Epilepsy Talk

Increase in Seizures Seen in Kids With H1N1 Flu | September 23, 2010

This information comes from Health Day http://www.healthday.com/ published by Yahoo News.

MONDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) “Children made ill by the 2009 pandemic H1N1 swine flu virus suffered more seizures and other nervous system problems than those with seasonal flu, a new report reveals.

In the study, published in the September issue of the journal Annals of Neurology, researchers compared neurological complications in 303 children (younger than 19 years) who were hospitalized with H1N1 and 234 children hospitalized with seasonal flu.

Among the 303 youngsters with H1N1, 18 children — most of whom had underlying nerve-related conditions — experienced neurological complications. The most common neurologic symptoms were seizures (67 percent) and encephalopathy (50 percent), a brain disorder that can range from mild to serious and potentially fatal.

More than half of the children with seizures arrived at the hospital in a life-threatening state called status epilepticus, where seizure activity occurs continuously for more than five to 30 minutes, the University of Utah researchers explained.

Among the 234 children with seasonal flu, 16 experienced neurological complications, although the study authors noted that none had encephalopathy.

The children with H1N1 (also known as swine flu) were hospitalized between April 1, 2009 and Nov. 30, 2009, and the children with seasonal flu were hospitalized between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2008.

‘We found that more pediatric H1N1 patients had neurological deficits and required ongoing treatment with anti-epileptic medications upon discharge from the hospital,’ study author Dr. Josh Bonkowsky noted in a news release from the journal’s publisher.”

For More Information: go to The U.S. National Library of Medicine. children and H1N1 swine flu


  1. Hi Phylis,

    Does this study include the children who had the flu shot? How did it affect them?

    This is a good post when the flu season is approaching us again.


    Comment by Ruth Brown — September 23, 2010 @ 10:20 PM

    • NO. These children did NOT have the flu shot.

      Here’s more info:


      “Even if your child has had a swine flu-like illness, they should still get the swine flu vaccine. If enough swine flu vaccine is available, all children 6 months or older should receive the vaccine.

      Children under 10 years will need a second swine flu vaccine around 4 weeks after receiving the first vaccine.

      There are two types of swine flu vaccine. One is given as a shot, and the other is sprayed into your child’s nose.

      •The swine flu shot contains killed (inactive) viruses. It is not possible to get the flu from this type of vaccine. The flu shot is approved for people age 6 months and older.

      •A nasal spray-type swine flu vaccine uses a live, weakened virus instead of a dead one like the flu shot. It is approved for healthy children over 2 years. It should not be used in children who have repeated wheezing episodes, asthma, or other chronic respiratory diseases.


      It is not possible to get the flu from either the injection or shot flu vaccine. However, some people do get a low-grade fever for a day or two after the shot.

      The side effects of the swine flu vaccine will probably be very similar to the side effects of the seasonal flu vaccine. Most people have no side effects from the flu shot. Some people have soreness at the injection site or minor aches and low-grade fever for several days.

      Normal side effects of the nasal flu vaccine include fever, headache, runny nose, vomiting, and some wheezing. Although these symptoms sound like symptoms of the flu, the side effects do not become a severe or life-threatening flu infection.


      Anyone who receives this new vaccine should still receive the seasonal flu vaccine that is released every year. Your child’s doctor or nurse will tell you whether they can both be given at the same time.”



      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 23, 2010 @ 10:47 PM

  2. Our family gets the flu shots every year. This year, they combined all three flu shots in one. I got the seasonal, H1N1 and another one in one shot.

    I feel it is important to get the flu shot. That way I do not get it and I do not give it to others.


    Comment by Ruth Brown — September 23, 2010 @ 11:03 PM

  3. This is a new year for the flu shot. Has anyone had the flu shot this year, besides me?

    My son, husband and I did, not thinking anything about it.

    Then my son had a reaction of vomiting, nausea etc. I gave him Pedialyte (electrolytes) to stop it. He got sicker and asked to be taken to the ER. My husband took him there. He was told that he was having a reaction to the flu shot and was given a prescription medicine for it. It was 7 days before he got over it.

    One week later my husband had his flu shot. I told him to get the prescription for an allergic reaction, just in case. The doctor readily gave him the prescription. Two days later it hit my husband, the allergic reaction. I told him to take the medicine and he did. I had been having the same reaction for 2 days. I then realized it, so I took one of my husband’s pills for it.

    My seizures had started to increase. I was glad it was only abscence seizures. I have Lorazepam on hand to take when I have a bad seizure coming on. It stops it and keeps me out of the hospital.

    Maybe, it was the reaction to my flu shot that I was not feeling good and off of the internet.

    My husband and son do not take Vitamin D, like I do. I take a lot everyday. I also take Echinacea for the immune systym. I have been handing out both of them to my husband and son. Because I take them, that is probably why I had a brief reaction. I do not know if my reaction will continue today. If it does, I have medicine for it.

    Has anyone else decided to get the flu shot?


    Comment by Ruth Brown — October 16, 2010 @ 12:02 AM

    • No, I haven’t gotten the flu shot for years because it also makes me sick. And I’m willing to gamble against the odds. (Knock on wood…) I haven’t had the flu in years. But for some reason, even with all the zillions of supplements he takes, Arthur seems much more suspectable, although he also, did not get the flu shot this year.

      I’m sorry your whole family got sick, but I do think your Vitamin D helped. Try some Vitamin C, too. (Linus Pauling was ahead of his time.)


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 16, 2010 @ 1:48 AM

  4. This is the first year that we have had a reaction. We will see next year if we decide to get it. It’s too late for this year.

    They did the flu shot different this year. They put the seasonal flu, H1N1 flu, and one other flu all in one shot. Last year, we got them in separate shots. Last year we had no problem.


    Comment by Ruth Brown — October 16, 2010 @ 8:05 AM

  5. The downside to vaccinations:

    Read the article




    Comment by mkfarnam — October 13, 2011 @ 7:00 PM

  6. ………………………………………….


    Comment by mkfarnam — October 13, 2011 @ 7:15 PM

  7. Thanks so much Mike for bringing much added knowledge to the topic.

    Everyone, please watch the video, especially parents!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 13, 2011 @ 9:34 PM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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