How long does the flu last in a child: How Long Do Flu Symptoms Last in Toddlers?
Facts about Influenza (the Flu)
What is influenza?
Influenza, often called the flu, is an acute infection of the upper airway caused by an influenza A or B virus.
Getting sick with influenza also puts you at risk of other infections. These include viral or bacterial pneumonia which affect the lungs. The risk of complications can be life-threatening. Seniors 65 years and older, very young children, people who have lung or heart diseases, certain chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems are at greater risk.
Healthy pregnant women in the second half of their pregnancy are at greater risk of hospitalization following infection with influenza virus.
In Canada, thousands of people are hospitalized and may die from influenza and its complications during years with widespread or epidemic influenza activity.
How can you prevent influenza?
You can reduce the risk of getting influenza or spreading it to others by:
- Washing your hands regularly
- Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that people touch
- Promptly disposing of used tissues in the waste basket or garbage
- Coughing and sneezing into your shirt sleeve rather than your hands
- Staying home when you are ill
- Getting an influenza vaccine
Getting an influenza vaccine can help prevent you from getting sick with influenza and from spreading it to others.
How does influenza spread?
Influenza spreads easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing or face-to-face contact.
The virus can also spread when a person touches tiny droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person or object and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.
An infected person can spread the influenza virus even before feeling sick. An adult can spread the virus from about 1 day before to 5 days after symptoms start. Young children may be able to spread the virus for a longer period of time.
What are the symptoms?
Influenza symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle pain, runny nose, sore throat, extreme tiredness and cough. Children may also experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Although infections from other viruses may have similar symptoms, those due to the influenza virus tend to be worse.
Symptoms can begin about 1 to 4 days, or an average of 2 days, after a person is first exposed to the influenza virus. Fever and other symptoms can usually last up to 7 to 10 days, but the cough and weakness may last 1 to 2 weeks longer.
What is the home treatment?
If you get sick with influenza, home treatment can help ease symptoms. Follow the self-care advice below:
- Get plenty of rest and stay home from work, school, daycare and running errands when you are sick
- Drink extra fluids to replace those lost from fever
- Avoid smoking and ask others not to smoke in the house
- Breathe moist air from a hot shower or from a sink filled with hot water to help clear a stuffy nose
- Anti-influenza drugs or antivirals are available by prescription, but these must be started within 48 hours of the start of your symptoms to work best. These will shorten symptoms by about 3 days if given within 12 hours and by about 1.5 days if given within 2 days of the start of symptoms
- Non-prescription cough and cold medications are available for relief of influenza symptoms but are not recommended for children under 6 years old
Acetaminophen (e. g. Tylenol®) or ibuprofen* (e.g. Advil®) can be given for fever or soreness. ASA (e.g. Aspirin®) should not be given to anyone under 18 years of age due to the risk of Reye Syndrome.
*Ibuprofen should not be given to children under 6 months of age without first speaking to your health care provider.
For more information on Reye Syndrome, see HealthLinkBC File #84 Reye Syndrome.
When should I see a health care provider?
Consult your health care provider early if you develop flu-like symptoms and you have a condition that puts you at higher risk of complications.
You should also call your health care provider if your symptoms get worse, such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest pain or signs of dehydration (such as dizziness when standing or low urine output).
Is it influenza or a cold?
The following table can help you determine whether you have influenza or a common cold.
|Symptoms||Common Cold||Influenza (the flu)|
|Fever||Rare||Usual, sudden onset 39º to 40ºC (102.2 to 104ºF), lasts up to 3 to 4 days|
|Headache||Rare||Usual, can be severe|
|Aches and pains||Sometimes mild||Usual, often severe|
|Fatigue and weakness||Sometimes mild||Usual, may last 2 to 3 weeks or more|
|Extreme fatigue||Unusual||Usual, early onset, can be severe|
|Runny, stuffy nose||Common||Sometimes|
|Chest discomfort, coughing||Sometimes mild to moderate||Usual, can be severe|
|Complications||Can lead to sinus congestion or earache||Can lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, and more complications in persons with chronic diseases|
|Prevention||Frequent hand washing||Yearly influenza vaccine and frequent hand washing|
|Treatment||No specific treatment is available; symptom relief only||Antiviral drugs by prescription, which can reduce symptoms|
For More Information
For more information, see the following HealthLinkBC Files:
Stomach Flu Remedies for Kids
The stomach flu, also called viral gastroenteritis, is not to be confused with the flu caused by the influenza virus. The stomach flu is caused by viruses, such as norovirus and rotavirus, that irritate and infect the digestive system. It can be a common illness among kids, who may not be as good at washing their hands as adults and spend more time touching the same objects as other kids.
Unfortunately for little ones, the stomach flu can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Isabel Rojas, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Health℠ and Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern, shares the best remedies for stomach flu in kids and ways to help settle your child’s stomach.
How do you treat a child’s stomach virus?
The best ways to treat the stomach flu in kids are hydration and rest. “For hydration, use a rehydration solution that’s available in any store and over the counter,” says Dr. Rojas. “Start with small sips and increase gradually, so they don’t vomit it up.”
Water alone may not be enough to rehydrate kids safely, especially younger children. Kids lose electrolytes when they vomit or have diarrhea. This can lead to low sodium in the blood, a dangerous situation. A rehydration solution, like Pedialyte, replenishes fluids and electrolytes. Broth can also be helpful.
You can also make a rehydration solution at home by combining 4 ¼ cups of water, 6 teaspoons of sugar and a ½ teaspoon of salt.
Dr. Rojas also recommends lots of rest for children. Rest can help the digestive system settle and heal.
Does medicine help the stomach flu?
Though you may want to give your child a medicine to help with stomach flu symptoms, Dr. Rojas recommends against it. Because the stomach flu is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help.
“Usually we just need to let the virus run its own course,” says Dr. Rojas. “Trying to take medications can prolong symptoms and make them worse.”
Dr. Rojas says the only exception to the no-medicine rule is the appropriate dose of acetaminophen if your child has a fever.
What do you feed a child with the stomach flu?
Once your child has stopped vomiting, they can start to eat foods again. The best foods after the stomach flu are the BRAT diet of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast.
“These foods are very easy to digest,” says Dr. Rojas. “Children can also have crackers, or grilled or boiled chicken.”
Children should avoid greasy, heavy or spicy foods for a few days after they experience vomiting. Avoiding dairy could also be beneficial due to a transient lactose intolerance after stomach flu, though infants should still breastfeed or have formula if able to tolerate.
Certain drinks, like apple juice or carbonated beverages, can make vomiting or diarrhea worse, so it’s best to stick to rehydration solution or plain water.
If your child has nausea or vomiting again, it’s best to stop the food until their stomach can settle.
How long does the stomach flu last in kids?
A stomach flu usually lasts between one and three days. Vomiting typically lasts for less than 24 hours.
However, if your child’s symptoms continue for more than 5 days, you should call your pediatrician. You should also call your pediatrician if your child has:
- A high fever
- Severe abdominal pain
- Diarrhea or vomiting with blood
- Signs of dehydration like not urinating, dry skin, no tears or rapid breathing
With the right rest and rehydration, your child should make a full recovery in just a few days. Dr. Rojas says they can even return to school once the diarrhea has stopped and they have not had a fever for 24 hours.
The best ways to treat the stomach flu in kids are hydration and rest. Learn signs, symptoms and other ways to treat stomach flu in kids from an expert @Childrens.
Stay current on the health insights that make a difference to your children. Sign up for the Children’s Health newsletter and have more tips sent directly to your inbox.
Pediatric Influenza | Children’s National Hospital
What is influenza?
Influenza (or flu) is a highly contagious viral infection and is one of the most severe illnesses of the winter season. An estimated 10 to 20 percent of the population in the US contract influenza each year.Influenza is a viral infection of the upper respiratory system, which includes the nose, bronchial tubes, and lungs. Influenza is characterized by the following:
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Nonproductive cough
Influenza can make people of any age ill. Although most people and children are ill with influenza for only a few days, some have a much more serious illness and may need to be hospitalized. Influenza may also lead to pneumonia and/or death.
What are the different types of influenza?
Influenza viruses are divided into three types designated as A, B, and C.
- Influenza types A and B are responsible for epidemics of respiratory illness that occur almost every winter and are often associated with increased rates of hospitalization and death. Efforts to control the impact of influenza are focused on types A and B. One of the reasons the flu remains a problem is because the viruses actually alter their structure, exposing adults and children to new types of the virus each time.
- Influenza type C usually causes either a very mild respiratory illness or no symptoms at all. It does not cause epidemics and does not have the severe public health impact that influenza types A and B do.
Influenza viruses continually mutate or change, which enables the virus to evade the immune system of a child. People are susceptible to influenza infection throughout their lives. The process works as follows:
- A person infected with influenza virus develops antibody against that virus.
- The virus mutates or changes.
- The older antibody no longer recognizes the newer virus.
- Reinfection occurs.
The older antibody can, however, provide partial protection against reinfection. Currently, three different influenza strains circulate worldwide: two type A viruses and one type B. Type A viruses are divided into subtypes based on differences in two viral proteins called hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). The current subtypes of influenza A are designated A(h2N1), A(h4N2), and B(Hong Kong/330/2001-like virus strain).
What causes influenza?
An influenza virus is generally passed from person to person by airborne transmission. This means your child can contract the flu by coming in contact with airborne viruses from an affected person by way of sneezing and coughing. The virus can also live for a short time on objects such as doorknobs, pens/pencils, keyboards, telephone receivers, and eating or drinking utensils, for example. Therefore, it may also be spread when your child touches something that has been handled by someone infected with the virus and then your child touches his/her own mouth, nose, or eyes.
People are generally the most contagious with the flu 24 hours before they start having symptoms and during the time they have the most symptoms. That is why it is hard to prevent the spread of the flu, especially among children, because they do not always know they are sick while they are still spreading the disease. The risk of infecting others usually stops around the seventh day of the infection.
What are the symptoms of influenza?
The following are the most common symptoms of the flu. However, each child may experience symptoms differently.Influenza is called a respiratory disease, but the whole body seems to suffer when a child has it. Children usually become suddenly ill with any or all of the following symptoms:
- Fever, which may be as high as 103° F to 105° F
- Aches and pains
- Not feeling well all over
- Cough that is nonproductive
- Sore throat
- Stuffy nose or clear nose
- Worsening cough
Most people recover from influenza within a week, but may be left feeling exhausted for as long as three to four weeks.
The symptoms of influenza may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child’s physician for a diagnosis.
How is a cold different from the flu?
A cold and the flu (influenza) are two different illnesses. A cold is relatively harmless and usually clears up by itself after a period of time, although sometimes it may lead to a secondary infection, such as an ear infection. However, the flu can lead to complications, such as pneumonia and even death. What may seem like a cold, could, in fact, be the flu. Be aware of these differences:
|Cold Symptoms||Flu Symptoms|
|Low or no fever||High fever|
|Sometimes a headache||Always a headache|
|Stuffy, runny nose||Clear nose or stuffy nose|
|Mild, hacking cough||—|
|Slight aches and pains||—|
|Mild fatigue||Several weeks of fatigue|
|Sore throat||Sometimes a sore throat|
|Normal energy level||Extreme exhaustion|
Prevention of Influenza
A new influenza vaccine is introduced each September. It is usually recommended for specific groups of people (see below), as well as for persons who want to avoid having the flu. In addition, three antiviral medications (amantadine, rimantadine, and oseltamivir) are approved for use in preventing the flu. All of these medications are available by prescription, and a physician should be consulted before any medication is used for preventing the flu.
According to the American Lung Association, an influenza vaccination is about 70 percent effective in preventing influenza, or reducing its severity, and is considered safe.
