These Questions & Answers originally appeared in the IDF monthly e-newsletter, Primary Immune Tribune. Click here to subscribe.
Question: I have Specific Antibody Deficiency (SAD) and am concerned that I will get the flu despite getting vaccinated. If I do get the flu am I able to take Tamiflu?
Answer: Yes, you can! Medical providers recommend taking Tamiflu, an antiviral drug, within two days of any flu symptoms beginning. Also, if there is a known direct contact with someone who has the flu, then Tamiflu could be prescribed for 10 days to decrease the chance of flu symptoms occurring in one with SAD.
Question: Am I eligible to use Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for my husband’s treatment? He often does not feel well, and needs someone to drive him home after his IVIG.
Answer: Yes! FMLA permits you to take leave to receive "continuing treatment by a healthcare provider," which can include recurring absences for your spouse.
FMLA is a law that requires employers (with 50 or more employees) to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to employees who have worked for the employer for at least one year. The goal is to make sure that employees can take time off work, with benefits, when a disability, illness or the birth of a child prevents them from working.
An employee’s children, spouse and parents are immediate family members for purposes of FMLA. The term "parent" does not include a parent "in-law." The term "children" does not include individuals age 18 or over unless they are "incapable of self-care," because of mental or physical disability that limits one or more of the "major life activities" as those terms are defined in regulations issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
You can learn more at the U.S. Department of Labor’s site: www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/.
These answers should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. In all cases, patients and caregivers should consult their healthcare providers. Each patient’s condition and treatment are unique.