A viral photograph currently making the rounds on social media is serving as a warning to parents during this deadly flu season.
Brodi Willard, a mom and registered nurse in Nebraska, took to Facebook on Jan. 26 to share a photo of her 6-year-old son's only flu symptom — and it's one you might not have known to look out for.
"My son came home from school with hives," she wrote. "Every time he would scratch, more would appear. We tried changing his clothes and giving him a bath, but nothing helped."
When Willard called her son's pediatrician, the doctor told her that two kids who came into the office that day with symptoms matching her son's ended up testing positive for influenza.
The concerned mother brought her son to the pediatrician and, sure enough, he tested positive for influenza B.
"He has had NO symptoms," she wrote on Facebook. "No fever, no cough, and no runny nose. He only has hives."
"Please keep watch on your children so if they develop hives, please call your pediatrician," she ended her warning. "I have never heard of this symptom but it is obviously something to be on the lookout for."
Willard's photo has been shared over 250,000 times and racked up more than 15,000 comments since it was posted.
However, at least one expert has cautioned that Willard's son's hives and flu diagnosis might have been unrelated.
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, told TODAY that he and his colleagues believe the case is "very, very odd."
"We're all scratching our heads. We’ve never heard of it before, so I think the answer is a strong maybe. It certainly is unusual," Dr. Schaffner told TODAY. "Just a rash alone without any other symptoms… I wouldn’t run right away with a diagnosis of influenza on the basis of this anecdote."
Either way, all parents should be on the lookout for potential flu symptoms — which may include fever and chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue and diarrhea — during this particularly deadly season.
According to the CDC, there have already been 37 influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported for the 2017-18 season.
- This article was initially published on AOL.com: Mom shares alarming photo of son's only flu 'symptom'