However, vaccine effectiveness varies from year to year, depending upon the degree of similarity between the influenza virus strains included in the vaccine and the strain or strains that circulate during the influenza season. Vaccine strains must be chosen nine to ten months before the influenza season. Sometimes, changes occur in the circulating strains of viruses between the time vaccine strains are chosen and the next influenza season. These changes may reduce the ability of the vaccine-induced-antibody to inhibit the newly mutated virus, thereby decreasing the chance that the vaccine will work.
Vaccine effectiveness also varies from one person to another, depending on factors such as age and overall health.
What are the side effects of the vaccine?
The most serious side effect that can occur after influenza vaccination is an allergic reaction in people who have a severe allergy to eggs. For this reason, children who have an allergy to eggs should not receive the influenza vaccine. According to the National Center for Infectious Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza vaccine causes no side effects in most children who are not allergic to eggs.
Less than one-third of people who receive the vaccine experience some soreness at the vaccination site, and about 5 to 10 percent experience mild side effects, such as a headache or a low-grade fever for about a day after vaccination. Because these mild side effects mimic some influenza symptoms, some people believe influenza vaccine causes them to get influenza. However, according to the CDC, influenza vaccine produced in the United States has never been capable of causing influenza because the only type of influenza vaccine that has been licensed in the United States to the present time is made from killed influenza viruses, which cannot cause infection.
The recommendations for those who should have the influenza vaccine include the following:
- Persons 50 years old or older (Vaccine effectiveness may be lower for elderly persons, but it can significantly reduce their chances of serious illness or death from influenza.)
- Residents of nursing homes and any other chronic care facilities that house persons of any age who have chronic medical conditions
- Adults and children who have chronic disorders of the pulmonary or cardiovascular systems, including children with asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic lung disease of infancy (bronchopulmonary dysplasia, BPD)
- Adults and children who have the following medical conditions:
- Chronic metabolic diseases (i. e., diabetes)
- Renal dysfunction
- Children and teenagers (aged 6 months to 18 years) receiving long-term aspirin therapy
- Women who will be in their second or third trimester of pregnancy during the influenza (fall-winter) season (The flu vaccine may not be appropriate in all cases. Consult your physician for more information.)
In addition, the following groups should be vaccinated:
- Healthcare providers
- Employees of nursing homes and chronic care facilities who have contact with patients or residents
- Providers of home care to persons at high risk
- Household members (including children) of persons in high-risk groups
- Persons of any age who wish to decrease their chances of influenza infection, excluding persons who are allergic to eggs
Specific treatment for influenza will be determined by your child’s physician based on:
- Your child’s age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the condition
- Your child’s tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the condition
- Opinion or preference
The goal of treatment for influenza is to help prevent or decrease the severity of symptoms. There is no cure for influenza. Treatment may include:
- Medications to relieve aches and fever (Aspirin should not be given to children with a fever without first consulting your child’s physician.). The drug of choice for children would be acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- Medications used for congestion and nasal discharge
- Bed rest
- Increased fluid intake
- Medication for your child’s cough may be prescribed by your child’s physician after a thorough evaluation
- Antiviral medications – the medications may help to shorten the duration of the illness and to decrease the severity of the flu, but do not cure the flu. They must be started very shortly after symptoms begin. Two types of these medications are amantadine and rimantadine. The length of therapy will be determined by your child’s physician.
Influenza (Flu) | Nemours
The Flu (Influenza)
What Is the Flu?
The flu is an infection of the respiratory tract. It’s caused by a virus that spreads easily from person to person. Flu season in the United States is from October to May.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of the Flu?
When people have the flu, they usually feel worse than they do with a cold. Most people start to feel sick about 2 days after they come in contact with the flu virus. They might have:
Babies with the flu also may suddenly seem fussy or just “not look right.”
The flu can turn into a serious illness like pneumonia. That can be dangerous for babies and kids or adults with health problems. If you think your child has the flu, see a doctor, nurse, or other medical expert right away.
What Causes the Flu?
The flu gets its name from the
that causes it — the influenza virus. It spreads when people cough or sneeze out droplets that are infected with the virus and other people breathe them in. The droplets also can land on things like doorknobs or shopping carts, infecting people who touch these things.
Is the Flu Contagious?
Yes, the flu is very contagious. People can spread it from a day before they feel sick until their symptoms are gone. This is about 1 week for adults, but it can be longer for young kids.
The flu usually happens in small outbreaks. When the illness spreads quickly and infects lots of people in an area at the same time it’s called an epidemic. This tends to happen every few years. If an epidemic spreads worldwide, it’s called a pandemic.
Who Gets the Flu?
Anyone can get the flu, but kids tend to get it more often than adults. Some very young children or kids with health problems can get very sick and need special care.
How Is the Flu Diagnosed?
Health care providers can often tell by looking if a child has the flu. Because other infections can look like the flu, they might send a mucus sample to a lab for testing. They get the sample by wiping a long cotton swab inside the child’s nose or throat.
How Is the Flu Treated?
Most kids with flu get better at home. Make sure your child:
- drinks lots of fluids to prevent dehydration
- gets plenty of sleep and takes it easy
- takes acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve fever and aches. Don’t give kids or teens aspirin because of its link to Reye syndrome.
- wears layers that are easy to remove. Kids might feel cold one minute and hot the next.
Children with the flu should stay home from school and childcare until they feel better. They should only go back when they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without using a fever-reducing medicine. Some kids need to stay home longer. Ask the doctor what’s best for your child.
Some children are more likely to have problems when they get the flu, including:
- kids up to the age of 5, especially babies
- kids and teens whose immune system is weakened from medicines or illnesses (like HIV infection)
- kids and teens with chronic (long-term) medical conditions, such as asthma or diabetes
- kids or teens who take aspirin regularly
They might need medical care, sometimes in the hospital.
Doctors may prescribe antiviral medicine for a very ill child or kids who might have problems. The medicine can shorten the flu by 1–2 days. It only works if children start taking it within 48 hours of the start of the flu. If a doctor prescribes antiviral medicine for your child, ask about any possible side effects.
How Long Does the Flu Last?
Fever and other flu symptoms often go away after 5 days or so, but kids may still have a cough or feel weak. Children’s symptoms are usually all gone in a week or two.
Can the Flu Be Prevented?
There’s no guaranteed way to avoid the flu. But these steps can make spreading the flu less likely:
- Wash your hands well and often with soap, especially after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and before eating or preparing food
- Never pick up used tissues.
- Don’t share cups and eating utensils.
- Keep kids home if they have the flu — and stay home if you’re sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then put it in the trash.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper arm, not your hands.
What Can Parents Do?
Get the flu vaccine every year. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine each year.
Most doctor’s office, clinics, or pharmacies offer the vaccine from September to mid-November. Even if you miss getting the vaccine at the start of the flu season, it’s not too late to get one if the flu is still going around.
If your child is sick, talk to your doctor to see if you need to reschedule the flu shot.
The flu can cause big problems for adults as well as kids. Anyone who has the flu should stay away from people who might get very sick, such as:
- women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, just had a baby, or are breastfeeding
- babies and young children
- kids and adults with serious health problems
- people in hospitals or long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes
- seniors 65 years and older
Reviewed by: Michelle M. Karten, MD
Date reviewed: November 14, 2018
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
- sore throat and ears
- 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
- 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.
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.
Flu Shot for Babies – Happiest Baby
Flu Shot for Babies
Flu season is here again… and it’s time to think about protecting yourself and your babies, toddlers, and big kids! And, while it’s important to get your flu shot every year, it might be extra important this year. Some experts are worried that a twindemic—a severe flu season on top of COVID cases—will stress already-overwhelmed hospitals if people decide to forgo flu shots.
Here are some fast flu facts and tips for how to stay healthy throughout flu season…
Fast Flu Facts
First things first…what is the flu?
The flu is a viral infection that mostly affects the breathing passages (from the nose to the lungs) and can even affect the brain and entire body. If you’re suffering from the flu, you’ll have a fever (100-103°F), cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. No fun, right? Unlike the common cold, the flu (also known as influenza) can knock you out for one to two weeks…and by weakening your immune system for many weeks…long after the flu is over! It commonly leads to serious secondary infections, like sinusitis or pneumonia.
The flu is especially hard on vulnerable populations.
Kids younger than 5 years old are vulnerable because their immune systems are still immature. And, seniors over 65 often have frail immunity, too…which can push them into serious secondary illnesses. In fact, seniors are two to three times more likely to suffer a heart attack in the month after the flu. Influenza killed 80,000 people in the US in 2017, including 180 children…and 20,000 kids were hospitalized.
How does the flu spread?
Influenza is highly contagious (especially a few days before you come down with symptoms and for the entire time you have fever). It is spread two ways: 1) by touch (a sick person touches their nose or mouth and then deposits the germs by touching a door knob, restaurant menu or elevator button and 2) through tiny droplets from sneezing, coughing, or talking.
These points underscore why doctors believe flu shots are so important!
What to Know About the Flu Shot for Babies
Flu shots are recommended for kids 6 months or older, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Babies and toddlers getting the flu shot for the first time need two doses with four weeks in between. If your child has an egg allergy, it’s still safe for them to receive the vaccine.
Why do kids need two flu shots?
Babies under 2 and children who have never received the flu shot before need two doses of the flu shot—administered about four weeks apart—because they are less likely to have come in contact with the virus. The first shot primes their little immune systems, while the second helps them develop flu-fighting antibodies.
How long does it take for a child’s body to be immune to the flu after getting the flu shot?
It takes up to two weeks for the body to become immune to the flu after the second shot. Remember, if your child needs two shots but has only gotten a single shot, it will not protect them from the flu.
What are the side effects of the flu shot for infants?
Possible side effects of the flu shot for babies include:
- Soreness or redness in the area of the flu shot
- Swelling in the area of the shot
- Mild fever
- Muscle aches
Do flu shots for babies and toddlers contain mercury?
Ask for a shot from a single-dose, mercury-free vial. Multi-dose vials contain a mercury-based preservative to kill bacteria introduced by repeated needle penetrations into the vial. With a single dose vial, mercury isn’t necessary.
Pregnant women should also receive the flu shot (from a single-dose vial). The shot does not contain live viruses, so it’s safe for the fetus inside.
It can be hard watching your little one get pricked by a needle. Once your child is over 2 years old, you can choose to give the vaccine as an injection or as a nasal spray.
When is the best time to give baby the flu shot?
Ideally, it’s best to get vaccinated by Halloween, but you can still get it through February…late is better than never!
Final Thoughts on Flu Shots for Babies
Unfortunately, influenza is a pretty sneaky infection. You can still catch it even after getting the vaccine, but the illness will likely be less intense than if you didn’t get the shot. And, by getting the shot, you’ll be helping protect your friends and neighbors—especially those struggling with serious illnesses—by doing your part to build to your community’s “herd immunity.”
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.
Flu in Babies: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention
Fever, sore throat and body aches are never fun, but it’s especially hard when baby comes down with the flu—and sorry to say, it happens more often than we’d like. So it’s a good idea to be prepared. Here’s how to spot the telltale symptoms, plus how to safely treat flu in babies and prevent your child from getting sick again.
Influenza, aka the flu, is a respiratory illness caused by viruses, says Danelle Fisher, MD, FAAP, chair of pediatrics at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Like many illnesses, the flu in babies can range in severity from mild to severe and can potentially even be fatal.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for infants to come down with the flu. “They get it just like they get colds,” says Ari Cohen, MD, chief of the division of pediatric emergency medicine at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston. The number of baby flu cases each year ultimately depends on the severity of the flu season; as you might guess, if the flu is running rampant, babies are at a higher risk of contracting the illness too. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 7,000 and 26,000 children under the age of 5 have been hospitalized since 2010 due to the flu.
What Causes the Flu in Babies?
