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How long does flu fever last in child: Flu in Children Symptoms, Medicine, Flu Shot Side Effects, Treatment Options, COVID-19


Influenza – Seasonal

Is this your child’s symptom?

  • Your child has symptoms of influenza (Flu) and it’s in your community
  • Main symptoms: fever AND one or more respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, very runny nose)
  • Influenza (Flu) is a viral infection
  • You think your child has influenza because other family members have it
  • You think your child has influenza because close friends have it

Symptoms of Influenza

  • Main symptoms are a fever with a runny nose, sore throat, and bad cough.
  • More muscle pain, headache, fever, and chills than with usual colds.
  • If there is no fever, your child probably doesn’t have flu. More likely he has a cold.

Cause of Influenza

  • Influenza viruses that change yearly

Diagnosis: How to Know Your Child Has Influenza

  • Influenza occurs every year in the fall and winter months. During this time, if flu symptoms occur, your child probably has the flu.
  • Your child doesn’t need any special tests.
  • Call your doctor if your child is High-Risk for complications of the flu. See the list below. These are the children who may need prescription anti-viral drugs.
  • For Low-Risk children, usually you don’t need to see your child’s doctor. If your child develops a possible complication of the flu, then call your doctor. See the “What to Do” section.

High-Risk Children for Complications From Influenza (AAP)

Children are considered High-Risk for complications if they have any of the following:

  • Lung disease (such as asthma)
  • Heart disease (such as a congenital heart disease)
  • Cancer or weak immune system conditions
  • Neuromuscular disease (such as muscular dystrophy)
  • Diabetes, sickle cell disease, kidney disease or liver disease
  • Diseases needing long-term aspirin therapy
  • Pregnancy or severe obesity
  • Healthy children under 2 years old are also considered High-Risk (CDC)
  • Note: All other children are referred to as Low-Risk

Prescription Antiviral Drugs for Influenza

  • Antiviral drugs (such as Tamiflu) are sometimes used to treat influenza. They must be started within 48 hours when the flu symptoms start. After 48 hours of fever, starting the drug is not helpful.
  • The AAP recommends they be used for any patient with severe symptoms.
  • The AAP recommends the drugs for most High-Risk children with underlying health problems. See that list.
  • The AAP doesn’t recommend antiviral drugs for Low-Risk children with mild flu symptoms.
  • Their benefits are limited. They usually reduce the time your child is sick by 1 to 1.5 days. They reduce the symptoms, but do not make them go away.
  • Side effects: Vomiting in 10% of children on Tamiflu.
  • Most healthy children with flu do not need an antiviral drug.

When to Call for Influenza – Seasonal

Call 911 Now

  • Severe trouble breathing (struggling for each breath, can barely speak or cry)
  • Lips or face are bluish when not coughing
  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Trouble breathing, but not severe
  • Breathing is much faster than normal
  • Lips or face have turned bluish during coughing
  • Wheezing (high-pitched purring or whistling sound when breathing out)
  • Stridor (harsh sound with breathing in) is heard now
  • Chest pain and can’t take a deep breath
  • Dehydration suspected. No urine in more than 8 hours, dark urine, very dry mouth and no tears.
  • Weak immune system. Examples are: sickle cell disease, HIV, cancer, organ transplant, taking oral steroids.
  • Severe High-Risk child (see that list in Causes). This includes lung disease, heart disease, and bedridden.
  • Fever in baby less than 12 weeks old. Caution: do NOT give your baby any fever medicine before being seen.
  • Fever over 104° F (40° C)
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • High-Risk child for complications of flu. Includes children with other chronic diseases. (See that list in Causes). Also, includes healthy children less than 2 years old.
  • Nonstop coughing spells
  • Age less than 3 months old with any cough
  • Earache or ear drainage
  • Sinus pain (not just congestion)
  • Fever lasts more than 3 days
  • Fever returns after being gone more than 24 hours
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Contact Doctor During Office Hours

  • Age more than 6 months and needs a flu shot
  • Coughing causes vomiting 3 or more times
  • Coughing has kept home from school for 3 or more days
  • Nasal discharge lasts more than 2 weeks
  • Cough lasts more than 3 weeks
  • Flu symptoms lasts more than 3 weeks
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Influenza with no complications and your child is Low-Risk

Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations

If your child’s illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.

Care Advice for Influenza

  1. What You Should Know About Influenza:
    • Flu symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny nose, and fever. During influenza season, if your child has these symptoms, he probably has the flu.
    • Most parents know if their child has flu. They have it too or it’s in the school. It’s also in the news. You don’t need any special tests when you think your child has flu.
    • If your child develops a complication of the flu, then call your child’s doctor. Examples are an earache or trouble breathing. These problems are included in the “What to Do” section.
    • For healthy people, the symptoms of influenza are like those of a bad cold.
    • With flu, however, the onset is more abrupt. The symptoms are more severe. Feeling very sick for the first 3 days is common.
    • The treatment of influenza depends on your child’s main symptoms. It is no different from treatment used for other viral colds and coughs.
    • Bed rest is not needed.
    • Most children with flu don’t need to see their doctor.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Runny Nose with Lots of Discharge: Blow or Suction the Nose
    • The nasal mucus and discharge is washing germs out of the nose and sinuses.
    • Blowing the nose is all that’s needed. Teach your child how to blow the nose at age 2 or 3.
    • For younger children, gently suction the nose with a suction bulb.
    • Put petroleum jelly on the skin under the nose. Wash the skin first with warm water. This will help to protect the nostrils from any redness.
  3. Nasal Saline To Open a Blocked Nose:
    • Use saline (salt water) nose spray to loosen up the dried mucus. If you don’t have saline, you can use a few drops of water. Use distilled water, bottled water or boiled tap water.
    • Step 1. Put 3 drops in each nostril. If under 1 year old, use 1 drop.
    • Step 2. Blow (or suction) each nostril out while closing off the other nostril. Then, do the other side.
    • Step 3. Repeat nose drops and blowing (or suctioning) until the discharge is clear.
    • How Often. Do nasal saline rinses when your child can’t breathe through the nose.
    • Limit. If under 1 year old, no more than 4 times per day or before every feeding.
    • Saline nose drops or spray can be bought in any drugstore. No prescription is needed.
    • Saline nose drops can also be made at home. Use ½ teaspoon (2 mL) of table salt. Stir the salt into 1 cup (8 ounces or 240 mL) of warm water. Use bottled water or boiled water to make saline nose drops.
    • Reason for nose drops: Suction or blowing alone can’t remove dried or sticky mucus. Also, babies can’t nurse or drink from a bottle unless the nose is open.
    • Other option: use a warm shower to loosen mucus. Breathe in the moist air, then blow each nostril.
    • For young children, can also use a wet cotton swab to remove sticky mucus.
  4. Medicines for Flu:
    • Cold Medicines. Don’t give any drugstore cold or cough medicines to young children. They are not approved by the FDA under 6 years. Reasons: not safe and can cause serious side effects. Also, they are not helpful. They can’t remove dried mucus from the nose. Nasal saline works best.
    • Allergy Medicines. They are not helpful, unless your child also has nasal allergies. They can also help an allergic cough.
    • No Antibiotics. Antibiotics are not helpful for flu. Antibiotics may be used if your child gets an ear or sinus infection.
  5. Homemade Cough Medicine:
    • Goal: Decrease the irritation or tickle in the throat that causes a dry cough.
    • Age 3 months to 1 year: give warm clear fluids to treat the cough. Examples are apple juice and lemonade. Amount: use a dose of 1-3 teaspoons (5-15 mL). Give 4 times per day when coughing. Caution: do not use honey until 1 year old.
    • Age 1 year and older: use Honey ½ to 1 teaspoon (2-5 mL) as needed. It works as a homemade cough medicine. It can thin the secretions and loosen the cough. If you don’t have any honey, you can use corn syrup.
    • Age 6 years and older: use Cough Drops to decrease the tickle in the throat. If you don’t have any, you can use hard candy. Avoid cough drops before 6 years. Reason: risk of choking.
  6. Sore Throat Pain Relief:
    • Age over 1 year. Can sip warm fluids such as chicken broth or apple juice. Some children prefer cold foods such as popsicles or ice cream.
    • Age over 6 years. Can also suck on hard candy or lollipops. Butterscotch seems to help.
    • Age over 8 years. Can also gargle. Use warm water with a little table salt added. A liquid antacid can be added instead of salt. Use Mylanta or the store brand. No prescription is needed.
    • Medicated throat sprays or lozenges are generally not helpful.
  7. Fluids – Offer More:
    • Try to get your child to drink lots of fluids.
    • Goal: Keep your child well hydrated.
    • It also will thin out the mucus discharge from the nose.
    • It also loosens up any phlegm in the lungs. Then it’s easier to cough up.
  8. Fever Medicine:
    • For fevers above 102° F (39° C), give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Avoid Aspirin because of the strong link with Reye syndrome.
    • Note: Fevers less than 102° F (39° C) are important for fighting infections.
    • For all fevers: Keep your child well hydrated. Give lots of cold fluids.
  9. Pain Medicine:
    • For muscle aches or headaches, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Use as needed.
  10. Prescription Antiviral Drugs for Influenza:
    • Antiviral drugs (such as Tamiflu) are sometimes used to treat influenza. They must be started within 48 hours of when flu symptoms start. After 48 hours of fever, starting the drug is not helpful.
    • The AAP recommends they be used for any patient with severe symptoms. They also recommend the drugs for most High-Risk children. See that list in Causes.
    • If your child has a chronic disease and gets the flu, call your doctor. The doctor will decide if your child needs a prescription.
    • The AAP doesn’t recommend antiviral drugs for Low-Risk children with normal flu symptoms.
    • Their benefits are limited. They reduce the time your child is sick by 1 to 1 ½ days. They reduce the symptoms, but do not make them go away.
    • Side effects: Vomiting in 10% of children on Tamiflu.
    • Most healthy children with flu do not need an antiviral drug.
    • Also, it is not used to prevent flu. Reason: You would need to take the medicine every day for months.
  11. Return to School:
    • Spread is rapid, and the virus is easily passed to others.
    • The time it takes to get the flu after contact is about 2 days.
    • Your child can return to school after the fever is gone for 24 hours.
    • Your child should feel well enough to join in normal activities.
  12. What to Expect:
    • Influenza causes a cough that lasts 2 to 3 weeks.
    • Sometimes your child will cough up lots of phlegm (mucus). The mucus can be gray, yellow or green. This is normal.
    • Coughing up mucus is very important. It helps protect the lungs from pneumonia.
    • We want to help a productive cough, not turn it off.
    • The fever lasts 2 to 3 days.
    • The runny nose lasts 7 to 14 days.
  13. Prevention: How to Protect Yourself from Getting Sick:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water.
    • Alcohol-based hand cleaners also work well.
    • Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth. Germs on the hands can spread this way.
    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • Avoid ERs and urgent care clinics if you don’t need to go. These are places where you are more likely to be exposed to flu.
  14. Prevention: How to Protect Others – Stay Home When Sick:
    • Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
    • Wash hands often with soap and water. After coughing or sneezing are important times.
    • Limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
    • Stay home from school for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. (CDC).
  15. Flu Shot and Prevention:
    • Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect your family from flu.
    • Influenza vaccines are strongly advised for all children over 6 months of age. (AAP)
    • Adults should also get the shot.
    • The shot most often prevents the disease.
    • Even if your child gets the flu, the shot helps to reduce the symptoms.
    • A new flu shot is needed every year. Reason: Flu viruses keep changing.
    • After the flu shot, it takes 2 weeks to fully protect from flu. But then, the protection lasts for the full flu season. An antiviral medicine only protects from flu while taking it.
  16. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Trouble breathing occurs
    • Retractions (pulling in between the ribs) occur
    • Dehydration occurs
    • Earache or sinus pain occurs
    • Fever lasts more than 3 days or goes above 104° F (40° C)
    • Nasal discharge lasts more than 14 days
    • Cough lasts more than 3 weeks
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the ‘Call Your Doctor’ symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

