Teen fought off flu virus

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Claudia Davis prepares dinner while her son Joshuah hangs around in the kitchen. In June, he came home from Boys State with flulike symptoms that included a high fever and diarrhea.  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Claudia Davis prepares dinner while her son Joshuah hangs around in the kitchen. In June, he came home from Boys State with flulike symptoms that included a high fever and diarrhea.

The Davis family has already been through something many families will likely face this fall: 17-year-old Joshuah Davis came down with a likely case of novel influenza A H1N1 in June.

The family, unable to get a confirmatory test, dealt with it at home, and he recovered after a few days of bed rest.

Joshuah, the starting quarterback for Westside High, picked up the flu at Boys State, an annual event for rising high school seniors sponsored by the American Legion at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. He started feeling ill on the last day, June 20. "My roommate ... left early because he was sick," Joshuah said.

Officials with the Southeast Health District, which covers Statesboro, reported at least two lab-confirmed cases of novel H1N1 flu from the camp, spokesman Roger Naylor said.

When Joshuah's parents came down to pick him up that Saturday, they knew right away that something was wrong.

"He didn't look good," said his mother, Claudia. "And on the way home, he slept in the car the whole time. And then he went to bed, and I took his temperature and it was 104."

Joshuah stayed in bed the next four days while his mother fed him regular doses of Tylenol to cut down on his fever and tried to keep him hydrated with a sports drink and water.

In addition to the usual flulike symptoms of fever, cough and congestion, Joshuah was also battling nausea and diarrhea. Those kinds of symptoms seem to be more common with swine flu than seasonal influenza, said James Wilde, an associate professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at the Medical College of Georgia and a member of the state pandemic flu task force.

It wasn't until a co-worker with a child at Georgia Southern got an e-mail about the confirmed novel H1N1 cases the next Tuesday that Mrs. Davis even thought of the virus. She took Joshuah to Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center that night, and a doctor examined him in the emergency room.

"All of the symptoms and his upper respiratory problems he had and the diarrhea and all of that he said really points towards the swine flu," Mrs. Davis said.

But because the illness was passing, the doctor told them there was no point in getting a lab test.

"He said it looks like he's over the worst and just keep doing what we're doing," Mrs. Davis said.

Joshuah, who is back at football practice, seems nonchalant about his bout with the virus.

"At times it was hard to breathe," he said. "I got over it quickly, though. I guess because I slept a lot and I sweated a lot in my sleep."

His mother is grateful no one else in the family got it, in part because they were careful about handwashing and keeping their distance from Joshuah. It makes her wonder a little about what all the fuss was about.

"I just thought because swine flu, everybody made such a big deal, I thought it would be worse than what it was," she said. "I didn't think much of it, really."

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or tom.corwin@augustachronicle.com.

RELATED STORY

Doctor's orders: Don't panic about flu

IN SEPTEMBER

The Augusta Chronicle takes a look at the science being brought to bear on the novel influenza A H1N1 pandemic. Some scientists in Georgia are helping to track the virus and are looking for key genetic changes that could cause it to become more deadly. Others are looking at how influenza infects the body and how the body responds. Some are looking at potential new techniques, from longer-lasting vaccines to new ways to target the virus, which might help in the future.

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soldout
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soldout 08/30/09 - 05:30 am
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It is only a big deal to the

It is only a big deal to the government and the news media who both work at creating fear so they both feel more important than they. The flu is a normal de-tox process.

mercyme
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mercyme 08/30/09 - 06:49 am
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WHAT!!!!! Who told you this

WHAT!!!!! Who told you this and where did you get your information???

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