Babies contract the flu the same way adults do: by coming into contact with influenza viruses when infected people cough, sneeze or talk, Cohen says. While person-to-person contact is the most common way baby flu is transmitted, little ones can also get sick from touching a surface that’s contaminated with the virus and then putting their hands in their mouth.
Is flu contagious?
The flu is easily passed from one person to the next—in fact, “we’re finding out that the flu tends to be a little more contagious than we thought,” Fisher says. People tend to be sick for a day before they start to exhibit symptoms, and may unknowingly pass it onto baby before they realize they have the flu. There’s now evidence that little ones can get sick just by breathing or being in the same room as someone with the flu, Fisher says.
So how can you spot the flu in babies? Infants experience the same symptoms as adults, but of course can’t clearly tell you what they’re feeling. Unlike the cold, influenza tends to come on quickly, often prompting the following flu symptoms in babies:
- Body aches
- Sore throat (which manifests as decreased appetite)
- Runny or stuffy nose
Let your pediatrician know right away if you see any of the following symptoms in baby:
- Trouble breathing
- Bluish skin color
- Inability to eat
- No tears when crying
- Not waking or interacting with others
- Not wanting to be held
- Fever with a rash
If baby is exhibiting flu-like symptoms, your pediatrician will likely give her a flu test in the office. If it’s positive and you’ve caught it within the first 48 hours of baby showing symptoms, infants 2 weeks and older will likely be treated be treated with Tamiflu, an antiviral prescription medication that can shorten the course of flu in babies by a day and lower the risk of complications, says Gina Posner, MD, a pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.
If your child’s symptoms are mild, your pediatrician may recommend merely treating them to make your little one more comfortable. “I don’t treat the vast majority of pediatric patients with anything aside from Tylenol for achiness and relief,” Cohen says. However, every doctor is different and may prescribe an alternate course of treatment. Either way, make sure baby gets plenty of rest and drinks lots of liquids.
How long does the flu last?
There’s a pretty wide range in how long babies can be impacted by the flu. For some, baby flu is short lived, with a fever that lasts a few days and a cough that hangs on for a week, Posner says. In others, the fever can last a week and the cough can stick around for a month. “It’s hard to tell who is going to get it the worst,” she says.
Of course, the best way to keep your child safe from the flu is to do what you can to prevent baby flu from developing in the first place. Some things are out of your control, of course, but there are a few ways you can help keep your little one flu free.
• Practice good hand hygiene. Encourage others to always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before coming into contact with baby, Fisher says.
• Avoid being around sick people. If someone has a cough or runny nose, ask them to postpone their visit to see your little one.
• Stay away from crowded areas. Keeping baby away from malls, stores and other crowded areas during flu season can help lower the risk, Posner says.
Flu shot for babies
The CDC strongly recommends the flu shot for babies who are 6 months and older. It’s given in two doses, four weeks apart, to help their little bodies mount the best antibody response, Fisher explains, and should be administered ideally by October, before flu season is in full swing. There are several types of influenza viruses, but the shot protects baby against those that research suggest will be the most common that season. Because of this, the effectiveness of the flu shot for babies can vary from year to year, Posner says, but statistics show that kids who get the shot are less likely to have serious complications from the illness than those who weren’t vaccinated.
The flu shot can potentially prompt some side effects, but they tend to be incredibly mild, Cohen says. “Occasionally we see a low-grade fever or runny nose, but they’re temporary side effects and usually last for 24 to 48 hours,” he says. “I haven’t had any babies have any kind of severe reaction from the flu vaccine.”
Babies under 6 months old are too young to get the flu shot, so the best way to protect infants from the flu is to make sure baby’s caregivers get vaccinated. If you get the flu shot while pregnant, your body produces antibodies that then pass through the placenta to baby, Cohen says, helping to protect your little one even after she’s born. Once you begin to breastfeed, you continue to pass antibodies onto baby through your breast milk.
Plus, more from The Bump:
What You Need to Know About Fever in Babies
7 Doctor-Approved Home Remedies for Baby Congestion
What to Do When Baby Has a Cold
90,000 symptoms, effective treatment and prevention
Complaints about a runny nose, cough, sore throat are some of the most popular complaints at a pediatrician. It would seem that this is just a common cold, but it is worth thinking about how many unpleasant minutes, sleepless nights, anxieties, time and money spent on examinations of doctors and medications are associated with it. The child cannot attend educational institutions, lags behind the educational program, does not take part in competitions and performances.Parents do not get enough sleep, receive additional workload and either cannot go to work due to the need to care for a sick person, or leave in anxiety, and, in the end, they also get sick, having become infected from a child.
Questions about what can be done to prevent infection with respiratory viral infections, how to speed up recovery, which drugs are most effective in treating acute respiratory viral infections in children, are constantly heard in the pediatrician’s office, on parental forums and in chats.Parents buy special devices for cleaning and disinfecting the air, purchase tons of fashionable drugs for the prevention of ARVI, examine the blood for immune status, or immediately go to an immunologist. But the situation is not improving. What’s the matter? Let’s figure out what is happening and how to help your child get sick less often.
The first thing that occurs to parents when they notice the symptoms of ARVI in a child is hypothermia. Situations begin to emerge in memory when the child ran barefoot on the cold floor, left the bathroom undressed, did not put on a hat or scarf on the street, sat by the slightly open window, or drank too cold a drink.Although the infectious nature of the disease has long been studied and known, many people are still convinced that hypothermia is the main cause of these diseases. Indeed, this statement has the right to life, especially when there is a combination of infection and hypothermia, or we are dealing with an infection “dormant” in the body. In this case, hypothermia is the so-called stress factor, “predisposing” to the fact that a person still gets sick.
However, all the causes of ARVI cannot be reduced only to infections and hypothermia.There are other important factors as well. One of them is excessively dry air , that is, a moisture deficit when the mucous membranes of the nose dry up and can no longer provide reliable protection for a person. Unfortunately, the practice of using household humidifiers is not very popular due to the inconvenience of cleaning them and concerns about the possibility of spraying pathogens. In cold weather, the moisture content in the air remains low, the situation is aggravated by the operation of heating systems.
Another negative factor is stress , which children who adapt to a new team or teacher have to endure after moving to a new place of residence or if the relationship in the team is not very smooth.In children, this adaptation can take about six months.
Doctors often pay attention to compliance with the daily regimen . A full night, and for preschoolers and daytime rest, sleep without awakening, walking, nightmares, with a fairly quick fall asleep and easy awakening is a guarantee of health. It is important to avoid going to bed late.
The next cause of ARVI infection is insufficient hygiene in children. Children often change toys, put them in their mouths, touch their faces and eyes with unwashed hands, do not wash their hands after returning from a walk or going to the toilet, before eating.In addition, children love to share food, bite off one pie or apple, and thus become infected.
This is about the external causes of the disease. There are other, internal factors due to which ARVI can literally “stick” to the child. Such situations include the presence of allergic diseases occurring with the involvement of mucous membranes. As a result, the mucous membranes can no longer effectively defend themselves against the invasion of foreign agents.Susceptibility to ARVI increases. Other circumstances arise when a child has adenoid hypertrophy . Here, a kind of vicious circle is obtained, when hypertrophy is supported by frequent respiratory diseases and vice versa, various pathological agents freely multiply in the overgrown tissue of the adenoids, and sometimes for a long time.
Thyroid dysfunction sometimes results in increased susceptibility to infections.
At present, it has become especially popular to determine the level of various vitamins and microelements and correct deviations. The experience of such studies shows that the most common changes in the level of vitamin D3 and indicators characterizing iron saturation. Vitamin D3 deficiency and Decreased iron levels are risk factors for ARVI.
And only in the last place it is worth thinking about the disorders in the immune response due to which the child is sick so often.However, such children get sick for a long time, seriously, with complications. Almost every case of the disease requires the appointment of antibacterial drugs, and often inpatient treatment. Such situations can hardly go unnoticed by a pediatrician watching a child. To correct the condition, it is necessary to involve specialists in immunology.
The manifestations of the disease in children are quite different in severity. They can range from mild, when manifestations are limited to sneezing, runny nose, mild cough, weakness, loss of appetite, and body temperature remains normal, to moderate or even severe.In the case of a moderate course of infection, in addition to the symptoms described above, an increased body temperature, more pronounced catarrhal phenomena (runny nose, cough), a sharp decrease in appetite, severe weakness, headache, pain in muscles and joints may be recorded. A serious condition requires serious medical attention and manifests itself in the form of a complete refusal to eat, drink, severe weakness, severe lethargy, along with the already mentioned manifestations. Breathing disorders, shortness of breath, chest pains may occur.Moderate and severe conditions usually require treatment in a hospital setting.
Some infections have striking, recognizable features. So, adenovirus infection is often manifested by conjunctivitis, enlarged lymph nodes, profuse mucous discharge from the nose. Hoarseness or even the development of croup (a condition in which the airways are narrowed due to mucosal edema) are features of parainfluenza. Influenza proceeds with severe headache, muscle pain, joint pain, high fever and initially mild runny nose and cough.
If a child is ill, it is important to understand what pathogen caused the disease in order to properly prescribe treatment, as well as to make a forecast of possible complications. The fact is that, for example, a respiratory syncytial viral (RSV) infection in children under one year old can occur with serious respiratory disorders, which requires doctors to be vigilant. And for influenza, there is an effective antiviral therapy, which must be prescribed as early as possible from the onset of the disease.Therefore, we try to carry out the necessary diagnostics at the first contact. For this, rapid tests are used to determine the influenza virus and RSV infection. In addition, there is the possibility of diagnostics using PCR and many other pathogens of ARVI. It is also possible to quickly diagnose streptococcal infection, which can be “disguised” as an acute respiratory viral infection, proceeding with fever, sore throat, and sometimes nasal congestion.
Why is this important?
If a child is sick with ARVI, specific therapy is not required, the doctor will give recommendations on how to alleviate the symptoms of the disease.
If a child has the flu, it is important to get a diagnosis and start specific therapy as soon as possible.
If it is a streptococcal infection, antibiotic therapy is indicated for the child. This infection can lead to severe complications from the heart, kidneys, and joints.
RS virus is the main cause of lower respiratory tract infections, the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under 1 year of age, one of the most common causes of respiratory disorders leading to hospitalization.
Express test is not painful, not scary, and most importantly, we get the result within 5-10 minutes. You do not need to go to the laboratory, donate blood from a vein or a smear and wait for the results for several days. Our doctors perform express tests both at the clinic appointment and at home.
In addition to studies aimed at diagnosing the pathogen, blood tests are performed to make a decision on the need to start antibiotic therapy in case of complications of a similar type: a clinical blood test with a leukocyte formula, determination of the level of c-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate.If necessary, the examination can be supplemented with an X-ray of the chest and paranasal sinuses.
Treatment of ARVI is carried out under the supervision of a physician and is mainly symptomatic. Home mode is recommended, and it is not at all necessary to force the child to be in bed. The child’s activity should correspond to his well-being. With good general condition, short-term hygienic water procedures are not contraindicated.And with a mild course of the disease, you can even go for a walk. Of course, contact with other children is wiser to exclude in order to prevent further spread of the disease. No special dietary advice is required. Interestingly, different countries have different approaches to ARVI treatment in terms of food temperature. So, in some countries, for sore throat, they officially recommend both warm, hot, and vice versa, cold drinks.