Last Reviewed: 10/23/2021

Last Revised: 10/21/2021

Copyright 2000-2021. Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

The Flu in Babies and Toddlers — Symptoms, Treatments and Prevention of Influenza

Children’s flu (short for “influenza”) is the same virus as the grown-up variety, but the flu doesn’t affect babies and toddlers in the same way as it does adults.

This contagious and common viral infection of the throat, nose and lungs usually rears its ugly head between the months of October and April or even as late as May.

The difference is that any child under 5 is considered to be “high-risk” because young kids are more likely to experience complications from the flu, including pneumonia, than healthy adults.

So if you suspect your little one might have the flu, call your doctor right away to get a firm diagnosis and have your child examined.

Flu symptoms in babies and flu symptoms in toddlers

Common symptoms of the flu in babies and toddlers include:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Occasionally nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea

Keep in mind that some of these symptoms are the same as those of COVID-19, though that virus often presents as nothing more than a mild cold in babies and toddlers. If your child is sick with any flu-like symptoms, your pediatrician will probably ask that she get tested for COVID-19 to rule it out, as well as the flu if the COVID test comes back negative.

Flu in babies and flu in toddlers — what causes the flu in kids?

The culprit behind the flu in babies and toddlers is the influenza virus, of which there are multiple strains that circulate around the world every year.

Your child can catch the flu by coming into contact with an infected person, especially if that sick little — or big — someone sneezes or coughs on her.

It’s also possible for your baby or toddler to get sick with the flu by touching something (a toy, a sippy cup) that an infected person has touched and then touching her own mouth, nose or eyes.

Health Tips for Baby’s Visitors

How long does it take for flu symptoms to appear in babies and toddlers? 

A child (or an adult) will typically show symptoms of the flu one to four days after being infected with the virus.

How long does the flu last in kids?

If your baby or toddler comes down with the flu, symptoms usually last about a week but can linger for up to two weeks. The associated cough can sometimes last up to four weeks.

What’s the difference between the flu and the stomach flu?

Don’t confuse influenza with the stomach flu (aka gastroenteritis). That’s caused by a variety of other viruses that don’t include influenza and leads to severe diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes with fever.

Though influenza can come with vomiting, nausea and diarrhea, there are other symptoms like body aches, fever, chills, sore throat and congestion or cough that don’t accompany stomach viruses. Plus gastroenteritis usually goes away much faster.

How long is your baby or toddler contagious with the flu?

If someone has the flu, she can be contagious a day before symptoms appear and can continue to spread the disease five to seven days after the first day of symptoms.

But babies, toddlers and older children can be infectious for even longer, so err on the side of caution when exposing your little one to someone who is getting over the flu.

Treatments for the flu in babies and toddlers

First and foremost, get your child in to see the pediatrician to diagnose and treat the flu. At home, your focus will be making sure your baby or toddler is comfortable and getting her the care needed to recover.

Your doctor will probably suggest the following flu treatments (but again, talk to and/or see the pediatrician to get the medical advice you and your child need):

  • Rest. Help your little one get plenty of R&R by letting her nap as often as possible and encouraging lots of quiet activities during the day.
  • Fluids. Offer lots of fluids to prevent dehydration from fever and loss of appetite. You can continue to nurse and bottle-feed your baby; if she’s eating solids, try giving her a bit of applesauce or broth. You can give your toddler Popsicles too.
  • Pain relievers. Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce the fever if there is one and alleviate body aches (but don’t give ibuprofen to babies younger than 6 months old, and never give babies or toddlers aspirin) according to your doctor’s recommendation and the label.  
  • Antiviral medications. Your doctor should be able to prescribe a safe influenza antiviral medication for your baby or toddler that can shorten the duration of the virus, make symptoms milder and prevent complications of the flu, but these medications must be given within the first 48 hours of symptoms starting. All the more reason to get to the pediatrician as soon as you can with your sick child. And some pediatricians advise against them for children because while antivirals can be effective, they can have severe side effects, ranging from mild (nausea or diarrhea) to more severe (vomiting and hallucinations). You and your practitioner should discuss the risks and benefits of these medications, especially for your child.

A few other tips in terms of what to do about the flu in your baby or toddler:

Since the flu often makes you feel alternately hot and then chilled, you might want to dress your child in layers that you can remove — or add — when needed.

You might want to use a few saline nose drops followed by a rubber suction bulb (which you find in the pharmacy baby aisle) to clear clogged mucus, especially if the nasal congestion is preventing your child from resting, eating or staying comfortable.

A cool-mist humidifier running in your child’s room, especially at night, can also be helpful (avoid a hot-water vaporizer, which can potentially burn your little one if she touches it).

Never give babies and young toddlers any over-the-counter children’s cold and flu medications, as they don’t help and can be harmful. Always check in with your doctor about what you can do to help your child recover from the flu.

How to prevent the flu in babies and toddlers

During pregnancy, shielding a growing baby from flu germs is easy. Snug and safely sealed off in that cozy uterine cocoon, yet-to-be-born babies are protected from colds and flu, even if you’re not. But can you prevent your little one from catching the flu after birth?

Protecting your newborn:

Fast forward to your baby’s life outside the womb — especially the first six months, before she can be safely immunized against the flu — and that can be a different story.

Once your baby takes in those first breaths of air, or touches those first surfaces, or has those tiny hands squeezed and kissed by visitors who come bearing germs along with their gifts, flowers and balloons, your baby is vulnerable to the flu virus.

And due to her brand new, still-untested immune system, she’s especially vulnerable to serious complications from the flu, which can be life-threatening.

Since babies younger than 6 months are not old enough to get the flu vaccine, experts recommend that all other family members, including your baby’s caregiver(s), get vaccinated.

Pregnant moms also need the flu shot to protect not only themselves but their unborn babies until they’re old enough to be vaccinated themselves. If you opt to breastfeed, your baby may also get some of your protective antibodies through your breast milk. 

And you’ll want to make sure you and everyone your baby comes in contact with take extra steps to protect themselves from the flu by washing hands often. While you’re on the go, carry alcohol-based hand-sanitizing gel or wipes for those occasions when you’re caught with messy mitts and no sink in sight.

You should also try to do everything you can to keep your own immune system strong by eating a healthy diet (no skipping meals), getting plenty of rest and making sure you fit fitness into your busy life.

Protecting your baby after 6 months:

Doctors recommend the flu vaccine for all children ages 6 months old and up as the best defense against catching the virus. If your child has a chronic health condition like asthma or diabetes, it’s especially important for her to get vaccinated because the flu is more likely to lead to complications in kids with other health issues.

Get your child vaccinated before or early in flu season, by October, if possible (but it’s still not too late to get the vaccine later in the season).

Even if the dominant flu viruses that season turn out to be different from the strains the vaccine protects against, the vaccination can make flu symptoms milder. So no matter what, your child will have some level of protection.

Here are some other good ways to protect your baby or toddler from catching the flu:

  • Wash your baby’s hands regularly (and teach your toddler hand-washing basics).
  • Steer clear of other sick kids and parents (and their tissues!) if possible to avoid illness. If you or your child do come into contact with people who are sick, a thorough hand-washing (and even a bath) as soon as possible afterwards is a good idea. So is washing all potentially infected clothes and wiping down toys, books and other household items with disinfectant.
  • Make sure your child is getting plenty of rest and fluids and is dressed appropriately for the weather during flu season, even when she’s not sick.
  • Use baby wipes and/or hand sanitizer in a pinch when washing up with soap and warm water isn’t possible right away.

When to call the doctor

Whenever you suspect that your baby or toddler has caught the flu, call your doctor right away. And be sure to contact your pediatrician immediately if you notice the following troubling symptoms:

  • If your baby is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, call the doctor immediately. The flu can lead to serious complications, especially in young babies since they haven’t had a chance to build up their immune systems yet. If your baby is between 3 months and 3 years old, call your doctor with any fever of more than 100.4 degrees F because your child will need to be tested for COVID-19 to rule that out. If her temperature reaches 101.5 degrees F or higher, you’ll want your child to be checked even if she has tested negative for the coronavirus.
  • Extreme irritability (e.g. your child doesn’t even want to be held)
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Fever with any type of rash
  • Symptoms improve but then return worse than before (this could be a sign of pneumonia or another serious infection)
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color or lips
  • Your child seems confused, is not interacting or waking up, or has seizures

If it does turn out that your little one has the flu, it’s normal to be worried and even scared, especially with young babies and toddlers. But with the proper medical care, supervision and treatment by the pediatrician, plus a lot of rest and fluids, your child will likely be on the path to recovery soon.

How to Know When a Child’s Flu Turns Serious

“For a baby under 1, there’s a lower threshold to see the doctor,” Dr. Munoz said. “I would be willing to wait a little longer on a 12-year-old who can tell me how he feels, but for a baby that age, it’s hard for a parent to know what’s going on. You have to watch them very carefully and be attuned to changes.”

While it may not sound scientific, most experts say parents should trust their instincts. They know their children better than anyone else, and if they think something is wrong, they should call a doctor and ask for advice, or take the child to an urgent care center or emergency room.

“When mom is really worried, that should not be trivialized — the pediatrician should look at that child closely,” Dr. Schaffner said.

