Flu & Children with Neurologic Conditions

Symptoms and Treatment

Any person with a health condition that increases their risk for complications if they become sick with flu should get prompt medical attention if they have flu symptoms. If your child with a neurologic condition develops fever or flu symptoms, call your doctor or take them to the doctor right away. CDC recommends that doctors promptly treat flu illness in people who are at higher risk for severe flu complications because of have underlying medical conditions with flu antiviral drugs.


Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than in adults. People may be infected with flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.


  • Influenza antiviral drugs are medicines that fight against flu by keeping flu viruses from making more viruses in your body.
  • Antiviral drugs can make your flu illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious health problems that can result from flu illness.
  • Treatment with an influenza antiviral drug should begin as soon as possible because these medications work best when started early (within 48 hours after symptoms start).
  • You need a prescription from a health care provider for an influenza antiviral medication.
  • There are four FDA-approved flu antiviral drugs recommended by CDC this season that can be used to treat the flu.
  • Keep your child at home, except for doctor visits, for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
  • Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and clear fluids (water, broth, sports drinks, etc.). Your health care provider may also recommend fever-reducing medicines* based on your child’s age.

Learn more about the use of influenza antiviral drugs in children with neurologic conditions and other medicines for children when treating influenza.

*Children younger than 4 years old should not be given over-the-counter medicines without approval from a health care provider. Also, aspirin should not be given to any child younger than 18 years old who has flu.

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