When treating colds, it is especially important to observe the drinking regime.The moisture of the child’s body is spent on the production of mucus during a runny nose and cough, is lost with shortness of breath and fever. In order for the mucus to go away more easily, the temperature dropped faster, and the general intoxication decreased, you need to drink enough. For this, both regular water and other favorite drinks of the child are suitable. Separating mucus from the nose can make it easier to irrigate the mucosa with saline solutions. With severe nasal congestion, vasoconstrictors are connected, which can be used very carefully, strictly according to the instructions due to the high risk of overdose and other side effects.The cough suppressants that were so popular in the past are now more and more removed from everyday prescriptions. Their role appears to be highly controversial. Therefore, we try to avoid using them. Instead, we prefer simple, “folk” methods: warm drinking (water, tea, compote, broth), honey dissolving (allowed for children over 1 year old who do not have the risk of allergic reactions), dissolving various candies (carefully, because of the risk inhalation of lollipop with a coughing fit, from the age of 6).For sore throat, various sprays and preparations are used for resorption. Attention should be paid to the age restriction for their use. Etiotropic therapy, that is, therapy aimed at eliminating the causative agent of ARVI, has been proven for daily practice at the international level only for the treatment of influenza.
How can you still avoid ARVI or, at least, reduce the incidence of diseases? In order to prevent hypothermia from affecting the health of the child, reasonable hardening of can help.In addition, it is necessary to ensure that the child has sufficient fluid intake . It is important for to prevent heat in the house , to maintain the temperature at 19-21 degrees Celsius, to ventilate in a timely manner and to maintain an optimal humidity level of (about 50%) in .
Observe strict daily regimen , do not allow late bedtime. Teach your child to wash hands when returning home, before meals and after using the toilet, and to change clothes for home clothes when returning home.Tell us why is important not to touch your face, not to put your fingers in your mouth, nose and eyes and why you should not bite off a cake that your friend has already bitten.
It is worth checking if the child has an increase in adenoids . This can be done at an appointment with an ENT doctor, who can conduct an endoscopic examination, during which you can see the adenoids on the monitor with your own eyes. If, due to the age or the child’s attitude to the endoscopic procedure, it is not possible, an x-ray of the nasopharynx will come to the rescue.
Check if the allergic process is predisposing to frequent ARVI . A pediatrician will help to answer this question, who will conduct the appropriate primary diagnosis. If an allergy is detected, an allergist-immunologist will help solve the problem.
Together with the pediatrician, carry out laboratory diagnostics of the level of vitamin D, iron indicators, thyroid function . If necessary, the pediatrician will adjust the diet and prescribe the necessary medications.
I would like to warn against excessive enthusiasm for medicines and herbal preparations. Despite its popularity with buyers, the effectiveness of echinacea and garlic in preventing colds in children has not been proven. Currently, there is still insufficient data confirming the effectiveness of homeopathic medicines and probiotics in the prevention of acute respiratory viral infections in childhood.
Great hopes in treatment and prevention were pinned on the use of high doses of vitamins D and C.It is now known that supplemental intake of these vitamins does not affect the incidence of respiratory infections and the severity of their symptoms. However, vitamin C slightly (only 14%) can shorten their duration.
Scientists were able to confirm that with the additional intake of a preparation containing trace element zinc , for more than 5 months in a row, the duration and severity of symptoms of respiratory infections are reduced. In addition, the mineral can reduce the number of episodes of colds.However, the significant disadvantages in its use, along with the length of the course, are unpleasant taste and nausea, which is often noted when taking it.
Vaccination against respiratory infections is of paramount importance. Seasonal flu immunizations are carried out annually in the fall months. Traditionally, in our country, a trivalent vaccine is used in children. Hopefully next season, however, there will be a new quadrivalent influenza vaccine suitable for use in childhood.There are opinions that the vaccine is not effective enough and therefore it is not necessary to do this vaccination. One cannot agree with this statement. The effectiveness of a vaccine can vary from person to person, it’s true. However, if one person gets sick and the vaccine has not been as effective, and all the people around him are vaccinated, their vaccination efficiency may be high enough not to get sick. Thus, the infection will not spread further, as it would if others were not vaccinated.That is, the wider the coverage of vaccination, the lower the risk of widespread spread of the disease. This is especially important to protect weakened people or those for whom vaccination is contraindicated. It is important to remember that children under 9 years of age who are newly vaccinated against influenza must be vaccinated twice, 4 weeks apart. For special groups of young children, a drug based on monoclonal antibodies has long been effectively used for the prevention of RSV infection, which is administered intramuscularly.
Child’s cold: how to treat it correctly
Many parents are ready for babies to catch common infections, including seasonal infections, which are typical of childhood.Some parents study in advance the methods of treating acute respiratory viral infections and colds, read about it from experienced mothers in blogs and diaries, consult with doctors they know, and watch medical programs. But even despite the fact that the child’s body has a powerful immune system from birth, this protection is imperfect. Therefore, no matter how the mother is informed, when the child gets sick, she has a lot of questions that require qualified answers.
What is ARI and ARVI
Most often, children are faced with acute respiratory diseases, abbreviated as acute respiratory infections or colds.This is especially evident when visiting children’s groups, where they come into contact with other babies, and in fact exchange various pathogens. Mothers of “kindergarten” children are very familiar with the phrase: “We walk for 2 days, then 2 weeks on sick leave.”
Colds can be both viral and bacterial, even fungal and of another nature, in 70-80% of cases it is of a viral nature. It is impossible to establish the origin of the common cold at a pediatric examination with certainty, as well as “by eye” to distinguish one infection from another.However, there are certain signs indicating the action of viruses, harmful bacteria and other pathogens. For example, mucous nasal discharge testifies in favor of an acute respiratory viral infection, which usually begins with mild malaise, decreased appetite, moodiness, and sleep disturbance in a child. This is the prodromal period, it lasts from several hours to 1-2 days. And such a viral infection like influenza begins acutely, immediately from a very high temperature, intoxication, there is almost no prodromal period, a dry cough appears in the later stages of the disease.Often ARVI goes away with catarrhal symptoms: nasal congestion, change in tone of voice, “circles”, “blue” under the eyes, runny nose, discharge from the nose, cough, sore throat and when swallowing.
What to do?
First of all, you need to remember that parents should not panic if the child has a fever and other unpleasant symptoms of a cold. Any mother’s mood is transmitted to the baby. With the right approach, a cold simply MUST go away in 5-7 days without complications.And it is important to know that the treatment of colds is complex, which includes the main drugs – antiviral, antibacterial, etc., as well as symptomatic therapy. You should not rely on just one kind of medicine, as a panacea, a magic pill from an advertisement or advice from a pharmacy worker.
How to treat?
Antiviral drugs. There is now a lot of misinformation about antiviral drugs.They are credited with mythical side effects and effects. If this comes from a doctor, then he must provide data confirming his point of view in official sources, which are state medical institutions, major scientific journals.
Antibiotics. With regard to antibiotics, their use is currently limited to very clear indications, contraindications, patient age, etc. In addition, antibiotics, especially with uncontrolled, frequent use, contribute to the formation of new, difficult to treat strains of harmful bacteria.Usually, against the background of antibiotic treatment, it is customary to prescribe biological products – live microbes that make up the human intestinal microflora. But there is an opinion that the antibiotic has a detrimental effect on these bacteria and such therapy does not bring the desired result.
Aids . In the treatment of colds of any origin, symptomatic therapy is used, the action of which is directed against the symptoms of the disease. They are called auxiliary because they help relieve the course of a cold.They do not eliminate the cause of ARVI, and the child’s own antibodies work against viruses.
How to treat a runny nose? In case of a runny nose, a nasal toilet with saline solutions is performed. The procedure is simple, but it requires certain skills and care. To do this, you should sit the child with his back to him, first clean his nose. In babies, this can be done with the help of cotton swabs (in children up to six months, only with ordinary cotton turundas), and at an older age, children can already blow their nose themselves.After that, you need to raise the chin, keeping the child’s face lifted with your palm. Using a pipette, drip saline into both nasal passages, lower the child’s head forward. Some of the medication may leak from the nose, but the result of such a procedure will still be achieved. If there are no special recommendations from the pediatrician of the sick child, you can use a pipette and normal saline solution. But it is preferable to use a sterile seawater-based solution. It is a delusion to think that rinsing a child’s nose will be addictive or the snot will flow out on its own.Part, of course, can leak out, but if you do not cleanse the nose, there is a high risk of spreading the infection to the lower respiratory tract, developing complications such as inflammation of the trachea, bronchi, and lungs.
If the runny nose is profuse, watery, painful, accompanied by nasal congestion, vasoconstrictor drugs (based on oxymetazoline, xylometazoline) are used in the form of drops before bedtime, before walking with the child. This helps the baby to have a good rest in his sleep, without waking up, and during a walk, breathe normally through his nose, without capturing cold air with his mouth.You should not carry out instillation into the nose of a child in a supine state, since there is a high probability of pressure changes during such manipulation and there is a risk of otitis media. All instillations must be carried out while sitting. The use of special preparations in the form of software (spray with limited spray pressure) should be carried out with great care, since there is also a risk of spreading the infection under pressure.
Antipyretics .Often questions arise about the use of antipyretic drugs, for children these are preparations based on paracetamol or ibuprofen, for babies – in syrup, suppositories. It should be noted that if there are no special recommendations in this regard, it is necessary to lower the temperature above 38.3 – 38.5 ° C. If the child feels well, plays, has retained appetite, and, in general, tolerates the temperature well, antipyretic drugs may not be used. If the parents see that the child’s condition is poor, he refuses to eat and drink, becomes lethargic, vomiting, headache, the temperature rises further, you can start giving antipyretics and at a low temperature.
How is a cough treated? Questions about coughing are the most frequent and sometimes the most difficult questions in a pediatric appointment for ARVI. It is best if the doctor dynamically observes the coughing child. In this case, the specialist can distinguish changes in the tone of the voice, a barking component, dry or wet cough, wheezing, localization of wheezing. If the pediatrician recommends taking an X-ray, you should not refuse such an examination, this will help to make the correct diagnosis and prescribe adequate treatment.At present, inhalation preparations are widely used in the treatment of cough – through a special device – an inhaler. This tactic reduces the systemic effect of the drug on the child’s body, where the drug reaches the point of its application – large and medium bronchi, and even alveoli. Inhalers can be used from the very birth of a child, but you need to pay attention to the type of device, the recommended medicinal substances for it, their dosages and frequency of use.
Actions until a doctor comes
Sometimes, especially in the season of high incidence of flu and colds, there are difficulties with a doctor’s visit, you have to wait for an appointment, the doctor does not have time to come as quickly as the parents would like.There are measures that can be taken before the arrival of a specialist. It is necessary to measure the temperature of the child and write down the data on the thermometry performed in a diary, which is then shown to the doctor. If the temperature is high, you should not wrap up or even dress the child warmly. At home, you can generally strip down to your underwear. It is also recommended to remove a disposable diaper from babies. Do not forget about the physical methods of cooling – you can wipe it off with cool water, you can put a cloth moistened with water on the head, stomach, places of the main vessels.A sick child should be given plenty of water to drink, even if he refuses to drink, it is necessary to constantly offer from a teaspoon, moisten the lips.
There are no children who do not get sick. Everyone gets sick, only some are often sick, while others are not very sick. The main thing to remember is that any medications should be prescribed by a doctor in person, after examination.
90,000 Acute respiratory viral infections
Acute respiratory viral infections are a whole group of infectious diseases characterized by similar symptoms: cough, runny nose, fever, headache, sore throat and sore throat.Depending on the pathogen, certain symptoms prevail during the course of the disease. The most pronounced clinical picture is caused by influenza viruses, parainfluenza, adenoviruses, which allows a diagnosis to be made without virological examination.
Influenza begins acutely against the background of complete health, with a rise in temperature immediately to high numbers (39-40⁰ C), often accompanied by chills. The symptoms of general intoxication come to the fore: headache, weakness, pain in muscles and joints, lacrimation, pain in the eyeballs.Sometimes delirium, hallucinations are observed. In young children, general symptoms are expressed: anxiety or weakness, refusal to breast, sleep disturbance, frequent regurgitation or vomiting, frequent loose stools. Cough, runny nose, sore throat, soreness behind the breastbone may be absent on the first day and join later. A favorite place for the localization of influenza viruses is the mucous membrane of the trachea, so “scratching” and pain behind the breastbone when coughing is a constant symptom of the disease. Almost a third of patients do not have a runny nose, but dryness of the nasal mucosa is noted, which leads to repeated nosebleeds.In the first days of the disease, the cough is dry, painful, and hoarseness of the voice may appear.
