Monday, September 21, 2009


This past week, H1N1 hit our house. Both of our girls came down with it on the same day. I was amazed at how quickly it moved through their school, infecting 12 out of 18 kids in the matter of a week.

On day number two of the virus, my girls were running really high fevers and were so listless. In the front page of our local newspapers, news of H1N1 hitting our community only reflected what we were already seeing. This highly contagious flu caused Minnesota to be put in with 21 other states reporting widespread influenza activity.

When I saw how sick my own girls were, it made me think of what a terrible hardship it would be for any orphanage to have the H1N1 virus spread throughout it. I know the staff could quickly become overwhelmed if so many children got extremely sick in a short period of time. I know that China has been doing a lot to prevent this from happening , including closing orphanages to outside visitors . We have postponed a physical therapy team to China due to the H1N1 virus, and we recently heard another group is postponing their medical mission as well.

Has the H1N1/Swine Flu hit your community? If your child has contracted it, how quickly did they recover? Did you think it was worse than the "regular" flu?

Karen Maunu

Changing the Lives of Orphans in China


  1. Karen, I'm so sorry to hear that your girls are sick. My 9 year old came down with the flu about 3 weeks ago and was sick for nearly an entire week. While she didn't feel badly every day that week, she did run a low-grade fever at least once during every 24 hour period. At about day 5, she developed a nasty, hacking cough that was the worst part of the flu for her; the cough is much better now but is still hanging on to an extent.

    Miraculously, my 6-year old did not get the flu from her older sister, and my husband and I managed to avoid it as well. It's horrible to think of the havoc this could wreak on China and especially the children in the orphanages there. I hope your children recover soon!

  2. I'm so sorry your girls have been sick. My daughter also had it - she hardly skipped a beat - but I caught it from her and have been really struggling. I've been symptom free since last Sunday, but the complications that developed from it (I have asthma) are still kicking my tail.

  3. We have all had nasty colds (still recovering) ... I'm sure I'd know if it was flu. But this entry got me to thinking about how *panicked* I would be if I were one of the many parents waiting to bring their child home, and I heard that either flu was making its way through the SWI's. I mean, I heard my baby had a mild cold, and I was ready to jump on a plane right then ... forget waiting for the paperwork to be finished! I am sorry to hear medical missions are having to be postponed, but I can certainly understand the concern about avoiding the spread of flu.

  4. Hi Karen,
    What part of MN are you in? We are also in MN (nw of the TC area) and we know our schools are very strict about symptoms this year. Our 14 year old had a rising fever last week and they sent her home without any choice. I completely understand their reasoning though. It's probably better to get it now (if it has to be) as our bodies are stronger this time of year and can build up immunities towards any stronger outbreaks that may come later on. Praying your girls kick this thing and are feeling better soon!!


  5. To be honest, this one scares me a bit. A dear friend's niece died of H1N1 two weeks ago right here in our town. She was only 20 and was pregnant. They took the baby and she is in a nearby hospital. This made me stop and think that, though it's just a flu, it can be deadly to some.

    Like every year, our girls have already gotten the flu mist and will line up for the H1N1 vaccination if it is available before they are exposed. In our oldest daughter's 4th grade class of 23 children, 7 were out sick yesterday. Now, none have been reported with H1N1 yet but it is definitely running through the high school.

    I cannot imagine how an orphanage deals with such a virus or any infectious illness (chicken pox, measles, mumps, etc.)! We quarantine the sick, disinfect every surface, medicate, etc. In our house, at the worst, I would have two children to watch over at one time, how can they do it with so many?!

  6. We just got back from China. The Chinese were playing a long cartoon at the airport and on TV that explained with English subtitles what the N1H1 flu is and how to avoid getting it. It said it comes from America, and you catch it from foreigners talking. Really made us keep our mouths closed! They wouldn't let us (the diseased, contagious Americans) anywhere near the orphanage, so they brought the kiddos to our hotel.