Latest News
Is it a Cold or a Flu?
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 18:30

  Is it a cold or the flu? 

FeverRareUsual high fever (102F/39C 104F/40C) sudden onset, lasts 3-4 days
 Headache Rare Usual, can be severe
 General aches and pain Sometimes, mild Usual, often severe
 Fatigue and weakness Sometimes, mild Usual, severe, may last 2-3 weeks or more
 Extreme fatigue Unusual Usual early onset, can be severe
 Runny, stuffy nose Common Common
 Sneezing Common Sometimes
 Sore throat Common Common
 Chest discomfort, coughing Sometimes, mild to moderate Usual, can become severe
 ComplicationsCan lead to sinus congestion or earache Can lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure, can worsen a current chronic condition, can be lifethreatening
 Prevention Frequent hand washing Annual vaccination and frequent hand washing

From The Canadian Medical Association (CMA)

Information on H1N1 virus infection for GI patients
Friday, 23 October 2009 20:04

The Division of GI, Hepatology and Nutrition at BC Children’s Hospital has been working to coordinate the care of your child during the H1N1 Flu Virus or “Swine” Flu season in BC. While H1N1 is similar to other flu viruses, the number of people with HINI flu is higher than usual at this time of year and your child may have a higher chance of becoming infected with the HINI flu virus.

 1. Help reduce the spread of this infection:

  • Wash hands often.
  • Sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Cough into your sleeve. 
  • Remind friends or family not to visit if they are ill or if you have an ill member in your family.
  • Avoid crowded areas when many people in your community are sick. 

 2. Vaccination is recommended
In accordance with the Provincial Health guidelines, children and youth with chronic illness (liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease or post liver transplant) should receive H1N1 vaccination when it first becomes available. We recommend that the others in your family also receive the H1N1 vaccine. Your child/youth should also receive the standard seasonal flu vaccine when it is released.

Experts have found that some children and youth with certain illnesses or medical concerns may become seriously ill or have complications if they catch the H1N1 flu. Children and youth on immunosuppression medications such as Prednisone, Azathioprine(Imuran®), 6MP(Purinethol®), Methotrexate, Infliximab(Remicade®) or  Adalimumab(Humera®) who become sick with H1N1 influenza have a higher chance of more severe illness and they may develop complications.

The symptoms of HINI flu are very similar to typical seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches and pains, chills and fatigue. Some children may also have vomiting and diarrhea, or breathing symptoms without fever.

If your child has HINI flu symptoms, please call your health care provider before you visit there in person. You can call your family doctor, pediatrician, or the Gastroenterology Clinic Nurse (604-875-2772) during regular office hours (Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.). After regular office hours you can call the hospital switchboard at 604-875-2161 and ask for the GI doctor on call. It is very important to call if the fever lasts longer than 24 hours or if your child has breathing troubles.

Yes, a medication called Tamiflu® is an antiviral medicine. Tamiflu® will only help children who already have HINI flu infection and it works best if given in the first 12-48 hours after the flu symptoms begin. Tamiflu® is only recommended for your child after flu symptoms have started and may help your child from becoming more ill with the H1N1 flu virus. Tamiflu® is not recommended before flu symptoms begin or to prevent HINI infection.

Tamiflu® should only be taken after instruction from your family doctor, paediatrician, or your gastroenterologist. Talk to your family doctor, pediatrician, gastroenterologist or the GI clinic nurses about whether Tamiflu® might be helpful for your child.


  • Keep your child at home to rest
  • Have your child drink plenty of liquids such as soup and Pedialyte.
  • Give fever reducing medicine (Tylenol®) in doses as recommended by your doctor. This medicine will also keep your child more comfortable if they have a sore throat and muscle aches.
  • Do not give Aspirin: It can cause a life threatening illness called Reye’s Syndrome

The Ministry of Health’s website http://www.gov.bc.ca/h1n1/has lots of up to date news about H1N1. It has information for parents and children about the virus, tips for preventing the spread of the flu and how to care of someone with the flu. You can also call the H1N1 Office, BC’s Children’s Hospital, at 1-888-300-3088 or look at the website http://www.bcchildrens.ca.

You can also check out our own GI website: http://www.myGI.ca

If there is a large increase in the number of cases of H1N1 flu virus there maybe changes to the clinics or regular activities at BC Children’s. Before you come to the hospital for your GI appointment please call 1-888-300-3088 or go to www.bcchildrens.ca to find out about clinic closures or other changes at BC Children’s Hospital as a result of H1N1.

We are committed to giving your child the best possible care. If you have any questions or concerns please call:

GI Nurse’s office, BC Children’s Hospital,
Monday – Friday between 08:30 am and 4:30 pm
Telephone 604-875-2772 or long distance 1-888-300-3088 x 2772


The Division of GI, Hepatology and Nutrition,
BC Children’s Hospital

IBD Family Education Day 2009
Tuesday, 14 April 2009 19:08
On April 4, about 85 of our young patients and their families came to Children's Hospital for IBD Family Education Day.  We invited several speakers to talk to our families and they talked about research, nutrition, and their experiences with IBD. Angus Reid from the BC Lions shared his inspirational story and motivated not just the children but their parents too! There were also workshops and various activities throughout the day.  Organizations like Children with Intestinal and Liver Disorders Foundation(CHILD), Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada, Zajac Ranch for Children, Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society (IDEAS) set up booths and were on hand throughout the day to answer questions and provide information to our families.  The day was truly a success!

Thank you to everyone who came and we look forward to seeing you all at our next IBD day!

If you have any suggestions for future IBD days (discussion topics, workshops, activities, etc), please complete this short form by clicking the link: IBD Family Day Suggestions or by emailing Terry Viczko at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Anyone is welcome to email or fill out the form! We would love to hear from the everyone -- kids, teens, and parents.
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