In uncomplicated flu, the fever lasts 3-4 days, at least 5-6 days. If after a week the temperature does not decrease, complications may have joined. The most common complication is pneumonia. Other complications include inflammation of the paranasal sinuses and middle ear.
The main goal of health care is not the treatment of diseases, but their prevention. This fully applies to influenza, which has a pronounced winter seasonality, high infectivity and rapid spread.
Urgent isolation of patients and separation of children at risk of infection is of great importance in the prevention of influenza. Epidemiologists propose to declare unscheduled vacations during the epidemic. This measure significantly reduces the incidence of influenza in children’s groups. Parents should also do their bit in anti-epidemic measures and refuse to attend public events, trips on excursions, shopping and guests.
Preventive vaccinations begin in October, so that protective factors (interferon, macrophages, antibodies) are developed in the body in advance, which will prevent the development of the disease.The insidiousness of the influenza virus is manifested in its rapid variability. He is able to change the antigenic structure and acquire new properties during one epidemic. Therefore, the fight against influenza should also be aimed at strengthening nonspecific immunity, at increasing the body’s ability to resist the pathogen.
If the flu is already “sweeping across the planet” and has reached your city, or even to family members, it is necessary to provide the child with emergency prevention, which is at the same time preventive treatment.Interferons and drugs that enhance their production in the body (interferon inducers) are widely used as a means for emergency prevention.
Human leukocyte interferon is used in the form of a solution, which is prepared from a powder, and is instilled into the nose when there is a threat of influenza infection during the entire epidemic period, 2-3-5 drops in both nasal passages 2 times a day for children of any age.
Grippferon – nasal drops of antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immunostimulating action.Recommended for children over 1 year old, 2 – 3 drops 2 – 3 times a day.
Viferon – suppositories for rectal administration, used 2 times a day, morning and evening.
Among the inducers of interferon we will name amiksin, poludan, cycloferon, anaferon.
Do not forget about herbal preparations that help fight viruses of respiratory infections: onions, garlic, tincture of echinacea, aralia, zamanihi, ginseng, eleutherococcus extract, etc.
Great importance is attached to activities that enhance the non-specific, general immunity of the body.This includes good nutrition, rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals, hardening procedures, a healthy lifestyle, physical education and sports.
Parainfluenza begins gradually, does not give a high temperature, does not cause severe intoxication. But its malignancy is manifested in the fact that the virus especially often infects the larynx, causing the development of false croup with symptoms of respiratory failure. The disease begins with a slight runny nose or coughing against the background of a normal or slightly elevated temperature (37.2 – 37.5 ° C).But in the middle of the night, the child wakes up from an attack of rough “barking”, “croaking” cough, shortness of breath, causing fear and anxiety, and this further increases the spasm.
Call an ambulance, but before the team arrives, try to help the suffering child. Fill the tub with hot water, add baking soda, and let your child breathe warm, moist alkaline air in the confined space of the bathroom. At the same time give your child hot baths for hands and feet with a water temperature of 40 ° C.Give a warm alkaline drink: milk, to which you can add a little soda, any mineral hydrocarbonate water without gas. Warm humid air helps to relieve spasm of the muscles of the larynx, and alkaline steam helps to liquefy phlegm and discharge it. The arrived ambulance team will inhale drugs through a magic device – a nebulizer, and the child will immediately feel better.
If the doctor insists on continuing treatment in the hospital, do not argue and do not convince him that “everything has already passed and the child is breathing well.”The croup has an undulating course, and the favorable period can unexpectedly quickly be replaced by suffocation, requiring emergency assistance.
– do not use mustard plasters and rubbing containing essential oils and having strong odors. They are able to cause a reflex spasm of the muscles of the larynx;
– do not use honey, raspberry jam, citrus juices – in allergy sufferers, they can contribute to increased edema;
– do not give your child cough suppressants (sinecode). Remember that cough has a protective function and should not be suppressed, but stimulated.
Adenovirus infection can be recognized by a pronounced runny nose, a moist cough with copious phlegm, and red, purulent eyes.
Adenoviruses are widespread throughout the world. They did not bypass our long-suffering homeland either. The incidence rises during the cold season, and among all respiratory infections, it accounts for almost one third of all cases of illness. It does not disappear even in the sultry summer, manifesting itself in the form of individual cases. The disease blooms especially magnificently in children’s groups, where an outbreak can drag on for several months in a row, passing from one child to another.The disease begins with a rise in temperature, which can have two waves and last up to 12-14 days. Along with a cough and a runny nose, redness and tearing of the eyes, swelling of the eyelids and purulent discharge from the eyes appear. During sleep, eyelashes stick together, and, upon waking up, the child cannot open his eyes, which gives him additional suffering.
The virus loves to infect adenoid tissue, lymph nodes, including the abdominal cavity. Therefore, children often complain of abdominal pain and upset stools.On the neck and in the submandibular region, you may find enlarged lymph nodes. And, looking into the throat, you will see hypertrophied edematous tonsils, often with purulent deposits.
Pneumonia in adenovirus infection may be primary, caused by the virus itself. It is more common in young children. And the later development of pneumonia indicates the addition of a bacterial infection. Other complications include otitis media, tonsillitis, pleurisy.
For the treatment of all respiratory infections that occur with an increase in temperature, it is very important to fulfill the following conditions:
• Increase heat transfer.To do this, first of all, remove disposable diapers from the baby, which, covering almost a third of the body, prevent heat transfer and play the role of a warming compress. This is easy to see with your own eyes: the skin under the diaper is red, moist, with irritation in the groin and gluteal folds. As soon as you removed the disposable diaper and dried the folds, do not be too lazy to measure the temperature, and you will be pleasantly surprised: it will drop by at least 1 degree. Do not wrap the child, do not load him with quilts and feather beds.Take off tight tights, turtlenecks and sweaters with high tight collars. Wipe off with wet wipes moistened with 1 – 2% vinegar solution or vodka. Wear lightweight pajamas, a nightgown, or a T-shirt with panties. All clothes should be made of cotton fabrics that can actively absorb sweat, because the next important step is to make the child sweat.
• Increase perspiration. It is closely adjacent to the previous one, since the evaporation of sweat from the surface of the skin, willy-nilly, contributes to an increase in heat transfer.In order for the child to actively sweat, it is necessary to water him abundantly. Remember that sweat is not just water, but a liquid containing mineral salts. That is, by sweating, the child also loses the vital minerals for the body. Therefore, think about what you will become to make up for the deficiency of salts. It would be ideal from time to time to give the baby any glucose-saline solution (rehydron, oralit, glucosolan), but not every capricious person during illness will agree to drink tasteless water. Therefore, combine business with pleasure and prepare a decoction of raisins, dried apricots, dried fruit compote – these drinks have a lot of potassium and fructose, add a little salt (sodium and chlorine) and a little bit of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).You will get a delicious and healing drink, let the kid drink with pleasure. Tired of compote? Please: mineral water, juice, herbal teas, rosehip decoction, tea with honey, lemon, raspberries (if you are not allergic to these products). If a child drinks willingly, do not limit him, “water will find a hole,” as the people say. It is bad when the stubborn refuses to drink at high temperatures. Lack of fluid leads to thickening of the blood, from which all organs suffer, and primarily the urinary system.If you notice that a feverish child has not urinated all day or has excreted a small amount of concentrated, darker than usual urine, then the kidneys are really thirsty, and they need to be provided with fluid. In any way, get the child to drink, taking into account his wishes in the choice of drinks.
• Provide frequent ventilation of the room in which the sick child is located and maintaining a cool temperature in it – ideally not higher than 18 ° C. Inhalation of cool fresh air also provides a decrease in temperature, since the body spends heat to warm it.Many mothers are panicky afraid to open a window or balcony in the nursery: “She will get even more sick.” Put a hat or scarf on your head, cover it with a warm blanket and let your child breathe in the fresh frosty air. As a last resort, transfer the patient to another room while airing. I assure you that it is impossible to “get even more sick” from clean air, but breathing stale air filled with pathogenic pathogens is difficult not only for the patient, but also for the surrounding household.
Fighting with a high temperature justifies itself only in those cases when it “rolls over” beyond the mark of 39 degrees, causes a disturbance in the condition and behavior, the child has a tendency to seizures or neurological diseases in history.If the fever is accompanied by vomiting, do not force the child to take medications by mouth – they will come back immediately. In such cases, suppositories are used, medication is administered with an enema, and in case of emergency, injections.
Taking antipyretic drugs must be discussed with a doctor and do not allow self-activity. Uncontrolled use and systematic excess of the dose of even the most “harmless” drug can cause toxic or allergic effects.Calpol, Tylenol, Panadol, Efferalgan, Cefecon – all these drugs are prepared on the basis of paracetamol, in fact, they are one and the same drug. You need to know this in order to prevent overdose. Exceeding the dose has a toxic effect on the liver and kidneys. Paracetamol is contraindicated in children with diseases of these organs.
Nurofen for children, produced in the form of a suspension and suppositories, is in second place in terms of frequency of use. The drug is prepared on the basis of ibuprofen, which is a representative of the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and has not only antipyretic, but also anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.Compared to paracetamol, nurofen is more effective, but, unfortunately, gives more complications. Approved for use only in children over 3 months of age. Nurofen begins to act in 30 minutes and lasts for 6 to 8 hours.
A very effective drug is ibuklin, which consists of ibuprofen and paracetamol. In children’s practice, dispersible (water-soluble) tablets are used. One tablet of baby ibuclin contains ibuprofen 100mg and paracetamol 125mg. Before use, dilute 1 tablet in 5 ml of chilled boiled water.Ibuclin dosage depends on the age and body weight of the child.
Beloved by many generations, aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is used only in children over 12 years of age due to the possible development of severe complications.
Often mothers note that against the background of a high temperature, the child has cold extremities (“he himself is like boiling water, and the hands and feet are ice cold”). This indicates a spasm of peripheral vessels.
Once again, it is necessary to emphasize the need to give plenty of water to a feverish patient, since during this period, water losses with sweat and rapid breathing increase.As a result, the excretion of fluid through the kidneys decreases, urine becomes concentrated, and the renal tubules can become clogged with salts, protein, casts, which disrupts kidney function and can lead to complications.
Do not forget about the “omnipresent and omnipotent” vitamin C. It plays an important role in increasing the body’s defenses. During illness, its dose should exceed the prophylactic several times and be at least 300 mg per day. Add ascorbic acid to fruit drink, compote, juice, tea, jelly.It improves the taste of the drink and helps the body defeat the enemy.
For the treatment of viral infections, antibiotics and sulfa drugs are not used, since the virus is not afraid of them. Therefore, do not rush to stuff the patient with ampicillin, erythromycin, chloramphenicol, beloved for many generations, and other antibiotics from the first day.
The anti-influenza drugs oseltamivir (trade name Tamiflu) and zanamivir (trade name Relenza) have been successfully used to treat influenza.Prescribed only by a doctor, self-medication is unacceptable.
90,000 🧬 How to protect a child from “winter diseases”?
Late autumn, winter and early spring are the seasons of the greatest rise in the incidence of the so-called cold, although it can be contracted at any time of the year. Children under the age of 6 are most susceptible to colds – their illness lasts longer (on average 14 days) and they get sick more often (up to 12 times a year!) – almost every second day. Of course, children attending a kindergarten or toddlers who have brothers or sisters of the “kindergarten” age in their family get sick more often than “home” children.As strange as it may sound, the majority of frequently ill children with immunity are doing well. In early school age, the frequency of colds drops sharply.
