as viral as it did on the web, and I even saw some comments of people saying ‘yes my child had hives and they also tested positive for Influenza B,’” Willard tells WOWT News.

Hives on their own are not at all an unusual way for the body to react to a virus. In fact, 80 percent of acute hives in children are caused by a viral infection, and a lot of viruses cause them, including the common cold. It’s scary to think that the flu can present with only this symptom, as many parents (myself included) would probably not immediately assume flu were the culprit if a rash were the only sign. That’s why her message spreading is so important — so other parents can get their child to the doctor sooner and hopefully, get them feeling better faster.

As far as Willard’s son, he’s feeling better now. “They put him on the Tamiflu, and he’s been fine,” she tells WOWT. “He’s still playing and running around.”

But her message to other parents is a crucial one. “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.”