What Is Normal?

For most children, a typical course of influenza starts with an abrupt spike in temperature, a sore throat, cough and muscle aches, said Dr. Shikha Garg, medical officer in the C.D.C.’s influenza division. Younger children may also have nausea and vomiting.

But in most healthy children, the illness will run its course relatively quickly. The fever will subside after three to four days, and the cough will abate within one to two weeks, Dr. Garg said.

“If this is what a parent is seeing, it’s probably fine to have the child stay home and not go to school; you want them to rest and stay hydrated,” she said. “The majority of healthy children who have a mild course of disease do not need to go to see the doctor, and they do not need to go to the hospital or the emergency room.” They also don’t need to be tested for influenza, she said.

While children hospitalized with influenza are generally treated with antiviral medication such as Tamiflu, the decision to prescribe it for outpatients is a complicated one that requires a careful balancing of risks and benefits, since the treatment can cause side effects, including nausea, vomiting and, rarely, neurological side effects, Dr. Schaffner said.

Colds and flu in babies and children

Colds and flu symptoms can be very similar to the symptoms of COVID-19. Even if your symptoms are mild, get tested for COVID-19 immediately — use the colds and flu Symptom Checker if you’re not sure what to do. You can also learn more here about COVID-19 and parenting.

Very young children may have had little or no previous contact with the viruses that cause colds and flu, so they will have low resistance to infection. It is useful to know that children can get sick much more quickly than adults.

What are the symptoms of a cold?

Depending on the infection, symptoms of a cold include:

  • stuffy or runny nose
  • sneezing
  • sore throat and ears
  • cough
  • headache
  • red eyes
  • swollen lymph glands

Some children will develop a fever. They might feel sick or vomit, not feel like eating, or be more irritable than normal.

Symptoms usually last about a week.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

The flu, or influenza, is an illness caused by a virus. It is similar to a cold, but it can cause serious complications.

Children with influenza may have the symptoms of a cold as well as muscle aches, shivering, and feeling hot and cold.

When should I see a doctor?

Most colds run their course and get better on their own. However, very occasionally children may develop complications such as an ear infection, laryngitis or croup, bronchiolitis or pneumonia.

Sometimes a child’s coughing may be due to asthma rather than a cold. If your child coughs through winter, or their coughing is brought on by exercise, or happens only at night, they may have asthma.

Seek urgent medical advice if your baby or young child has:

  • a high fever (see a doctor straight away for any fever in a baby less than 3 months)
  • a cough that lasts more than 3 weeks
  • wheezing
  • periods of breathlessness (breathing very rapidly) or difficulty breathing
  • bluish or very pale skin
  • inability or unwillingness to feed
  • drowsiness in your baby
  • is not drinking
  • is not passing urine
  • is vomiting a lot
  • has a bad headache
  • is pale and sleepy
  • a rash that does not disappear if you hold a glass against it
  • decreasing alertness, awareness and activity
  • any worsening of the illness or increased distress

Managing colds and flu in babies and young children

Young babies with upper respiratory tract infections sniffle a lot and may cough a little. Even if your baby seems to be breathing comfortably, they may have trouble feeding if their noses are blocked. Proper feeding is important to avoid dehydration and loss of weight.

Babies with colds and flu need:

  • cuddles and reassurance
  • smaller, more frequent feeds — paediatric (but never adult) nasal drops may help with breathing while your child feeds, but drops should never be used for more than a couple of days without consulting your doctor
  • extra sleep

Babies can be given paracetamol or ibuprofen in liquid form to relieve uncomfortable symptoms such as pain. Make sure to read the label for the recommended dose.

Young children

Like babies, young children with infections also need rest, warmth, nourishing food and plenty of fluids.

You can give older children paracetamol as tablets. Be sure to use them only as recommended and to store them out of the child’s reach.

Do not give aspirin to babies or young children as aspirin may have serious side-effects.

Cough and cold medicines and over-the-counter products such as nasal sprays should not be given to children except on the advice of a doctor, pharmacist or nurse. Learn more about colds and flu.

Things to remember

  • Colds and flu should get better in a week to 10 days.
  • Watch for breathing problems and other infections if your child has a cold or flu.
  • Medication can ease some symptoms, but must be used carefully. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse about all medicines for children.

Preventing colds and flu

If your child attends a child care centre, it is a good idea to let the director know. Centres have guidelines on when and for how long sick children should stay away to minimise the risk of the disease spreading to other children.

If your baby or child has asthma, be extra careful and watchful during bouts of colds or flu and protect them from passive smoking. Consider immunising them and yourselves against influenza. Children are more likely to get infections of the airways if someone in the family smokes at home.

The Flu: What Parents Need to Know

​​By: Flor M. Muñoz, MD, FAAP

Flu is the short term for influenza. It is an illness caused by a respiratory virus. The flu can spread rapidly through communities, as the virus is passed person to person.

When someone with the flu coughs or sneezes, the influenza virus gets into the air, and people nearby, including children, can inhale it through the nose or mouth.

The virus also can be spread when kids touch a contaminated hard surface, such as a door handle, and then put their hands or fingers in their nose or mouth, or rub their eyes.

When is flu season?

The flu season usually starts in the fall and ends in the spring. When there is an outbreak or epidemic, usually during the winter months, the illness tends to be most frequent in preschool or school-aged children. Parents and caregivers are easily exposed and can come down with the flu, as it is transmitted in the first few days of the illness.

It is important for anyone over 6 months of age to get the flu vaccine each year, ideally before the end of October. Adults and children should also get COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are
eligible. The two vaccines can safely be given at the same time, or at any time one after the other.

Flu symptoms include:

  • A sudden
    fever (usually above 100.4°F or 38°C)

  • Chills

  • Headache, body aches, and being a lot more tired than usual

  • Sore throat

  • Dry, hacking cough

  • Stuffy, runny nose

  • Some children may throw up (vomit) and have loose stools (diarrhea).

After the first few days of these symptoms, a sore throat, stuffy nose, and continuing cough become most evident. The flu can last a week or even longer. A child with a
common cold usually has only a low-grade fever, a runny nose, and only a small amount of coughing. Children with the flu—or adults, for that matter—usually feel much sicker, achier, and more miserable.

Kids with chronic health conditions at greater risk

Children who appear to have the greatest risk of complications from the flu are those with an underlying chronic medical condition, such as lung, heart, or kidney disease, an immune system problem, malignancy, diabetes mellitus, some blood diseases, or conditions of the muscular or central nervous system.

As these children may have more severe disease or complications, it’s important for them to be vaccinated and, when possible, avoid other children with the flu or flu-like symptoms. Their pediatrician may suggest additional precautions that should be taken.

If your child has any of these chronic health conditions and flu-like symptoms along with any difficulty breathing, seek medical attention right away. There can be serious complications, even death, from the flu, but thanks to the flu vaccine these are less common.

Flu treatment

Children may benefit from extra rest and drinking lots of fluids when they get the flu.

If your child is uncomfortable because of a fever, acetaminophen or ibuprofen in doses recommended by your pediatrician for his age and weight will help him feel better. Ibuprofen is approved for use in children six months of age and older; however, it should never be given to children who are
dehydrated or who are vomiting continuously.

It is extremely important never to give aspirin to a child who has the flu or is suspected of having the flu. Aspirin during bouts of influenza is associated with an increased risk of developing
Reye syndrome.

Antiviral medications: available by prescription to treat an influenza infection

Your pediatrician can help decide whether or not to treat the flu with an antiviral medicine. Antiviral medications work best if started within the first 1 to 2 days of showing signs of the flu. However, in some children with increased risk for influenza complications, treatment could be started later.

Call your pediatrician within 24 hours of the first flu symptom to ask about antiviral medications if your child:

  • Has an underlying health problem like asthma or other chronic lung disease, a heart condition, diabetes, sickle cell disease, a weakened immune system, a neuromuscular condition such as cerebral palsy, or other medical conditions.

  • Is younger than 5 years old, especially if less than 2 years old.

  • Has symptoms that are not improving.

  • Is in contact with others who are at risk for complications of the flu.

Flu recovery and complications

Healthy people, especially children, get over the flu in about a week, without any lingering problems. Talk with your child’s doctor if you suspect a complication like ear pain, pressure in your child’s face and head, or a cough and fever that will not go away.

When flu becomes an emergency

If your child has the flu and develops any of these symptoms, contact your pediatrician or seek immediate medical care.

  • Trouble breathing or unusually rapid breathing

  • Bluish lips or face

  • Ribs looking like they pull in with each breath

  • Chest pain

  • Muscle pain so severe that your child refuses to walk

  • Dehydration (no peeing for 8 hours, dry mouth, and no tears when crying)

  • While awake, your child is not alert or interacting with you

  • Seizures

  • Fever above 104°F

  • In children less than 12 weeks, any fever

  • Fever or cough that seem to improve but then return or worsen

  • Worsening chronic medical conditions, such as asthma

​Flu prevention

Everyone needs the flu vaccine each year to update their protection. It is the best way to prevent getting the flu. Safe and effective vaccines are made each year and the best time to get the flu vaccine is by the end of October, before the flu virus starts circulating in your community.

The flu vaccine is especially important for:

  • Children, including infants born preterm, who are 6 months to 5 years of age,

  • Children of any age with chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of complications from the flu

  • Children of American Indian/Alaskan Native heritage

  • All contacts and care providers of children with high risk conditions and children under 5 years old

  • All women who are
    pregnant, are considering pregnancy, have recently delivered, or are breastfeeding during the flu season. This is to protects both mother and baby, which is important since newborns and infants under 6 months old are not able to receive their own vaccination.
  • All health care workers

The flu virus spreads easily through the air with coughing and sneezing, and through touching things like doorknobs or toys and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Click here for some tips that will help protect your family from getting sick.

Flu vaccine

Both the inactivated (killed) vaccine, also called the “flu shot,” given by injection in the muscle, and the live-attenuated nasal spray vaccine, can be used for influenza vaccination this season. There is no preference for a product or formulation. Any of these vaccines should be given as available in your area.

Side effects from the flu vaccine

The flu vaccine has few side effects, the most common being fever and redness, soreness or swelling at the injection site for the flu shot, or runny nose, congestion and sore throat for the nasal spray vaccine.

Children with egg allergies can receive the flu vaccine. Children with a previous allergic reaction after a dose of flu vaccine should be seen by an allergist. The allergist can help parents decide if their child should receive an annual flu vaccination.