What is a cold? It is an acute illness caused by viruses. There are a lot of varieties of viruses, for example, the most common – rhinovirus – has about 100 types. Having got sick with one of them, you acquire immunity against this particular virus, but next time you can get sick again because.to. faced with another pathogen. The flu virus also causes illness that is indistinguishable from the common cold, unless it is more severe and more likely to cause complications.
Everybody knows the symptoms of a cold – a runny nose, cough, sometimes sore throat, fever, feeling unwell. The illness in children lasts up to 2 weeks (fever – usually no more than 3 days, the cough and nasal congestion persist longer) and goes away on its own. How to protect yourself from colds?
Most viruses are transmitted in a direct way from a sick person to a healthy person.The fact is that viruses can live outside the body for up to 2 hours, for example, on the surface of the hands. When you shake hands, pathogens are transmitted to another person. As soon as he touches the nose or eyes after that, an infection occurs, followed by a short incubation period and the disease itself. The same thing happens when it comes into contact with surfaces (toys, dishes, clothes, furniture, doorknobs, etc.). Oddly enough, but only some of the viruses (for example, the flu) are transmitted by inhalation of microscopic particles of saliva and mucus (sneezing and coughing).Therefore, frequent hand washing is considered a more effective method of preventing colds than wearing a mask.
Are there effective medications to prevent ARVI? Unfortunately no. Clinical studies in the West of some common drugs (echinacea, vitamin C, zinc preparations) have shown no effect from their use, with the exception of side effects. Interferon and other antiviral drugs recommended for use in our country have not undergone blind placebo-controlled studies, so it is currently impossible to judge their effectiveness.As for the flu vaccine, it reliably (proven by numerous clinical trials) reduces the incidence of influenza, but not other acute respiratory viral infections. And since the flu often leads to complications (the most common is pneumonia), this vaccine is highly recommended for use in children under 5 years of age (in particular, such recommendations are given by the American Academy of Pediatrics).
Thus, the most effective means of preventing acute respiratory viral infections are hand washing, avoiding contact with patients with colds, preventing infected aerosols from getting on the mucous membranes (eyes, nose).The most effective means of preventing influenza is vaccination.
What to do if a child still falls ill with ARVI or influenza? How to behave? Here are some simple rules:
- Do not walk outside until at least one day has passed since the last rise in temperature. Do not walk during the temperature: clothes can make it stronger
- Do not visit childcare facilities, relatives, in general, try not to infect other people. It must be borne in mind that even after the temperature disappears, a child or an adult can secrete a virus that can infect others for another 5 days.
- Do not force-feed a child – it is better to offer the food that he loves most, adhering to age-specific nutritional standards, if possible: children, even healthy ones, are unhealthy for fried foods “with a crust”, chips, and seasonings.
- Try to increase the amount of fluid you take, but again, do not forcefully drink: drinking plenty of water will not speed up your recovery, but you can spoil your mood after persistent attempts to drink.
- The physical activity of a child with ARVI and staying at home should not be limited – as a rule, children move a lot when they can, and prefer to lie down when they feel bad.At the same time, after ARVI, the body needs to be allowed to recover – for about a week, post-infectious asthenic syndrome can be observed – which means that you will have to skip classes in the sports section.
- You can watch TV in the same way as usual – no more than 1.5 hours a day.
How long is the temperature during ARVI?
Every person at least once during his life suffered from ARVI (acute respiratory viral infection) – a cold. This condition is caused by viruses, which in most cases enter the body by airborne droplets.ARVI is manifested by the following symptoms:
- high body temperature accompanied by fever;
- runny nose, nasal congestion;
- sore throat, cough;
- headache, feeling of weakness;
- aching muscles and joints, weakness.
You have probably heard that the temperature should not be brought down in all cases. It depends on several factors – how high the temperature is, how many days it lasts, the child or adult is sick, and what symptoms accompany the fever.Therefore, it is important to know how much the temperature usually lasts with ARVI, in which cases it is necessary to take antipyretic drugs, and in which cases – urgently call a doctor. In this article, we will go over these issues in detail.
Why is the temperature rising?
The virus is a substance foreign to the body, and therefore when it enters the body, immunity is activated and antibodies begin to be produced. In addition, with a viral infection, the thermoregulatory center located in the hypothalamus is stimulated, which causes an increase in temperature.So the body kills two birds with one stone:
- at a temperature of 38-38.5º C, the peak of the activity of the production of antiviral antibodies occurs;
- viruses at this temperature lose their ability to multiply and die.
But it often happens that the regulation of body temperature fails – with a weakening of the immune system and a massive viral attack. At the same time, the temperature with ARVI rises to 39 degrees and above. These numbers are still fatal for the virus, but they are becoming dangerous for humans as well.A body temperature above 40 degrees causes a violation of the structure of proteins, which can cause convulsions, destruction of blood cells and death of the patient. Temperatures that have reached this level must be reduced immediately.
How long does an adult have a temperature with ARVI?
We figured out the permissible body temperature for a cold, now we will find out how long the temperature is with ARVI is normal. In order to defeat a viral infection, 3-5 days are usually enough for a healthy body.At the same time, no treatment is needed, except for bed rest and plenty of drink – the immune system will cope with everything itself. If at the same time the temperature is kept at 37 – 38.5 degrees, it is not necessary to lower it, you will interfere with the immune system to fight the infection. If, with ARVI, the temperature rises to 39 degrees and above, then it must be lowered. At the same time, do not try to reach the ideal 36.6º C – it is enough to reduce the critical numbers to those at which the body can fight the pathogen without damaging itself.
How long does a child have a temperature with ARVI?
Children are more sensitive to fever – a temperature with ARVI above 38-38.5 º C can cause febrile convulsions in the child. Therefore, the temperature with ARVI and ARI is higher than 38 degrees in a child to be reduced. The same rule applies here as in adult patients – there is no need to try to reduce the temperature to normal, it is enough to take it away from the critical level.
How many days can a child have a temperature with ARVI? Normal terms are the same – from 3 to 5 days.If the febrile condition persists longer, it is likely that a bacterial infection has joined the viral infection. In this situation, antibiotic treatment is necessary.
How long does the temperature last with ARVI complicated by a bacterial infection?
If the temperature with ARVI lasts 3-4 days, there is no reason for concern, but if the temperature persists for a week or more, this means that a bacterial infection has joined against the background of a decrease in immunity due to the fight against a viral infection.The bacteria can infect the nasopharynx (rhinopharyngitis), the larynx (laryngitis), the trachea (tracheitis), the bronchi (bronchitis), or cause pneumonia – pneumonia. The body cannot easily cope with bacteria, therefore, if the temperature during ARVI lasts for a long time, or there is a repeated increase in temperature after it stabilizes, you need to consult a doctor to prescribe antibiotics against the bacterial infection that has joined.
“Temperature tail” – why does the subfebrile temperature last long after ARVI?
Sometimes the temperature with ARVI lasts 3-5 days and then decreases, but not to normal values - for several more days the temperature remains 37-37.5 degrees with normal health.This is called the “temperature tail” – this is how the body controls whether the virus is completely destroyed by keeping the center of thermoregulation on high alert. This is completely normal and should not be worried. The main thing is not to confuse the “temperature tail” in ARVI with the second wave of temperature rise, which is caused by the addition of a bacterial infection – while the temperature rises again to high numbers.
Sometimes after ARVI, a decrease in temperature is observed for several days.This indicates a failure in the thermoregulation center. If the low temperature persists for 1-2 days and then normalizes, there is no cause for concern, but you need to pay attention to the state of immunity, to strengthen it. A persistent decrease in temperature after ARVI, together with the growing signs of intoxication, indicates that the body has ceased to fight the infection – viral or bacterial that has joined. This is an alarming signal that serious treatment is required, otherwise complications may arise.
Do I need to bring down the temperature with ARVI?
So, we figured out the questions of how long the temperature lasts in ARVI, what temperature in ARVI helps to fight the disease, and which is harmful, and in what cases it is impossible to do without antibiotics. Exceptions to the rules described above may be the following cases:
- temperature above 38.5 degrees in pregnant women;
- if a child has precursors of seizures at a temperature of 38 degrees, he is lethargic, complains;
- in adults, the temperature with ARVI above 38 degrees causes a strong deterioration in well-being, headaches and muscle pain.
In these cases, you can also lower the temperature until the condition improves.
Temperature with ARVI – when you need to urgently call a doctor
In these cases, no matter how long the temperature lasts with ARVI, emergency medical care is needed:
- A temperature above 40 degrees in an adult or above 39 degrees in a child who does not respond to antipyretic drugs;
- the child is lethargic, pale, loses consciousness, convulsions appeared;
- signs of clouding of consciousness, seizures against the background of a high temperature in an adult;
- a sharp drop in body temperature below 35 degrees;
- deterioration of the well-being of a pregnant woman against a background of high temperature – an increase in the tone of the uterus, an increase or cessation of fetal movements.
How to properly lower the temperature with ARVI
To reduce the temperature in ARVI, it is recommended to use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Paracetamol-based drugs are available in various dosage forms – tablets, powders, rectal suppositories, syrups, and can be used in patients of any age. In young children, you can quickly reduce the temperature by rubbing the body with vodka or diluted vinegar. It is important not to wrap up the patient, clothes at high temperatures should not interfere with the natural cooling of the body.The temperature with ARVI often causes dehydration, so it is necessary to drink enough fluids. In the absence of appetite, you do not need to eat through force, it is better to choose light food – the body will return its own after recovery.
Clinical guidelines “Acute respiratory viral infections in adults.” Considered and recommended for approval by the Profile Commission of the Russian Ministry of Health on the specialty “infectious diseases” at a meeting on March 25, 2014 and October 8, 2014.P. 69.
Influenza in adults: guidelines for diagnosis, treatment, specific and non-specific prevention. Ed. A.G. Chuchalina, NP-Print, 2014, p. 192.
Guidelines. Influenza in adults: diagnosis, treatment, methods and methods of non-specific prevention. Ed .: Vasina A.V., Sologub T.V. SPb., 2016.
Farre M.et al. Study of the speed and assimilation and bioavailability of paracetamol in the form of solutions. Pain, 2002, 17: S. 15-18.
Fazylov V.Kh., Sitnikov I.G., Malyshev N.A., Silina E.V., Shevchenko S.B., Eganyan G.A., Korsantiya B.M., Groppa L.G. The effect of antiviral therapy on the incidence of bacterial complications and the prescription of antibacterial drugs for systemic use in patients with acute respiratory viral infections and influenza (results of the cohort international observational study FLU-EE).Antibiotics and chemotherapy. 2016; 61 (11-12): 21-9.
Eccles R. Understanding the symptoms of the common cold and influenza. Lancet Infect. Dis. 2005; 5 (11): 718-25.
90,000 Flu or cold? What is the difference?
He who diagnoses well, heals well. This medical truth is also true for colds. But if a doctor diagnoses “ARVI” for everyone in a row, do not rush to accuse him of incompetence.Influenza is also a form of ARVI, but you need to distinguish it from a cold, even if you are not a doctor yourself. Just to avoid the consequences of underestimating the enemy. What is the difference between them and how flu and ARVI are treated, says the head. Therapeutic department No. 3 of the Vladivostok polyclinic No. 1 Larisa Nazarova .
– A cold develops with hypothermia. Chills, body aches, nasal congestion, sore throat are the first symptoms and a signal that urgently urgent measures must be taken.And then there is a chance that you will get up healthy in the morning, – says Larisa Nazarova.
