The WebMD Menance

Last night the oldest came down with a fever. Aside from the fever, the only symptom being reported is headache. He's in relatively good spirits, has eaten during the day and enjoyed checking out the Fail blog with me.

After he was done mocking America, he decided to go to WebMD to type "headache" and "fever" and "chills" in as his symptoms.

I spent the next 45 minutes convincing him that "FLU" which was the number 2 hit on WebMD was his most likely disease. Assuring him that he was not suffering from Ebola, Marburg or any other hemmorrhagic fever was a fairly easy task. But then he started looking into the insect transmitted diseases like Lyme Disease, West Nile Virus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Malaria. I was able to help him realize that malaria and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever weren't real threats due to geographic issues...but he's got enough intelligence to know that Lyme Disease or West Nile could actually be geographic contenders and then he started asking questions about incubation periods.

I got him to understand that it is winter and there's very little chance he was bitten by an infected mosquito in the summer or early fall, but it just took 6 months to manifest itself into full-fledged disease. He asked about menningitis, shingles and mono. I shot the first down since he was just vaccinated against it last year and bc he was able to touch his chin to his chest easily. I then looked for blisters to reassure him and checked his lymph nodes to assure that mono was also unlikely. He just had the flu.

Then he started asking questions about Leukemia - also on the list. That's when I took the computer away.

Knowledge is power...but you really need to temper the information on the internet with reality.

He's sleeping now...I hope he feels better tomorrow.

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