More information

About Dr. Muñoz

Flor Muñoz, MD, MSc, FAAP, is associate professor of Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. She is an investigator in various projects focusing on vaccines and the epidemiology of respiratory infections, including those supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She has published extensively on topics related to vaccines and influenza. Dr Muñoz is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases (AAP COID) and of the American College of Gynecologists (ACOG) Immunization Expert Group. She also serves on the Influenza Work Group of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Colds in children

Paediatr Child Health. 2005 Oct; 10(8): 493–495.

Copyright © 2005, Pulsus Group Inc. All rights reservedThis article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Why children get so many colds

  • The ‘common cold’ is caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and sinuses. A virus is a germ that makes people sick.

  • Young children get lots of colds, some as many as 8 to 10 each year before they turn 2 years old. Colds tend to be more common in fall and winter when children are indoors and in closer contact with each other, so it may seem like your child has one cold after another all winter long. Young children have more colds than older children and adults because they haven’t built up immunity (defences) to the more than 100 different cold viruses that are around.

  • Children can catch colds from siblings, parents, other family members, playmates or caregivers. Children with older siblings and those who attend daycare have more colds. Once you’ve had a cold virus, you become immune to that virus, so children get fewer colds as they get older. By the time they start school, children who attended daycare will have fewer colds than other children.

  • If a child gets many colds, it’s not a sign of a weak immune system. It just means he’s exposed to many viruses. The only reason to have a child’s immune system tested is if the colds often lead to more serious problems.

Is it just a cold or something more serious?

  • Typical cold symptoms are a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing and a mild sore throat.

  • Some children may not want to eat, have a headache or be more tired than usual.

  • Colds can sometimes cause fever, but the fever usually isn’t very high.

  • Colds usually last about a week but can last for as long as 2 weeks.

  • Some respiratory viruses that cause colds in older children and adults may cause more serious illness when they infect infants and toddlers. These illnesses include croup (hoarseness, noisy breathing, barking cough), bronchiolitis (wheezing, difficulty breathing), or sore eyes, sore throat and neck gland swelling.

  • The influenza (flu) virus causes high fever, cough and body aches, strikes more quickly than a cold and causes infected persons to feel sicker. While children with colds usually have energy to play and keep up their daily routines, children with influenza are usually in bed.

How colds are spread

Cold viruses are found in the nose and throat. Because children touch their noses, eyes and mouths often, put things in their mouths, and touch each other often during play, cold germs spread easily. There is also a lot of contact between parents or caregivers and children: holding hands, picking up, feeding, changing diapers and so on.

  • Children with colds get viruses on their hands when they touch their runny noses or mouths or when they cough or sneeze. When they touch other children, they pass on the viruses.

  • Children with colds get viruses on their hands and then touch an object, such as a toy or furniture. Cold viruses can live on objects for several hours and can be picked up on the hands of other children who touch the same object. These children then get infected when they touch their eyes, nose or mouth.

  • Caregivers can get viruses on their hands and spread them between children by touch.

  • Some cold viruses may be spread through the air when a child with a cold coughs or sneezes. Droplets from the cough or sneeze may reach another child’s nose or mouth.

When to call a doctor

Babies under 3 months of age have difficulty breathing through a blocked nose. Feeding becomes difficult. Call your doctor or take your baby to an emergency department if your baby:

Babies and children of all ages should see a doctor if the cold seems to be causing more serious problems. Call your doctor or take your child to an emergency department if you notice any of the following signs:

  • your child is breathing rapidly or seems to be working hard to breathe;

  • your child’s lips look blue; or

  • coughing is so bad that the child is choking or vomiting.

These can be signs of pneumonia (lung infection) or bronchiolitis (an infection of the tiny airways that lead to the lungs). These conditions need to be treated by a doctor.

Call your doctor if your child shows any sign of a middle ear infection, which can result from a cold. These signs include:

Other reasons to contact your doctor:

  • If your child wakes in the morning with one or both eyes stuck shut with dried yellow pus. Although red eyes and watery discharge are common with a cold, pus is a sign of an eye infection and should be treated.

  • If your child is much more sleepy than usual, doesn’t want to feed or play, or is very cranky or fussy and cannot be comforted.

  • It’s common to have thick or discoloured (yellow, green) discharge from the nose with a cold. This doesn’t need an antibiotic. However, if it lasts for more than 10 to 14 days, contact your doctor.

Treating colds: What parents can do

  • There is no cure for the common cold. Colds usually go away on their own.

  • Keep your child as comfortable as possible. If she doesn’t want to eat, offer plenty of fluids and small, nutritious meals.

  • ‘Over-the-counter’ cough and cold medicines (which don’t need a doctor’s prescription) should not be given to children younger than three years old unless prescribed by your doctor. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before giving over-the-counter drugs to children under 12 years of age, or to anyone taking other medicines or with a chronic illness. Read label instructions carefully and do not give more than is recommended.

  • Coughing helps clear mucus from the chest. If coughing is frequent, dry and is preventing an older child from sleeping, a product with dextromethorphan may help ease it, although studies have shown limited benefit.

  • Decongestants and antihistamines have no effect on coughing. Decongestants taken by mouth are not very effective and can cause rapid heartbeat or insomnia (inability to sleep) in children. Antihistamines are not effective for colds.

  • If an infant is having trouble feeding because of a stuffed nose, use a rubber suction bulb to clear mucus from the nose. Use saline nose drops or saline nose spray if the mucus is very thick. The spray goes well into the nasal passages and may be more effective than the drops.

  • A cool mist humidifier may make a child with a stuffy nose more comfortable. Clean and dry the humidifier thoroughly to prevent contamination from bacteria or mould. Hot water vaporizers are not recommended because of the risk of burns.

  • Medicated nose drops or sprays provide only brief relief and shouldn’t be used for more than 2 to 3 days because the congestion can actually get worse. Don’t use these products in children under 6 years old.

  • Monitor your child’s temperature. To ease pain, aches or a fever with a temperature greater than 38.5°C, use acetaminophen (eg, Tylenol, Tempra and Panadol). Ibuprofen (eg, Advil and Motrin) may be used for children over 6 months old. Use the dose and schedule recommended on the package or by your doctor or pharmacist. Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA [eg, Aspirin]), or any cold medicine containing it, should be avoided in children and teenagers with colds because it can lead to brain and liver damage (Reye syndrome).

  • Colds cannot be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics should be used only when children develop complications from bacteria, such as an ear infection or pneumonia.

  • Children can continue their normal activities if they feel well enough to do so. If they have fever or complications, they may need a few days of rest at home. Your child can keep going to school if he feels well enough to take part in the activities.

  • In winter, children with colds can still play outside.

Preventing colds: What parents can do

  • Keep babies under 3 months old away from people with colds, if possible.

  • Make sure your child has received all of the recommended immunizations. While they won’t prevent colds, they will help prevent some of the complications, such as bacterial infections of the ears or lungs. Influenza vaccine protects against influenza but not against other respiratory viruses.

  • Handwashing is the most important way to reduce the spread of colds:

    • Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or wiping your nose.

    • Wash your hands after being in direct contact with someone who has a respiratory infection.

    • Wash your own hands and your child’s hands after wiping your child’s nose.

    • When water and soap are not available, use premoistened hand wipes or alcohol-based hand rinses. Keep hand rinses out of the reach of children because they may be harmful if swallowed.

  • Teach children to prevent spreading colds by covering the nose and mouth with tissues when they sneeze or cough, by disposing of tissues immediately in a wastebasket, and by washing their hands after wiping the nose or handling tissues.

  • Avoid sharing toys that young children place in their mouths until the toys have been cleaned.

  • If your child attends daycare, tell the caregiver about any symptoms and ask if your child should stay away from daycare that day. When both parents work outside the home, plan ahead by making arrangements for when your child becomes ill.

Source: Canadian Paediatric Society Infectious Diseases and Immunization Committee, 2005.


This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your physician. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

May be reproduced without permission and shared with patients and their families. Also available at www.caringforkids.cps.ca.

Internet addresses are current at time of publication.

Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Prevention


What is roseola?

Roseola infantum is a viral illness that mostly affects infants and toddlers. Infected children generally have a high fever followed by the development of a rash.

Who might get roseola?

Anyone can get roseola, but the virus mostly affects children between the age of 6 months and 3 years. The virus is contagious, even before the rash develops, and can be spread through saliva or other respiratory droplets when an infected child coughs, sneezes or talks. After you have had roseola, your immune system forms defenses against it. For this reason, most people are unlikely to be infected twice.

Symptoms and Causes

What causes roseola?

Roseola is also called sixth disease because the human herpesvirus (HHV) type 6 most often causes the illness. Less frequently, it can also be due to HHV type 7 or another virus.

What are the symptoms of roseola?

Symptoms of roseola appear about ten days after infection. The first sign of illness is a high fever (often above 103° F or 39.5° C). This fever can last from three to seven days. Once the fever goes away, a rash often appears on their stomach that may spread to their back, neck and arms. It is made of pink or red spots and not itchy or painful. The rash can fade after a few hours but may be noticeable for one to two days.

Children with roseola may also develop cold- or flu-like symptoms, including:

How long is roseola contagious?

After your child’s temperature is back to normal for 24 hours, your child is no longer contagious (even if the rash is still there). A normal temperature ranges between 97.5° F and 99.5° F (35.4° C and 37.5° C). A fever is a temperature at or above 100.4° F (38° C).

Is it possible to have roseola and not know it?

It is entirely possible that your child (or you as a child) had the virus that causes roseola without knowing it. Kids get fevers for lots of reasons. If your child does not get a roseola rash (two-thirds of kids don’t), you may chalk up the fever to some other illness and never know that your child has had roseola.

Diagnosis and Tests

How is roseola diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider can diagnose roseola based on your child’s symptoms.

Management and Treatment

How is roseola managed or treated?

Roseola symptoms typically clear up on their own in about a week as the virus runs its course. Your healthcare provider may recommend giving your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen to bring down the fever. You shouldn’t need to treat the rash because it doesn’t itch or cause pain. Children who have weakened immune systems may need antiviral medications.

When should I call the doctor?

You should call your healthcare provider if your child experiences:

  • Difficulty breathing, cough or other signs of pneumonia.
  • Fever of 102° F (38.9° C) or higher for over 24 hours without any other symptoms.
  • Seizure.
  • Rash that is itchy or painful.
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Signs of dehydration, such as dark-colored urine and extreme fatigue.

What questions should I ask my doctor?

If your child has roseola, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:

  • How long will my child be contagious?
  • How long should my child stay home from day care or school?
  • What steps can I take to ensure other children or siblings don’t get infected?
  • What can I do to make my child more comfortable?
  • Should I notify my child’s day care or school about my child’s illness?
  • How long will the fever last? How long will the rash last?