Acute viral illness gives a different picture and less optimistic forecasts. ARVI begins abruptly, the condition deteriorates rapidly, the temperature rises, the voice sits down, and the eyes water. And most importantly, it is not clear why: they did not freeze, did not drink cold …
ARVI can be caused by any of two hundred respiratory viruses. But infection in all cases occurs the same way – by airborne droplets.Symptoms of SARS, including flu, are similar: runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever. They usually talk about different ARVIs together, while influenza is emphasized especially as the most serious disease of this group.
A typical flu always begins with chills, severe headache, sore eyes, weakness, muscle pain, aching joints, the temperature rises quickly (up to 39-40 degrees). Then there is a runny nose, dry cough, redness of the throat. Fever lasts up to 4 days.
Anyone can get the flu. Even a seasoned person, when he first meets a new type of virus for him, usually falls ill. The most vulnerable are preschool children and the elderly due to weaker immunity; patients suffering from chronic diseases of the lungs, kidneys, cardiovascular system, metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus), immune deficiency.
Masks and more
For a number of years, the incidence of influenza in Primorye has remained at a relatively low level – less than 200 people per year.According to infectious disease specialists, this is due to the fact that every year an increasing number of Primorye residents are vaccinated against influenza: after all, vaccination allows not only to protect oneself from this viral infection fraught with serious complications, but also develops collective immunity.
The duration of immunity after vaccination with any vaccine is relatively short – 6-9 months, so every year it is necessary to be vaccinated again. In addition, every season a new strain of the virus is “born” that can cause illness even in those who had the flu a year ago.Therefore, every year a new vaccine is developed, taking into account the variety of the virus that threatens this season.
According to the World Health Organization in the northern hemisphere in 2018-2019, two strains of influenza A virus (h2N1 and h4N2) are expected to be activated – Michigan and Singapore and two strains of influenza B – Victoria and Yamagata. Components A (h4N2) and B / Victoria are new compared to last season’s vaccines.
Who needs vaccination first?
– Almost everything, says Larisa Nazarova.“But since young children and older people, as well as those who have chronic diseases, most of all suffer from influenza, they need vaccination first of all.
It is believed that the ideal month for vaccinations is October, since the active circulation of viruses begins in October-November, and the immune response after vaccination is formed in 14-21 days. But in Primorye, the peak incidence of influenza usually occurs in February-March, so you can get vaccinated in November as well.
“However, vaccination does not provide 100% protection against influenza,” explains Larisa Nazarova.- The purpose of vaccination is to protect a person from dangerous complications and death.
Viruses most often actively multiply where there are many people. Therefore, during a period when people are actively sneezing and coughing, it is worth avoiding shopping and other cultural and entertainment centers, cinemas, crowded public transport as much as possible. If hikes or trips are unavoidable, it is necessary to protect the nasal mucosa from the penetration of viruses by lubricating the walls inside the nasal passages with oxolinic ointment or interferon-based ointment.You can also use regular petroleum jelly.
Disposable respirator masks help protect against viruses. The main thing is to change them every 2 hours.
Naturally, personal hygiene must also be observed. Do not touch your eyes, mouth, nose with your hands. Be sure to wash your hands often: after the street, going to the toilet, in the office, etc. If it is not possible to wash your hands, use antibacterial wipes and gels. It should not be forgotten that the influenza virus is quite tenacious and can persist for quite a long time on various surfaces – door handles, grocery carts in a supermarket, handrails in transport, stair railings, elevator buttons, etc.
In parallel, you should strengthen your immunity: walk more, ventilate the room, carry out wet cleaning, eat more vitamins. All this will activate the body’s defenses. You should also dress correctly: do not overcool, do not overheat.
Treatment according to the rules
According to the doctor, flu treatment must be taken seriously. Warming up, inhalation, herbal teas, tea with raspberries, radish with honey are good only as aids.The most important thing is to stop the multiplication of the influenza virus. This requires specific antiviral agents, which are prescribed by a doctor. The sooner you start taking them, the lower the risk of developing severe complications.
Never prescribe antibiotics for yourself – influenza and other ARVI viruses are insensitive to antibiotics. Moreover, antibiotics kill the beneficial microbes that protect the body. Antibiotics are prescribed only by a doctor in cases of postinfluenza complications.
Antipyretics for influenza should be used with great caution.An elevated temperature (up to 38 degrees) is a protective reaction of the body that promotes the production of proteins that fight viruses and is aimed at destroying them.
And do not strive for work, school, institute, being sick or not fully recovered. Viruses disable primarily macrophage cells that resist various bacteria. This opens the door for other infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Therefore, those who carry the disease on their feet are at increased risk of complications.
In addition, “going out”, you can easily catch the virus of another respiratory infection. Contrary to popular belief that an infection does not stick to an infection, in this case a second wave of the disease will begin, which will be much more difficult for a weakened body to cope with.
90,000 Sick? Stay at home! – Hygiene for influenza, coronavirus infection and other acute respiratory viral infections
What should you do during the period of active circulation of pathogens of influenza, coronavirus infection and other pathogens of acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) in order to prevent your own infection and protect those around you if you get sick?
The causative agents of all these diseases are highly contagious and are transmitted mainly by airborne droplets.
When sneezing and coughing in the air around a sick person, microdroplets of his saliva, sputum and respiratory secretions, which contain viruses, are spread. Larger droplets settle on surrounding objects and surfaces, small ones stay in the air for a long time and are transported to distances of up to several hundred meters, while viruses retain the ability to infect from several hours to several days. The main measures of hygienic prevention are aimed at preventing healthy people from coming into contact with particles of a sick person’s secretions containing viruses.
Compliance with the following hygiene rules will significantly reduce the risk of infection or further spread of influenza, coronavirus infection and other ARVI.
- Wash hands after visiting any public places, transport, touching doorknobs, money, public office equipment in the workplace, before eating and preparing food. Pay special attention to thoroughly soaping (at least 20 seconds), and then completely drying your hands.
- After returning home from the street – wash your hands and face with soap, rinse your nose with isotonic salt solution.
- Touch the face, eyes – with freshly washed hands. If water and soap are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers to clean your hands. Or use a disposable napkin if you need to touch your eyes or nose
- Wear a disposable medical mask in crowded places and transport. It is necessary to change the mask to a new one every 2-3 hours; the mask cannot be reused.
- Preferring smooth hairstyles when you are in crowded places, loose hair, often in contact with your face, increases the risk of infection.
- Avoid close contact and stay in the same room with people with visible signs of SARS (coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge).
- Do not touch doorknobs, handrails, other objects or surfaces in public spaces with bare hands.
- Limit welcome handshakes, kisses, and hugs.
- Ventilate the premises more often.
- Do not use shared towels.
- Minimize contact with healthy people (welcome handshakes, kisses).
- If you feel unwell, but have to communicate with other people or use public transport – use a disposable mask, be sure to change it to a new one every hour.
- When coughing or sneezing, be sure to cover your mouth, if possible – with a disposable handkerchief, if not – with your palms or elbows.
- Use only personal or disposable tableware.
- Isolate your personal hygiene items from household members: toothbrush, washcloth, towels.
- Carry out wet cleaning of the house every day, including the treatment of door handles, switches, office equipment control panels.
Influenza, coronavirus infection and other acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) are in first place in terms of the number of sick people annually
Despite constant efforts to combat the causative agents of influenza, coronavirus infection and other acute respiratory viral infections, they still have not been defeated.
Thousands of people die from complications of influenza every year.
This is due to the fact that viruses, primarily influenza viruses and coronaviruses, have the ability to change their structure and a mutated virus is capable of infecting a person again. So, a person who has had the flu has a good immune barrier, but nevertheless a new modified virus is able to easily penetrate through it, since the body has not yet developed immunity against this type of virus.
Children and the elderly are especially hard to tolerate the infection; for these age groups, complications that can develop during the illness are very dangerous.Children get sick more seriously due to the fact that their immune systems have not yet met this virus, and for the elderly, as well as for people with chronic diseases, the virus is dangerous due to a weakened immune system.
- People with chronic lung diseases (bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- People with chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system (congenital heart defects, coronary heart disease, heart failure)
- Pregnant women
- Medical professionals
- Public transport and catering workers
90,063 People over 60 years of age
The infection is transmitted from a sick person to a healthy person through the smallest droplets of saliva or mucus that are released during sneezing, coughing, talking.Contact transmission is also possible.
Depending on the specific type of pathogen, the symptoms can vary significantly, both in severity and in combination.
- Temperature rise
- Chills, general malaise, weakness headache, muscle pain
- Decreased appetite, possible nausea and vomiting
- Conjunctivitis (possibly)
- Diarrhea (possible)
On average, the illness lasts about 5 days.If the temperature lasts longer, complications may have arisen.
- Encephalitis, meningitis
- Complications of pregnancy, development of fetal pathology
- Exacerbation of chronic diseases
Treatment of the disease is carried out under the supervision of a physician, who, only after examining the patient, prescribes a treatment regimen and gives other recommendations. The sick person must comply with bed rest, eat well and drink more fluids.
Taking antibiotics in the early days of the disease is a big mistake. Antibiotics are not able to cope with the virus, in addition, they adversely affect the normal microflora. Antibiotics are prescribed only by a doctor, only in case of complications caused by the addition of a bacterial infection. Taking antibacterial drugs as a preventive measure for the development of complications is dangerous and useless.
A sick person should stay at home and not pose a threat of infection to others.
The most effective way to prevent influenza is to get vaccinated annually. The composition of the influenza vaccine changes annually. First of all, it is recommended to get vaccinated for those who are at risk. The optimal time for vaccination is October-November. Infants can be vaccinated against influenza from 6 months of age.
Vaccines against most pathogens of acute respiratory viral infections have not been developed.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly
- Avoid contact with people who cough
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle (sleep, healthy food, physical activity)
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Regularly ventilate and humidify the air in the room where you are
- Be less crowded
- Use a mask when in transport or in crowded places
- Avoid hugging, kissing and shaking hands when meeting
- Do not touch your face, eyes, nose with unwashed hands
During the period of active circulation of pathogens of influenza, coronavirus infection, and other pathogens of acute respiratory viral infections, we remind you of the advisability of using a disposable medical mask as an effective measure to prevent infection and limit the spread of infection.
These viruses are transmitted from person to person mainly by airborne droplets, through microdroplets of respiratory secretions that are formed when infected people speak, sneeze or cough.
With the air, these droplets can get onto the surface of the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract of healthy people who are near an infected person.
Infection can also occur as a result of direct or indirect contact of a healthy person with the respiratory secretions of an infected person.
- Wear a mask when caring for a family member with symptoms of a viral respiratory illness.
- If you are sick or have symptoms of a viral respiratory illness, wear a mask before approaching other people.
- If you have symptoms of a viral respiratory illness and need to see a doctor, wear a mask well in advance to protect those around you in the waiting area.
- Wear a mask when in crowded places.
- Use the mask once, do not reuse the mask.
- Change mask every 2-3 hours or more often.
- If the mask is wet, it should be replaced with a new one.
- After using the mask, discard it and wash your hands.
- Wear a mask in closed rooms, in crowded places, in contact with people with symptoms of a viral respiratory disease
- The mask should fit snugly to the face and cover the mouth, nose and chin
- if there is a sewn-in attachment in the nose area, it must be firmly pressed against the back of the nose
- If there are special folds on the mask, straighten them
- Change the mask to a new one every 2-3 hours or more often
- Dispose of mask in trash can immediately after use
- After touching a used mask, wash your hands thoroughly with soap
- Wearing a mask in deserted open spaces is impractical
- The mask cannot be reused
- Only in combination with careful hand hygiene and quarantine measures, the use of a mask will be as effective as possible to prevent infection and spread of infection
Influenza and coronavirus viruses cause respiratory diseases of varying severity in humans.Symptoms are similar to those of regular (seasonal) flu. The severity of the disease depends on a number of factors, including the general condition of the body and age.
