Germ Patrol: Remedies for 8 Common Winter Illnesses

Flu (Influenza)

Chances your child will catch it: Up to 40 percent of all kids come down with the flu each year.

Symptoms: High fever, body aches, chills, sore throat, cough, runny nose.

Contagious? Yes -- your child could pass it on for about two weeks.

Rx: The best medicine is prevention: Make sure your child gets a flu shot every fall (once he's at least 6 months old). If the virus is diagnosed within 48 hours and he's at least a year old, your doctor may give him Tamiflu to reduce the symptoms and duration of the illness. Otherwise, simply treat it as you would a common cold.

You need to know: Flu shots won't completely protect your child since different strains of the virus hit every winter, but they're still well worth getting: Kids under 2 (and those of any age who have asthma) are at high risk for complications -- including dehydration and breathing problems -- that may require hospitalization.

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