How can I prevent roseola?

There is not a vaccine to prevent roseola. Good hygiene is the best way to keep others from getting the virus. You can lower infection risk by:

  • Avoiding close contact with someone who is infected.
  • Coughing and sneezing into the crook of an elbow.
  • Washing hands often and using hand sanitizers.

Outlook / Prognosis

What is the prognosis (outlook) for people with roseola?

Most children recover from roseola without any long-term health issues. Children who have weakened immune systems due to cancer, autoimmune disease or other conditions may be at risk for pneumonia or other complications. Once infected, children develop an immunity to the virus, so they are unlikely to get it again.

About 10 to 15% of children with roseola experience febrile seizures brought on by a high fever. Febrile seizures typically last less than 15 minutes. They can be scary to witness, but are usually not harmful. These seizures are not a sign of epilepsy.

A Note from Cleveland Clinic

Roseola is an extremely common childhood virus that rarely causes serious problems. Symptoms usually improve with simple home treatment. You should contact your healthcare provider if your child has a febrile seizure, even though these seizures typically aren’t cause for concern. Unfortunately, your child may have unknowingly infected others by the time symptoms appear. As soon as you know your child is ill with the virus, you should take the proper hygiene steps and keep your child away from other children to stop the spread of the virus.

90,000 How long does the flu last and how long is a person infectious to others?

How long does the flu last and how long is a person infectious to others?

We will tell you how long it takes to cure the flu, what period of illness a person is contagious and how long the latent phase lasts.

Influenza is a dangerous viral infection that can lead to numerous complications if treatment is not taken in time. The virus is dangerous not only for adults, but also for children, so every parent should know the symptoms of this disease and what to do if they occur.

Symptoms of the disease

The flu symptoms are very similar at first glance to the common SARS. But there are several indicators to look out for:

  • the disease develops sharply from temperature to 39 ° C;
  • severe pain in the head;
  • muscle and joint pain;
  • complete powerlessness;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • dizziness;
  • Painful condition in the frontal lobe.

Unlike the flu, colds develop smoothly. With the flu, the cough begins a couple of days after the temperature jump. There is another symptom that distinguishes the flu from the common cold – redness of the eyes and the presence of photophobia. A child with the flu becomes nervous, irritable, and whiny.

How long does the flu last

How many people get the flu depends on several factors. First of all, it is important what measures are taken after the onset of the first symptoms, as well as after the onset of malaise.Immunity plays a special role. Therefore, the period of the course of the disease is individual for each person.

Human is infected approximately three days after first symptoms appear. This should be taken into account by the entire home environment, especially if children are near the patient.

Attention! If the patient immediately begins to comply with bed rest, turns to the doctor on time and fully follows his recommendations, then the improvement occurs already on the fourth day, and the disease itself does not last more than 7 days.

If you ignore the instructions of the attending physician, and also do not comply with his requirements, the disease, in particular, cough and runny nose, can drag on for several weeks, and in some cases cause serious complications. The most common complications of influenza:

  • otitis media;
  • sinusitis;
  • pharyngitis;
  • encephalitis;
  • pneumonia.

Most often, the above complications occur in children.

What affects the duration of the disease

The sooner the patient starts taking antiviral drugs, the better. Taking these medications in a balanced manner will help to shorten the duration of the illness by at least 1-2 days.

Attention! It is important to follow the doctor’s prescriptions, not only with regard to drugs, but also the regimen. All doctor’s advice on nutrition, activity and other details must be followed so that the disease goes away as quickly as possible.

Preventive measures

There are a number of measures that can be taken to prevent influenza. These include:

  1. Vaccination. Every year, adults are offered the flu vaccine. Vaccination is carried out a month before the cold weather, both for children and adults.
  2. Proper nutrition. A sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals in the diet helps to strengthen the immune system and gives the body strength to fight the virus.
  3. Regular ventilation of premises.Fresh air reduces the number of viruses and bacteria.
  4. Hardening. The hardening procedure helps to strengthen the immune system and gives the body strength to fight infection.

Also helps prevent infection during influenza epidemics and an active lifestyle. Even a simple jog in the morning and a visit to the pool twice a week has a positive effect on overall immunity and health.


Please note that all information posted on the website
Prowellness is provided for informational purposes only and is not a personal program, direct recommendation for action or medical advice.Do not use these materials for diagnosis, treatment, or any medical manipulation. Consult a physician before using any technique or using any product. This site is not a specialized medical portal and does not replace the professional advice of a specialist. The owner of the Site does not bear any responsibility to any party that has suffered indirect or direct damage as a result of improper use of materials posted on this resource.

90,000 Frequent colds and SARS: causes of frequent colds in adults

May 2021
Reading time: 6 minutes

Constant cold – what to do? This is one of the most popular questions doctors are asked.The common cold is often called ARVI – acute respiratory viral infections. Medicines relieve symptoms
colds, but the main protector is within us. It’s the immune system. She sets up a double barrier for
penetration of pathogens 1 Read more
more details in the source:

  • innate immunity: contains a number of immune cells as well as various natural barriers, for example
    skin and mucous membranes.
  • adaptive immunity: “trains” at each encounter with a pathogen, “marks” it for destruction and
    “Remembers” in order to react faster next time to the subsequent impact of the same pathogen.

Even a generally healthy person can get cold from time to time 2 Read
read more in the source: there are a lot of “cold” viruses, there is always a possibility
face a new one, which the body has never met before.Therefore, the main way to resist frequent
colds – to keep the immune system normal.

The first signs of a cold

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), for preschool and primary school children
age attending childcare facilities, even such a frequency of ARVI, as 8 times a year, can be
a normal indicator if the disease proceeds without complications.Adults usually catch colds up to 4 times
per year, mainly in autumn and winter in cold and rainy weather 3 Read
more details in the source. But much more important is not how often it is
happens, but how hard the colds run and how long they last. It is the duration and severity
diseases are the main indicator of how effectively the immune system copes with its

Early signs of a cold:

  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • cough
  • sneezing
  • headaches
  • high temperature.

Colds usually go away within a week, but, for example, a runny nose and sore throat may go away with
a few days, and a symptom such as a cough linger for a longer period.

In the case of the flu, the deterioration of health usually occurs very quickly, the temperature rises sharply and
remains high. Cold chills and body aches are added to the symptoms. All these symptoms are signs
the fact that the body is fighting disease. By themselves, an increase in body temperature, a runny nose, a cough is not
only the symptoms of the disease, but also the response of the immune system.

Why the body weakens the protective functions

According to the explanatory dictionary, the word “cold” is “a disease caused by the cooling of the body.” In English
In the language, the word “cold” simultaneously means both “cold” and “cold”. According to statistics, colds and epidemics
influenza have a pronounced seasonality 4 Read
read more in the source, so it is no coincidence that it is in autumn and winter, at the coldest and
rainy season, search engine analysts record a frequent request on the Internet: “what to do if
are you constantly getting cold? ” 5 Read
more details in the source.

Studies show that the increase in the number of colds is not only associated with air temperature, but also with
humidity: dry conditions of heated rooms are more favorable for the spread of viruses. except
Moreover, in winter, the day is shortened, we receive less sunlight, and it is necessary to generate
“Immune” vitamin D 6 Read more
more details in the source.This is another reason for the weakening of the immune system.

But the main culprit for colds is not cold, but viruses. It’s just that in some conditions it is more difficult for them to be transmitted, in
others are easier. Most of these conditions – favorable or unfavorable for immunity – depend
from U.S.

Factors affecting immunity vulnerability:

  • Incorrect power supply. Microbiota, that is, the totality of all microorganisms in the intestine, –
    one of the body’s protective barriers. It directly depends on the products that we consume. If
    the balance is disturbed, it is more difficult for the immune system to perform its functions 7 Read
    more details in the source.
  • Neglecting outdoor walks. Probability of catching a cold in a warm, crowded
    indoors more than outside in cold weather, keeping a distance from other people.Indoor air is worse
    updated 8 Read more
    more details in the source, moreover, it is dry, which is why it dries mucous membranes. As a result of their
    the protective function may be reduced.
  • Stress, fatigue. Stress exposure also undoubtedly affects human immunity.
    The stress can be psychological, such as stressful work or unpleasant
    events in life, or may have biochemical reasons 9 Read
    more details in the source.Nervous overstrain can lead to the first, to the second –
    illness or unhealthy diet.
  • Sedentary lifestyle. Most studies show that while sedentary
    the body weakens, the risk of colds and flu increases 10 Read
    more details in the source.

How to reduce the risk of colds

Even strong immunity does not guarantee protection against colds, but it will help to cope with it faster and
it is easier to transfer it.You can significantly reduce the risk of disease by following fairly simple guidelines:

  • Indoor air. Viruses are transmitted by airborne droplets, and indoors
    the concentration of pathogens may increase. Ventilation and modern air conditioning systems
    can significantly reduce the risk of infection 11 Read
    more details in the source.
  • Active lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle can negatively affect general
    body health. Adults recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity (for example,
    walking) or 75 minutes per week of intense loads (cycling, running) 12 Read
    more details in the source. However, it is not necessary
    Thinking “More is Better”: Studies have found that with excessive physical exertion
    the risk of colds rises 90 096 13 90 097 Read
    more details in the source.
  • Personal hygiene. “Cold” viruses are airborne and deposited on various
    surfaces 14 Read more
    more details in the source. We do not realize how often we touch surfaces, and then
    automatically with three eyes or scratching
    nose, thereby “passing” the infection through the mucous membranes. Regular hand washing and wet cleaning at home with
    using cleaning agents will help prevent the risk of contracting viral infections.
  • Regime of the day. A number of immune functions are especially active when a person is asleep, therefore
    good sleep is important 15 Read
    more details in the source. The amount of sleep required is individual, but on average for children
    age needs 10-13 hours a day, up to 13 years old – 9-11 hours, adolescents – about 8-10 hours. Most
    adults need 7-9 hours of sleep, elderly – 7-8 16 Read
    more details in the source.