Predisposed to the disease: the elderly, small children, pregnant women and people suffering from chronic diseases (asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases), and with weakened immunity.
Clean and disinfect surfaces using household detergents.
Hand hygiene is an important measure to prevent the spread of influenza and coronavirus infection.Washing with soap removes viruses. If you cannot wash your hands with soap and water, use alcohol-based or disinfectant wipes.
Cleaning and regular disinfection of surfaces (tables, doorknobs, chairs, gadgets, etc.) removes viruses.
Viruses are transmitted from a sick person to a healthy person by airborne droplets (when sneezing, coughing), therefore, it is necessary to maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from patients.
Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with your hands.The flu virus and coronavirus are spread by these routes.
Wear a mask or other available protective equipment to reduce the risk of illness.
When coughing, sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with disposable napkins, which must be thrown away after use.
Avoiding unnecessary travel and visits to crowded places can reduce the risk of illness.
A healthy lifestyle increases the body’s resistance to infection.Maintain a healthy schedule, including adequate sleep, eating foods rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, and being physically active.
Among other means of prevention, wearing masks occupies a special place, thanks to which the spread of the virus is limited.
Medical masks for respiratory protection use:
- when visiting crowded places, traveling by public transport during a period of increasing incidence of acute respiratory viral infections;
- when caring for patients with acute respiratory viral infections;
- when communicating with persons with signs of acute respiratory viral infection;
- at risk of infection with other airborne infections.
Masks can be of different designs. They can be one-time use or they can be applied multiple times. There are masks that last 2, 4, 6 hours. The cost of these masks is different due to the different impregnation. But you can’t wear the same mask all the time, so you can infect yourself twice. Which side to wear a medical mask inward is not a matter of principle.
To protect yourself from infection, it is extremely important to wear it correctly:
- The mask must be carefully fixed, tightly covering the mouth and nose, leaving no gaps;
- Try not to touch the surfaces of the mask when removing it, if you touched it, wash your hands thoroughly with soap or alcohol;
- Wet or damp mask should be replaced with a new, dry one;
- Do not reuse the disposable mask;
- Used disposable mask should be discarded immediately.
When caring for a patient, after the end of contact with a sick person, the mask should be removed immediately. After removing the mask, wash your hands immediately and thoroughly.
The mask is appropriate if you are in a crowded place, on public transport, as well as when caring for the sick, but it is not advisable in the open air.
It is useful to breathe fresh air while you are outdoors and you should not wear a mask.
At the same time, doctors remind that this single measure does not provide complete protection against the disease.In addition to wearing a mask, other preventive measures must be followed.
Stay at home and see a doctor urgently.
Follow your doctor’s orders, stay in bed and drink as much fluids as possible.
High body temperature, chills, headache, weakness, nasal congestion, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, conjunctivitis.
In some cases, there may be symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
Viral pneumonia is the leading complication. Deterioration in viral pneumonia is rapid, and many patients develop respiratory failure within 24 hours, requiring immediate respiratory support with mechanical ventilation.
Promptly started treatment helps to alleviate the severity of the disease.
Call a doctor.
Give the patient a separate room in the house. If this is not possible, keep a distance of at least 1 meter from the patient.
Minimize contact between sick and loved ones, especially children, the elderly and people with chronic diseases.
Ventilate the room frequently.
Keep clean, wash and disinfect surfaces with household detergents as often as possible.
Wash your hands often with soap and water.
When caring for a sick person, cover your mouth and nose with a mask or other protective equipment (handkerchief, scarf, etc.).
Only one family member should take care of the sick person.
Coronaviruses (family Coronaviridae) – RNA-containing viruses 80-160 nm in size with an outer lipo-containing envelope. In terms of resistance to disinfectants, they belong to viruses with low resistance.
Mechanisms of transmission of infection – airborne, contact, fecal-oral.
In order to prevent and combat infections caused by coronaviruses, prophylactic and focal (current, final) disinfection is carried out.For disinfection, disinfectants are used, registered in the prescribed manner. The Instructions for the use of these funds indicate modes for disinfecting objects in case of viral infections.
For disinfection, agents from various chemical groups can be used: chloractive (sodium salt of dichloroisocyanuric acid – in the concentration of active chlorine in the working solution not less than 0.06%, chloramine B – in the concentration of active chlorine in the working solution not less than 3.0%) , oxygen-active (hydrogen peroxide – at a concentration of at least 3.0%), cationic surfactants (CSAS) – quaternary ammonium compounds (at a concentration in the working solution of at least 0.5%), tertiary amines (at a concentration in the working solution of at least 0.05%), polymeric derivatives of guanidine (at a concentration in the working solution of at least 0.2%), alcohols (as skin antiseptics and disinfectants for the treatment of small surface area – isopropyl alcohol at a concentration of at least 70% by weight, ethyl alcohol at a concentration of at least 75% by weight). The content of active ingredients is specified in the Instructions for Use.
All surfaces in rooms intended for the stay of passengers, as well as airport personnel involved in servicing passengers and baggage, are subject to disinfection, including surfaces in rooms, hands, furnishings, window sills, bed backs, bedside tables, door handles, patient dishes, toys, secretions, air and other objects.
Prophylactic disinfection begins immediately when a threat of a disease arises in order to prevent the penetration and spread of the causative agent of the disease into groups of people at facilities, institutions, territories, etc., where this disease is absent, but there is a threat of its introduction from the outside. Includes personal hygiene measures, frequent hand washing with soap or rubbing them with skin antiseptics, regular airing of the premises, and wet cleaning. The least toxic agents are used for disinfection.Activities are terminated 5 days after the elimination of the threat of the introduction of the pathogen.
Includes current and final.
Current disinfection in the outbreak is carried out during the entire period of the illness. For routine disinfection, use disinfectants approved for use in the presence of people (based on cationic surfactants) by wiping. Tableware, patient’s linen, care items are processed by immersion in solutions of disinfectants.
Hygienic treatment of hands with the use of alcohol-containing skin antiseptics should be carried out after each contact with the patient’s (potentially patient’s) skin, mucous membranes, secretions, bandages and other care items, after contact with equipment, furniture and other objects in the immediate vicinity of sick.
It is recommended to process the air in the presence of people using technologies and equipment permitted for use in accordance with the established procedure, based on the use of ultraviolet radiation (recirculators), various types of filters (including electrostatic precipitators) in accordance with the current methodological documents.
Final disinfection in the infectious focus is carried out after the patient leaves the focus. For treatment, the most reliable disinfectants based on chloroactive and oxygen-active compounds are used. When treating surfaces in rooms, the irrigation method is used. It is recommended to treat the air in the absence of people using open ultraviolet irradiators, aerosols of disinfectants.
All types of work with disinfectants should be performed in waterproof disposable or reusable gloves (for medical manipulations).During the final disinfection by irrigation, personal protective equipment (PPE) is used. The respiratory organs are protected with a respirator, eye-protective goggles or use anti-aerosol PPE of the respiratory system with an insulating face.
Disinfectants are stored in the manufacturer’s containers, tightly closed in a specially designated dry, cool and dark place, out of the reach of children.
Citizens need to observe personal hygiene measures – use protective masks; refrain from visiting crowded places and contact with sick people with high fever.
Precautions for disinfection and first aid in case of accidental poisoning are set out for each specific disinfectant in the Instructions for Use.
When diagnosed with nCoV or with suspicion of this disease in outpatient medical organizations (MO), the patient must be admitted to an infectious diseases hospital.
Delivery of patients from outpatient clinics to the hospital is carried out on a specially designated medical vehicle.
Medical personnel providing care to patients with coronavirus infection 2019-nCoV and if this infection is suspected, as well as drivers of specialized medical vehicles, must be provided with personal protective equipment: hats, anti-plague (surgical) gowns, respirators (such as NIOSH-certified N95, EU FFP2 or similar). When transporting patients, the protective clothing of medical workers is changed after each patient. If there is an insulated vehicle cab, the driver must be dressed in overalls.
After the patient is delivered to the hospital, the transport and items used during transportation are disinfected on the territory of a medical organization on a specially equipped site with a drain and a pit.
For disinfection, disinfectants approved for use are used, which ensure effective disinfection against viral infections. For air disinfection, means and methods are used that are permitted in the prescribed manner.
Current and final disinfection is carried out in the reception area.
In the pantry, the patient’s clothes are stored in individual bags folded in bins or plastic bags.
Food for the sick is delivered in kitchen utensils to the service entrance of the “clean” block, and there it is transferred from the kitchen utensils to the dishes of the pantry hospital. In the pantry, food is laid out in the dishes of the compartments and sent to the dispensing compartment, where it is distributed in portions and delivered to the wards. The dishes in which the food has entered the department are disinfected by boiling, after which the tank with the dishes is transferred to the pantry, where they are washed and stored until the next distribution.The dispensing room is supplied with everything necessary for the disinfection of food debris. Individual dishes are disinfected after each meal.
Medical waste, including biological excreta of patients (sputum, urine, feces, etc.) are disposed of in accordance with the sanitary and epidemiological requirements for the treatment of medical waste, belong to class B waste.
After discharge, death or movement of the patient, bedding is handed over to the disinfection chamber, in the box, the ward, the final disinfection of surfaces, furniture, equipment, and care items is carried out.
In the infectious diseases hospital where the patient with 2019-nCoV is located, an anti-epidemic regimen is established, provided for infections with an aerosol transmission mechanism.
Discharge of patients is allowed after complete recovery.
In the premises of the infectious diseases hospital, routine disinfection is carried out daily, after the release of the premises – final disinfection.
Control over compliance with biological safety requirements in the infectious hospital is carried out by specialists of the territorial bodies of Rospotrebnadzor.
Given the data on high risks of infection of medical workers, it is necessary to take a number of preventive measures.
The management of medical organizations should provide training and instruction to medical personnel on preventing the spread of 2019-nCoV coronavirus infection, taking anti-epidemic measures, using personal protective equipment (PPE) and personal prevention measures.
Medical personnel assisting patients with 2019-nCoV coronavirus infection and, if suspected, should be provided with personal protective equipment: hats, anti-plague (surgical) gowns, respirators (such as NIOSH-certified N95, EU FFP2 or similar).
Measures to ensure the safety of the air environment should be taken under special control. It is necessary to disinfect the air in the premises of medical organizations using approved means and methods.
Medical personnel should not touch eyes, nose, mouth, hands, including gloves. Hand hygienic treatment with the use of alcoholic dermal antiseptics should be carried out before contact with the patient, before any procedure, after contact with the patient’s biomaterials and objects in his environment.
Respiratory protection with a respirator is required for medical professionals whose functions include the collection and disposal of Class B medical waste.
In case of contact of biological material containing the 2019-nCoV pathogen on mucous membranes or skin:
- Hands are treated with an alcohol-containing skin antiseptic or alcohol, if the face was not protected, then it is wiped with a swab moistened with 70% ethyl alcohol;
- The mucous membranes of the mouth and throat are rinsed with 70% ethyl alcohol, a 2% solution of boric acid is instilled into the eyes and nose.
It is necessary to organize monitoring of the health of medical workers: daily examinations with thermometry 2 times a day throughout the entire period of caring for patients with coronavirus infection 2019-nCoV and within 14 days after the last contact with the patient.
Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation dated January 31, 2020 No. 66 “On amendments to the list of diseases that pose a danger to others”
Order of the Government of the Russian Federation of January 31, 2020 No. 153-r “On the temporary suspension of visa-free tourist trips provided for by the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on visa-free group tourist trips dated February 29, 2000 No.”
Resolution of the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of the Russian Federation dated January 31, 2020 No. 3 “On additional sanitary and anti-epidemic (preventive) measures to prevent the import and spread of a new coronavirus infection caused by 2019-nCoV”
More information on the website of Rospotrebnadzor