Do Kids' Seizures Signal Swine Flu?

Because the pandemic H1N1 virus appears to affect children more frequently than adults, "additional neurologic complications in children are likely to be reported as the pandemic continues," according to an accompanying comment by the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report editors.

However, they said, "the severity of the neurologic disease in the four patients described in this report was less than the typical disease described in two studies of neurologic complications associated with seasonal influenza, which included reports of severe static encephalopathy and death."

They reiterated the recommendation that antiviral treatment should be started immediately for any hospitalized patient with neurologic symptoms accompanied by flu-like symptoms.

"However," they noted, "the effectiveness of antiviral treatment to prevent influenza-associated encephalopathy sequelae is unknown."

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