How to strengthen the immune system

What kind of food we choose is extremely important for maintaining immunity. In the gastrointestinal tract
human contains the largest part of immune cells 17 Read
read more in the source, and the state of the intestinal microbiota can affect
to the level of immune defense 18 Read more
more details in the source.In general, you need to ensure that your daily diet contains:

  • Foods rich in vitamin C. The body cannot produce this vitamin on its own, but because it
    water-soluble, it also does not accumulate in the body. In an experiment in people with colds who have
    there was a reduced concentration of vitamin C, supplementation with this nutrient eased symptoms
    diseases 19 Read more
    more details in the source.
  • Foods rich in vitamin E. This vitamin is an antioxidant that protects cells from
    the destructive effects of free radicals. Now scientists are researching this micronutrient on
    the ability to prevent or delay chronic diseases associated with free
    radicals 20 Read more
    more details in the source.
  • Foods rich in vitamin D. Almost half of the world’s population has a
    of this vitamin 21 Read more
    read more in the source, therefore, product manufacturers often further enrich
    their “sunny”
    vitamin D. For example, the Imunele fermented milk drink contains vitamin D3. In one jar of drink –
    30% of the RDA for this micronutrient.
  • Foods with B vitamins Plays an important role in maintaining the normal functioning of the immune
    systems, participate in the formation of antibodies and affect immune cells-leukocytes 22 Read
    more in the source, 23 Read more
    more in the source, 24 Read more
    more details in the source.
  • Products with probiotics. Several studies have shown that live probiotic microorganisms
    – bifidocateria and lactobacilli – can reduce the risk of respiratory diseases 25 Read
    more details in the source.

Two bottles a day of the fermented milk drink “Imunele” contain vitamins A, D, E, B6, B9, B12 and two
strain of probiotic lactobacillus. According to the studies carried out, people who used Imunele in
“Cold” seasons, got sick less often.

Feeling unwell due to a cold is an indicator of the functioning of the immune system, and a signal that it
need help. Normally, an adult can get a cold several times a year, since in nature
many “cold” viruses. Much more important than how often a person is sick, how quickly he
is recovering. This is an indicator of the work of the body’s defense system.You can support this work with
proper nutrition, physical activity, a well-established sleep schedule. But it will also be useful in
“Cold” seasons follow some simple rules that reduce the risk of infection: if possible, avoid
crowded places, wash your hands more often or use wet wipes if necessary.

90,000 Coronavirus and children: 12 questions about what threatens your child

  • Michelle Fernandez
  • BBC Future

Photo author, Getty / NurPhoto

The information we hold suggests that children are less susceptible to the threats posed by the coronavirus, but they can still get infected.Why does the virus affect children differently than adults? And what can threaten your child?

The waves of discussion have not yet subsided, which triggered the tweet of Elon Musk on March 20, when an innovative entrepreneur suggested that children are “mostly protected” from the coronavirus. So far, all discussions boil down to the fact that although infection with this virus can have fatal consequences for an elderly person, the disease is much easier for a child.

However, there have already been several alarming reports of serious illness in children.These incidents, plus schools that are closed in many countries, plus strict social distancing measures, make parents wonder about the safety of their children. We tried to answer some of them.

1. Do children get coronavirus?

Yes. Like adults, children, when faced with the coronavirus, become infected and show symptoms of Covid-19.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, it was thought that children were not infected, but it is now clear that it happens in them in the same way as in adults,” explains Andrew Pollard, professor of infectious pediatrics and immunology at the University of Oxford.”They just have much milder symptoms.” there were no deaths among infected children (while sick children in this group accounted for only 1%).

“Perhaps the virus was initially chosen by adults because it was transmitted at workplaces and on trips, travels,” – suggests Sanjay Patel, Consultant for Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Southampton Children’s Hospital, UK.“Now adults are spending more time with their children, and we can see an increase in the number of infected children. Or maybe not. “

The global trend suggests that children are less likely to become infected than adults (especially older adults), but it is possible that the data is distorted by the fact that in some countries testing for the virus is offered only to those who are admitted to the hospital with acute symptoms of Covid-19, and there are very few children among such people.

“Obviously, there are more infected children than we think,” Patel says.“We don’t check every child in the country.”

2. How does the course of the disease in children differ from adults?

“In the vast literature that we already have on the topic of the new coronavirus, there is a remarkable observation: even those children who have very serious comorbidities and who are receiving immunosuppressive therapy or treatment for cancer, get sick [Covid-19] much more easily than adults, especially older adults, ”says Andrew Pollard, who leads the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford. ), which recently identified an experimental vaccine (“candidate vaccine”) for the treatment of Covid-19.

In general, children with Covid-19 have milder symptoms than adults. However, the deaths of a 12-year-old girl from Belgium and a 13-year-old boy from London have already been reported (March 31). These are the youngest (known to us) victims of the virus in Europe. The death of a 14-year-old teenager in China was also reported.

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Schools have been closed in many countries in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus

Data from a Chinese study on the incidence of Covid-19 children confirms that just over half of those infected experienced mild symptoms such as fever, cough , sore throat, runny nose, body aches and sneezing).

About a third had signs of pneumonia, often with fever, moist coughing and wheezing, but without the shortness of breath or difficulty breathing that is seen in more serious cases.

Graham Roberts, Consultant Pediatrician at the University of Southampton, explains: “Children [with Covid-19] are predominantly affected by the upper respiratory tract (nose, mouth, throat), so they have cold symptoms, the virus does not descend into the lower respiratory tract – into the lungs, and there is no picture of life-threatening pneumonia like in adults. “

The proportion of children whose disease has progressed into a serious or critical stage with ARF (acute respiratory failure syndrome) and shock is much lower (6%) than Chinese adults (19%) – especially the older generation, with chronic cardiovascular or lung disease.

According to the February report of the WHO mission in China, only 2.4% of those infected are 18 years old and younger. In 2.5% of them, the disease turned into a serious form, in 0.2 – in a critical one.

A small proportion of children, despite being infected, had no symptoms at all.”The most important question is whether the majority of infected children have very mild symptoms, or whether children simply do not get the virus as much as adults,” Patel muses.

3. Why do infected children carry the coronavirus more easily than adults?

“This virus is so new that we just don’t know yet,” says Graham Roberts, who, among other things, heads the Asthma and Allergy Research Center in Newport, UK.

“One of the possible reasons is that this virus needs a protein on the cell surface to get inside and start its destructive activity.Apparently, the coronavirus uses the ACE-2 receptor as a gateway. It is possible that children have less of it in the lower respiratory tract. Therefore, only the upper respiratory tract is affected. “

This may explain why the symptoms in children infected with the coronavirus are more like the common cold. The attraction of coronaviruses to the ACE-2 receptors was demonstrated in laboratory experiments back in 2003, as well as in 2013 – during genome studies of the new coronaviruses RsSHC014 and Rs3367 (close but not identical to the SARS coronavirus) isolated from Chinese horseshoe bats.

According to Pollard, there may be another explanation. “Perhaps the point is not in children, but in the fact that with age, the body undergoes changes that make it more vulnerable to the virus.”

It links these changes with the aging of the immune system, which weakens the body’s ability to fight new infections.

“However, we see that even young adults are at higher risk of serious illness than children. So aging is an incomplete answer,” adds the scientist.

The immune system of children differs in many respects from that of adults – primarily because it is still being formed.

Children, especially those attending kindergarten or school, are susceptible to many new respiratory infections, and this may explain the increased level of antibodies in their blood, higher than in adults.

Photo author, Getty Images


It is possible that there is less protein on the surface of the cells of children’s lungs than in adults, and the virus has nothing to catch on

” viral infections, such as high fever, which is not so common in adults, says Roberts.“It is very possible that the child’s immune system is better able to control the virus, localize it in the upper respiratory tract, prevent it from causing more harm and eliminate it.”

“It is also possible that children previously infected with the other four types of coronavirus are partially protected experience, “adds Patel.

In addition, the authors of the study of cases of infection in China believe that children benefit even less than adults, the number of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.

“A very small number of children develop the serious infectious disease Covid-19,” says Pollard. “This means there is something fundamentally different about how their bodies deal with the virus.”

There is one more reason. In critically ill adults, a so-called cytokine storm (hypercytokinemia, an overreaction of the immune system to a virus) causes harm rather than benefit to the body, often leading to organ failure and death.

A child’s undeveloped immune system does not generate the same powerful cytokine response.

4. Can children with mild or no symptoms transmit coronavirus to others?

“This is a big problem,” Roberts emphasizes. “Many people think that children are in little danger, so there is no need to worry about them. Yes, this is true for children who do not have chronic diseases, immunodeficiency states. But people do not. they forget that children are perhaps one of the main ways of spreading infection in society. ”

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Even if the virus does not cause the same serious symptoms as in adults, the child will still carry and spread Covid-19

Coronavirus is transmitted through direct personal contact through droplets in the breath (when sneezing and coughing) and when touching surfaces infected with the virus.So children can easily spread the virus and pass it on to others – especially their family members and elderly relatives.

“Children with mild illness may be among the main contributors to the virus in society,” Roberts said.

5. Does a similar spread of infection occur in children with other diseases?

Yes, this happens, for example, with the influenza virus.

“In children, influenza can be limited to a runny nose, and in adults and the elderly, it can end in hospitalization, resuscitation, or even death,” says Roberts.

And he says something else important: “Several years ago, the British government introduced the flu vaccine for children. And this was done not so much to protect the children themselves as to prevent them from transmitting the virus to their elderly relatives. who are hard to tolerate this disease. ”

The same is true for the coronavirus.The risk of Covid-19 for the children themselves is low, but the risk that they will infect vulnerable older people, people with pre-existing chronic diseases, is high.

6. Do children of different ages get sick differently?

It seems so. Chinese evidence suggests that very young babies are more vulnerable to the virus than other age groups.

Serious or severe forms of the disease were noted in one in 10 infants infected, but this figure drops sharply in older children: for example, in five years and older, only three to four cases out of 100 were observed serious forms of the disease.

“Preschoolers are more prone [to serious illness],” says Roberts.

7. What about teenagers?

“At some stage in life, children begin to grow into adults,” says Roberts. “In teenagers, the immune system matures and begins to behave like an adult, which means that it is less effective at controlling the virus that has entered the body.However, it is important to remember that we still know very little about this virus, we only speculate, trying to understand why we see what we see. ” one death among those under 19 (14-year-old)

On 23 March, the UK reported deaths from Covid-19 in an 18-year-old (with underlying medical conditions) and on 1 April, a 13-year-old Londoner.

8 …Is Covid-19 Dangerous for Newborns?

Although the pandemic is still spreading to many regions of the planet, there are already at least two confirmed cases of newborn infections – one in Wuhan and the other in London.

It is not yet known whether children became infected in the womb or after birth. In both cases, the mother tested positive for the virus.

9. Do we know how the coronavirus affects the unborn baby?

Not much is known.

Coronaviruses that cause SARS and MERS, can lead to miscarriages and premature birth, can slow down the growth of the fetus (for mothers infected with Covid-19, such observations have not yet been carried out).

