ANCHOR LEAD: PNEUMONIA FOLLOWING INFLUENZA IS QUITE COMMON, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS.
Just when you thought it was safe to stop worrying about H1N1 influenza, a report in the British journal The Lancet raises the issue of increased rates of pneumonia after flu caused by methicillin resistant staph aureus, or MRSA. Aaron Milstone, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, says pneumonia following the flu is a concern.
Milstone: Whether this is seasonal flu or H1N1 people should treat it no differently. If you have influenza or any respiratory illness and you’re not feeling well it’s always safer to call your doctor first. One of the things we especially look out for are people presenting with febrile illnesses that seem to be getting better, and then they get another, second wave with increased fever, which may signify that they were actually getting over their respiratory viral illness, and then a secondary bacterial illness jumped on top of that to create worsening of their clinical illness. :31
So if you’re convalescing from the flu and suddenly seem to get worse, see a doctor immediately. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.