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A registered nurse who is also a mom snapped a photo of her son’s arm as a warning to parents of an unusual symptom and sign of the flu.


RELATED: 12-year-old Florida boy dies 48 hours after flu-like symptoms emerge

The warning comes at a time when many people, young and old, are succumbing to a dangerous flu season.

Recently, two 12-year-old boys, one from Florida and one from Michigan, died within days of showing conventional flu-like symptoms.

Just yesterday, we learned that a 4-year-old girl died from the flu, becoming the first person in New Jersey to die from the illness this flu season.

There have also been examples of adults unexpectedly passing away because of the flu, whether a 51-year-old mom of two, a 38-year-old mom of four, a 43-year-old man or an otherwise healthy 27-year-old woman.

This is why Brodi Willard posted on Facebook about her son’s unusual symptoms. She said that the only signs he displayed of anything being wrong was breaking out in hives and that, after calling his pediatrician, she learned two children who also had rashes tested positive for the flu that day.

Here’s what Willard wrote on Facebook:

PLEASE READ AND SHARE: My son came home from school with hives. Every time he would scratch, more would appear. We tried changing his clothes and giving him a bath, but nothing helped. I called his 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. He has had NO symptoms. No fever, no cough, and no runny nose. He only has hives. 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.

After doing a little bit of homework on this, we can confirm that it is possible, though not universal, that hives are a symptom of the flu.

An article on HealthCentral reviewed by a doctor asks the question: is a rash a symptom of the flu?

The answer given was that this is not typically a symptom, but “that doesn’t mean it isn’t.”

“Influenza affects many parts of your body, and not everyone reacts the same way. If you are susceptible to allergic skin reactions, it is possible that your rash is a symptom of the flu,” the article says.

A separate piece on Patient.Info, authored by Dr. Mary Harding, clearly states that a “viral infection such as a cold or flu can trigger an urticarial rash [or hives] in some people.”

Willard’s post has been shared more than 200,000 times, and for good reason.

Matt Naham About the author:
Matt Naham is the Weekend Editor  for Rare. Follow him on Twitter @matt_naham.
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