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

While it seems to us that children are less vulnerable to coronavirus, but this does not mean that they do not need to follow all the precautions

True, it is worth noting that those conclusions were based on two small studies.However, British health authorities warn that pregnant women are at risk of severe illness if they contract the coronavirus, and advise them to take particular precautions – social distancing, etc.

10. How can a family protect their child from coronavirus infection?

Washing your hands thoroughly, not coming into direct contact with others, and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be exposed to the virus are the main ways to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 – just like regular flu.

“Responsibly follow the basic rules,” says Patel. “If you touch something in the street, in a public place, never touch your face until you wash your hands properly.”

11. Can a family protect their elderly and vulnerable members from the virus carried by children?

Yes, but it won’t be easy. Of the three main measures (thorough hand washing, disinfection of surfaces and objects, social distancing), only the last can be called a reliable defense mechanism against infection by old and weakened diseases.This method, of course, works not only for child distributors, but also for adults.

“When I watched what was happening on Mother’s Day, I saw many families walking, where grandparents and parents and children were together,” says Patel.

“In my opinion, it was absolutely frightening: the data show that the elderly, especially those with pre-existing diseases, are the main risk group. And excluding contacts of children with them is the most correct thing.Why take such a risk? “

Separating seemingly healthy-looking children from grandparents and other elderly relatives at first glance seems like something excessive. mild symptoms, but they still spread the virus

Stopping the spread of coronavirus depends not only on the success of science and medicine, it depends on our behavior, on whether we are ready to change it.

12. Why is it so important to talk with children about Covid-19

“We talk a lot about Covid-19 among ourselves, in society, in the media, but there is one important thing that parents must do: tell their child that he will not die from Covid-19. It is very important that the children understand this, “- emphasizes Patel.

“All pediatricians know that children are afraid of the worst, but they don’t always admit it.”

Pollard agrees. He invites all parents to reassure their children, to convince them that under almost any circumstances they will not be seriously ill with Covid-19.

“Children and adolescents are worried about their families,” says Lennea Karlsson, professor at the University of Turku (Finland) and child psychiatrist. “We need to explain to them that now are exceptional circumstances, and that if not for this, we would not have asked them to do such unusual things. ”

“We need to explain that in a situation like this, we have to take care of everyone, not just ourselves and our family.”

To read the original of this article in English, visit the BBC Future website .

How to distinguish COVID-19 from SARS and influenza and does covid “displace” other viruses

How to distinguish coronavirus disease from influenza and SARS? It is important to know this, because both the threat to health and the tactics of treatment for these diseases are different. Rospotrebnadzor recalled the main symptoms of these infections on the eve of the cold season.

The conventional wisdom that the coronavirus “crowds out” other respiratory infections is wrong. The COVID-19 epidemic continues, but with a cold snap, there is a high risk of both ARVI and influenza.What do you need to know about these infections?

COVID-19 and influenza: what do they have in common?

Both infections have the same routes of transmission – from a sick person to a healthy person, mainly by airborne droplets, that is, it is easy to get infected if a sick person without a mask is coughing, sneezing or just talking next to you. You can also get infected through fomites – surfaces contaminated with infection.

The picture of the disease is similar, which is typical for all respiratory viral infections.At the same time, both influenza and COVID-19 have a wide range of variants of the disease – from asymptomatic or mild course to serious illness with subsequent complications and death.

COVID-19 and influenza: what are the differences?

Experts remind: influenza and COVID-19 are completely different infections. And although in both cases the source of infection is the virus, the nature of these viruses is different. And the symptoms are similar, but there are also special ones. There are differences in the course of the disease.

What are the characteristics of both infections?

When infected, the influenza virus multiplies and begins to manifest itself rapidly.On average, the incubation period (the time from infection to the appearance of the first symptoms) ranges from several hours to 1-2 days. A patient with influenza is contagious to others mainly in the first 3-5 days of illness.

The incubation period for COVID-19 is longer, from 4 to 6 days, although it can be shorter or longer. A feature of the coronavirus, due to which it is difficult to prevent its spread, is that a patient with COVID-19 can isolate the virus as early as 1-4 days before the onset of symptoms, that is, at a time when he still feels healthy and leads a normal life.Hence – the requirement of epidemiologists to wear masks for everyone – both sick and healthy.

The so-called reproductive number (the number of secondary infections caused by one infected person) also differs. The SARS-CoV-2 virus has a higher capacity for infection than influenza, its reproductive number is 2-2.5. That is, one sick person infects about 2-3 people.

Influenza is by no means a harmless disease. Every year 650 thousand people die from it in the world.At the same time, the coronavirus seems to be “more harmful”. Despite the fact that both viruses have a similar set of symptoms, at least initially, the proportion of severe and critical cases is also different: with COVID-19 there are more of them than with flu. According to the data to date, 15% of cases of COVID-19 are severe, requiring oxygenation (the use of oxygen treatment), in 5% of especially severe cases, mechanical ventilation is required.

Who is at risk of being seriously ill?

The risk of severe infection with COVID-19 is increased by old age and concomitant chronic diseases.With influenza, the high-risk category, in addition to the chronic and the elderly, also includes children (who tolerate COVID-19 relatively easily). As it turned out over more than a year and a half of the epidemic, the coronavirus, like the flu, seriously threatens pregnant women. They can get seriously ill with the flu late in pregnancy. There are also observations of severe cases of COVID-19 in pregnant women or pathological conditions associated with the development of the fetus.

The main differences in the symptoms of COVID-19, SARS and influenza Photo: Rospotrebnadzor

What’s new in the rules of prevention?

Protective measures common to all respiratory infections.Masks and hand hygiene should be used, and during an epidemiological climb one should try to avoid crowded places.

The most important thing is to get vaccinated against coronavirus infection and flu. Vaccination can help reduce the risks of severe illness for both. By being vaccinated, you not only protect yourself, but also show responsibility in relation to loved ones, family and colleagues, make sure that the infection does not spread, remind in Rospotrebnadzor.

Caution – Flu!

Among the variety of infectious diseases known in the modern world, acute respiratory viral infections, including influenza, occupy the 1st place in prevalence. Most often, the incidence of ARVI is caused by parainfluenza viruses, adenoviruses, RS viruses, influenza A (called seasonal) and B.

It should be noted that the flu vaccination campaign is more active this fall than last year. A significant part of Primorye residents, subject to vaccination according to the plan, have already been vaccinated and doctors are confident that the vaccination campaign will be completed by November 1.Both adults and children this year are vaccinated with the domestic vaccine “Sovigripp”. Immunization will help them avoid infection or, in case of illness, transfer it mildly and without complications.

Children are the most active category of the population. During the day, she can have many contacts with respiratory viral infections: in kindergartens, schools, circles, sections, just walking in the yard, and during the winter holidays – at matinees and New Year’s holidays. And it is from children that the rest of the family is often infected.

In a few words, we recall that influenza is a viral disease that spreads rapidly through airborne droplets (with close communication, coughing, talking, sneezing). Places of mass gathering of people are especially dangerous. For us, adults, first of all – buses filled to capacity, large collectives at enterprises.

The disease begins so acutely that the patient can accurately name the day and even the hour when he felt unwell: a sharp rise in body temperature to high numbers, headaches and muscle pains, pain in the eyes, photophobia.For some, the flu proceeds only with these symptoms – “dry”. Others have a cough and a profuse runny nose. Someone recovers in 5-7 days, and for someone it is not enough even 2 weeks. It all depends on the degree of immunity of the body, on the presence of chronic diseases in a person, on the addition of a secondary infection. The danger is the complications developing in these cases from the ENT organs (inflammation of the middle ear, maxillary sinuses, larynx), bronchopulmonary, cardiovascular systems, kidneys, joints.Any organs and systems can become a “target” for the occurrence of an inflammatory process that permanently incapacitates a person. It is to avoid this kind of trouble that vaccination is carried out.

EA Vorobyova, Head of the Regional Vaccine Prophylaxis Center, notes that now you can still get vaccinated before the flu “has gained momentum.”

The next, very important issue is the wearing of masks. They protect the upper respiratory tract from the penetration of viruses. Therefore, the use of masks can be attributed to the culture of behavior – “we do not want to get infected and do not want to infect others.”

In a period of increased incidence of ARVI for the prevention of influenza, experts recommend taking antiviral drugs, but this issue should be resolved with a doctor. To increase the body’s defenses, it is good to use our natural plant adaptogens (ginseng, aralia, lemongrass, eleutherococcus, licorice, etc.), as well as multivitamin complexes containing vitamins A, C, E, group B. to prevent the ingress of viruses when breathing before leaving the house, you should use oxolinic ointment or another drug with a similar effect.

Of course, wash your hands more often with soap or use damp antibacterial wipes. And when you come home – wash and rinse the nasal passages.

If you experience symptoms of the disease, be sure to see a doctor and stay at home so as not to aggravate your condition with a complication and not infect others.

KGBUZ “VKDTs” Primorsky Regional Center for Medical Prevention, doctor Mineeva T.N.

Influenza is an acute viral infection that spreads easily from person to person.The flu virus circulates around the world and anyone in any age group can get it. Influenza causes an annual seasonal increase in morbidity, which peaks in temperate regions during the winter.

Signs and symptoms

Seasonal flu is characterized by a sudden onset of high fever, cough (usually dry), runny nose, headache, muscle aches, severe malaise (feeling unwell). Most people recover within a week without any medical attention.But the flu can cause severe illness or death in high-risk people. The period between infection and illness, known as the incubation period, lasts about two days.

Who is at risk

The annual incidence of influenza can have a serious impact on all age groups, but children under 2 years of age, adults aged 65 and over, and people of any age with certain medical conditions such as chronic heart disease, lung disease are at the highest risk of complications , kidney, blood and metabolic diseases (such as diabetes), or with a weakened immune system.


Seasonal influenza is transmitted by airborne droplets and can spread rapidly in schools, homes for the elderly and disabled, in businesses and in cities. The virus can also be transmitted through contaminated hands. To prevent transmission, people should cover their mouth and nose when coughing with a handkerchief and wash their hands regularly.

At the first symptoms of malaise, it is very important to respond correctly and prevent the development of infection. You must immediately consult a doctor.Flu treatment is a set of procedures that eliminate the virus and restore the normal functioning of the body with minimal complications. But only a doctor can prescribe it!

For influenza infection, the following algorithm should be followed:

  • Bed rest

    The disease cannot be carried on the legs, therefore during this period it is necessary to stay in bed and sleep more. But do not forget that an illness is not a reason to spend time watching TV or at a computer.

