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Nurse’s Facebook Post Warns About Flu Symptom You Probably Aren’t Looking For

Last week, a Nebraska nurse posted a PSA on her Facebook page, warning people about what she believes is an often-overlooked flu symptom: flu hives.

In Brodi Willard’s January 26th post, she said that her son came home from school one day with persistent hives. “Every time he would scratch, more would appear,” she said. 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 B.”

“I took him to the doctor this morning, and he tested positive for influenza B,” she continued. “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.” Since she wrote it, her post has been shared more than 270,000 times and has more than 16,000 comments.

But not everyone believes that flu hives are an actual symptom of the flu. Although a 2015 paper published by Canadian researchers showed that people with the flu can have hives as a symptom, all the subjects also had traditional symptoms. Speaking to WFAA, Children’s Health Dallas said that hives in the absence of traditional flu symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, etc.) are probably a “false positive.”

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