Flu Season Precautions for Children with Autism

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Winter has been particularly harsh this year and in some areas, weather conditions have made the flu season difficult to contend with as Influenza cases are continuing to spread rapidly. The University of Wyoming reports widespread cases throughout the state and the school’s Student Health Services has been treating several patients per day with flu-like symptoms. The state of Indiana has just been listed in the "wide-spread" outbreak category, and according to the CDC, this scenario is playing out in many states around the country.

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches. It can lead to severe illness and complications, particularly among older people, children and those with compromised immune systems. 

Practical ways to prevent the spread of the flu include thorough hand washing (for more than 20 seconds using a rubbing, friction action) and of course, covering one’s mouth when coughing with the inside of an elbow and not with the hands.

In addition to hygiene, another preventative measure for the flu is an annual vaccine, as recommended by the CDC for those 6 months or older.

Although mercury in vaccines has been proven to not cause autism, there are suggestions that heavy metals can certainly trigger or further complicate conditions in an already pre-disposed child. 

Thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative) has allegedly been removed from all vaccines, with the exception of some brands of the flu shot and some plain tetanus and diphtheria-tetanus shots. For the 2010-2011 season, Agriflu, Fluarix, and Flumist are brands that do not contain mercury, while Afluria, FluLaval, Fluvirin, and the multi-dose version of Fluzone all contain at least some traces of mercury.

Dr. William Sears of L.E.A.N. reports that Fluzone is the only 100% mercury free brand for infants, but it needs to be the single-dose version of the shot.

Parents should be both educated and prepared when questioning their doctors about the injections given to their children with autism spectrum disorders. With the flu season now in high gear, consult with them about Fluzone and demand single doses for your child’s age and weight versus the cheaper method of drawing from the larger, multi-dose vial. If Fluzone is not an option, be sure to demand one of the three brands listed above that do not contain Thimerosal, assuming it is age-appropriate.

Heavy metals have been known to play a role in the neurological functions and seizures associated with autism spectrum disorders. And although autism is a pre-disposed condition, you certainly don’t want to add to the barrage of interruptions already present in the brain.

Be informed, get tough, stand your ground and continue advocating on your child’s behalf and your autism journey will turn into a very rewarding experience, even during the dreary flu season.

One Response to Flu Season Precautions for Children with Autism

  1. Jerry says:

    Some actual facts to talk about with your Doctor prior to getting the flu shot;

    0.5 parts per billion (ppb) mercury = Kills human neuroblastoma cells (Parran et al., Toxicol Sci 2005; 86: 132-140).

    2 ppb mercury = U.S. EPA limit for drinking water ( http://www.epa.gov/safewater/contaminants/index.html#mcls ).

    20 ppb mercury = Neurite membrane structure destroyed (Leong et al., Neuroreport 2001; 12: 733-37).

    200 ppb mercury = level in liquid the EPA classifies as hazardous waste based on toxicity characteristics.

    25,000 ppb mercury = Concentration of mercury in multi-dose, Hepatitis B vaccine vials, administered at birth from 1991-2001 in the U.S.

    50,000 ppb mercury = Concentration of mercury in multi-dose DTaP and Haemophilus B vaccine vials, administered 8 times in the 1990’s to children at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months of age and currently “preservative” level mercury in multi-dose flu, H1N1, meningococcal and tetanus vaccines. This can be confirmed by simply analyzing the multi-dose vials.

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