  • Drinking mode

    During illness, there is increased sweating, which can lead to dehydration. Therefore, to maintain the water-salt balance, it is necessary to consume a sufficient amount of liquid (herbal teas, juices, fruit drinks, clean water).

  • Climate in apartment

    It is necessary to regularly carry out wet cleaning in the room, as the humid climate makes it easier to tolerate the disease.Airing the room will remove accumulated microbes and viruses. In addition, fresh air promotes healing and improves well-being.

  • Power supply

    Despite the fact that appetite is significantly reduced in the first days of the disease, proper nutrition will enrich the body and the weakened immune system with vitamins and nutrients. The food should be light, the diet should be dominated by cereals, soups, boiled meat, fruits and vegetables.

  • Vitamins

    Helps maintain the body in good shape and quickly eliminate the symptoms of the disease.Vitamin complexes have a good immunomodulatory effect.

In addition to the above methods of treatment, there is also drug therapy. Taking medications should be deliberate and recommended by the attending physician. It is contraindicated to take pills on your own. To date, there is no shortage in the choice of drugs that eliminate viral and colds.

Influenza dictates the following conditions:

  • Seek medical attention or call a doctor;
  • Do not take antibiotics or sulfonamides – they have no effect on the influenza virus;
  • , if possible, isolate the patient in a separate room or limit his contact with healthy family members who are advised to wear gauze bandages;
  • follow the recommendations of the attending physician;
  • take medications for the prevention of influenza.

In order to minimize the likelihood of getting the flu and the possibility of complications, as well as for the purpose of prevention, a flu shot before the onset of the flu epidemic is recommended.

Remember! Self-medication is dangerous! When the first symptoms of influenza appear, you should immediately seek qualified medical help.

KGBUZ “VKDTs” Primorsky Regional Center for Medical Prevention, doctor Savelieva L.V.

GBUZ TOGVV | Influenza in the elderly

Influenza in the elderly

Influenza in elderly people causes the greatest number of complications, and it is rather difficult to treat it, since the immune system of people after 59 years is noticeably weakened.How does influenza in older people differ from influenza in people of other age groups?

Features of influenza in the elderly

In older people, the cough reflex is already much weaker. Therefore, their respiratory organs are damaged more than that of young people. In addition, due to the low resistance of the body to infections, it is much more difficult for the elderly to fight the flu and its consequences than for young people and even small children.

People over 60 are much more likely to develop pneumonia, bronchitis and tonsillitis than younger people.And for those who are already 85 years old, the risk of developing influenza with complications increases markedly – they rank first in terms of the risk of complications after this disease, and in second place are people over 75 years old. The third place in terms of the risk of complications after influenza is in children under four years of age.

How does the flu manifest in the elderly?

Influenza manifests itself in about the same way as in other people, but it is much more difficult for the elderly to tolerate the flu – the body no longer serves them as faithfully as before, the work of many organs, including the immune, is partially impaired.

Flu symptoms in the elderly

  • High temperature
  • General weakening of the whole organism
  • Chills
  • Headache and muscle pain
  • Increased fatigue
  • Poor sleep, often insomnia, a person wakes up broken, with a headache
  • Severe fatigue that lasts up to three weeks
  • Chest pressure, cough, runny nose
  • Dry throat and nose
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Vomiting and diarrhea may join these symptoms.

Complications after influenza in elderly people

These complications may not appear immediately, but this makes them no less difficult to endure. Sometimes, in especially difficult cases, several complications take place at once, for example, bronchitis and tonsillitis. Symptoms of long-standing chronic diseases that previously worried a person and have now resumed after or with the onset of influenza may also worsen.

  • Dehydration of the whole body
  • Angina of various types
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Tracheitis
  • Laryngitis
  • Rhinitis
  • Deterioration of the kidneys, heart and blood vessels

If an elderly person shows signs of an exacerbation or it becomes very difficult to tolerate the flu, you need to see a doctor immediately.It can save a person’s life.

How to properly treat influenza in the elderly?

Treatment of influenza in the elderly is not limited to pharmaceutical preparations. To eliminate dehydration and eliminate toxins, you need to drink plenty of warm liquid (but not carbonated). It can be compotes, decoctions, teas, mineral water without gas, fruit drinks.

In addition, you need to protect yourself from stress – for a weakened body, they are destructive, moreover, they undermine the work of the nervous and immune systems.

In old age, almost all people take some kind of medicine. Therefore, care must be taken to ensure that these medicines are properly combined with medicines for the prevention of influenza or for its treatment. Only your doctor will give you this advice.

The best drugs for the elderly to relieve flu symptoms at an early stage are Relenza (zanamivir) or Tamiflu (oseltamivir). If you take these drugs (one of them) within two days after you have detected flu symptoms, the disease will significantly shorten its course and will be much easier to tolerate than without treatment.

Influenza in the elderly can be prevented if they take good care of their health. But if you are already sick, see your doctor immediately, because in this case, timing is everything.

How to prevent influenza in the elderly?

If a young man has been ill for a week, he can easily cope with the flu. For an elderly person, this disease can be fatal. Or it is difficult enough to cope with it. Every day of our relatives is very valuable to us, and we do not want them to suffer.Therefore, it is very important to help the elderly to protect themselves from the flu.

The best way to protect yourself from influenza is to get vaccinated annually

As practice shows, vaccinations that are correctly selected and given at the right time and in the right way reduce the risk of influenza by 80%. Studies show that vaccinations in older people can reduce mortality due to influenza in almost 90% of cases, and hospitalization by up to 70%. These are very large numbers. There are many human lives behind them.

Pneumococcal vaccination is desirable, as well as seasonal flu vaccine. They can be done at the same time, if the person at this time does not suffer from any diseases in an acute form. The best time to get vaccinated is before the onset of the annual flu epidemics, October-November.

But if a person did not meet this deadline, it’s okay. You can give him the flu vaccine later. If he is not infected with a virus, the incubation period of which is from one to five days, the vaccine will do a good deed.An elderly person will not get the flu throughout the year. The vaccine usually takes effect two weeks after it is given.

Child’s temperature

If a child has a high fever – what should the parents do?

The head of the pediatric department of MBU “VF Kapinos SSMP”, ambulance doctor of the highest category, pediatrician Vlada Butakova answers the question:

Most often, parents turn to the ambulance station if a child’s body temperature rises sharply against the background of acute respiratory viral infections or flu.This can be with other childhood infections, including pneumonia and tonsillitis.

It is important to remember that any fever is a defense reaction of the body, with the help of which it fights infection.

In the first three days from the onset of ARVI, fever should not cause panic in the parents. Of course, the doctor should always deal with the treatment (and it’s good if the doctor has already examined the patient and made his prescriptions since the onset of the disease). And if the fever lasts more than 3 days, then the child must be additionally shown to the pediatrician.

What can literate parents do in case of fever in the first days of illness?

From what level should the temperature be reduced?

There are general rules:
– for children under 3 months, the temperature should be reduced from 38C

– for children under 4 years old, the temperature should be reduced from 38.5C

– in older children, the temperature is reduced, starting from 38.5-39C

There are also individual features:

the increased temperature must be reduced even at lower numbers, if the child does not tolerate it well.That is, if he is inhibited or overly excited, if earlier there were convulsions with an increase in temperature;

– if the child has serious congenital diseases of the cardiovascular or nervous system.

But even in these cases, the temperature should be lowered not to 36.6C, but to 37-37.5C.

Preparations for lowering fever in children

These are preparations based on paracetamol and nurofen. The main thing here is to comply with

age-specific dosages (do not overestimate or underestimate them) and in no case give aspirin to children (it can cause serious bleeding).

The effect after taking the antipyretic drug should be expected for 40-50 minutes. If the chill continues, then there may be no decrease in temperature or it will occur later.

If all the drugs have already been used, and the fever does not subside, then the ambulance on calls will use a lytic mixture for injections in the form of intramuscular injections. It is categorically impossible to give these injections to children on their own!

Pale fever and pink fever: features

“Pale fever”, when, due to vascular spasm, the child has pale skin with a marble pattern and chills continue – this is an alarming sign, and here it is important not to make mistakes.

For pale fever:

– the child does not need to be undressed and wrapped up very much. He must be warmed – that is, covered with a blanket, but only until the chill stops. Then the blanket can be replaced with a light blanket or sheet;

– it is impossible to wipe the child with cold water in case of chills and “pale fever”. The only exception is the child’s forehead, which can be covered with a cool compress for any fever;

– with pale fever and chills, the child can be given an antispasmodic to dilate the blood vessels.It can be a quarter of a no-spa tablet or a candle with papaverine. This is necessary in order to expand the surface vessels and increase heat transfer.

“Pink fever” – is a “benign” course of hyperthermia. With her, a bright pink or even red skin tone in a child indicates that the small vessels are dilated, heat transfer is not disturbed.

It is somewhat easier to lower the temperature in case of pink fever: with the help of antipyretic drugs, undressing (you do not need a blanket here, and doctors advise you to remove even a diaper from a baby), rubbing with lukewarm water and drinking plenty of fluids.

Refinement on rubdown

We do not recommend adding a solution of vinegar, vodka or alcohol to the water. Children’s skin is characterized by increased permeability, and at elevated temperatures all harmful substances from the skin will enter the bloodstream in seconds.

And about drinking

When the temperature rises, the child must be given water, but it is necessary to water him often, little by little (so as not to provoke vomiting) and slightly acidified drinks (for example, non-concentrated fruit drinks).

When and who should you call – an ambulance, an ambulance or a doctor on call?

Most often, district doctors or doctors on duty or an emergency team from a polyclinic come to the children to receive calls about fever at home. All of them can make a diagnosis, prescribe treatment, if necessary, send for additional studies or to a hospital and issue a sick leave to mom or dad.

Emergency departments are open during the day, 7 days a week.Calls are given to them by the ambulance or the clinic’s registry. It is better to call the reception in the morning or in the afternoon, so as not to wait too long for the arrival of doctors, because in the evenings there are a lot of calls.

Ambulance needed:

– if the child cannot cope with “pale fever” and chills in a few hours;

– if there is a disturbance of consciousness and behavior with a fever, a sharp lethargy and weakness appear;

– if, along with an increase in temperature, convulsions, hallucinations, rash, vomiting appear;

– if parents cannot cope with fever in children with serious diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory or nervous systems (congenital diseases, defects, bronchial asthma, epilepsy, cerebral palsy).

During the evening “peak” of the ambulance load, doctors can come to the child in 2-3 hours. This is not a violation of the law, since the time for servicing urgent calls (they are most calls for a rise in temperature) is not regulated (for emergency calls, when there is a direct threat to life, the ambulance team must arrive strictly 20 minutes or earlier).