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Are Parents Aware of the Fast-Spreading Influenza Disease?

These days, Influenza is heavily discussed across the country, and some of us are unnecessarily worried due to lack of knowledge. So, this is an effort to provide the correct information about the disease.

Influenza disease can be categorized into 3 varieties. They are Influenza A, Influenza B, and Influenza C. From these, the main 2 varieties that afflict people are Influenza A and Influenza B.

The Influenza virus mainly affects the respiratory system. Firstly, it infects the nose and throat areas. The antibodies are produced once the immune system in our bodies identifies the virus. Therefore, special treatment is not required for a normal, healthy person. Only rest and adequate fluid intake are sufficient. However, if the person has a weak immunity, the impact could be more. Usually, the complications occur in children under 5 and adults over 60, and also in pregnant women.

Symptoms

In addition to the usual flu symptoms such as cold/runny nose, body pain, headache, red eyes, Influenza also results in;

  • High temperature
  • Muscle pain
  • Intense headache
  • Eye-related infections
  • Vomiting/ diarrhea

Checking your child’s temperature

If the child is under 6 years of age, the temperature should be checked by keeping the thermometer under the armpit for 2 minutes. If the temperature is in Fahrenheit, you can get the correct measurement by adding 1 to what is shown, and if it’s in Celsius, add 0.5.

Treatments

  • Take rest as in a normal flu.
  • Take Paracetamol to keep the flu under control.
  • Drink more liquids.
  • Eat food according to preference.
  • If the flu lasts longer than 3 days, it is compulsory to see a qualified doctor.
  • Although there are medicines to fight Influenza virus, they are given only to the patients who are hospitalized and in critical condition.
  • Antibiotics are usually not necessary.

Medication given to fight Influenza virus.

  • As these medicines are quick to react, it is better to start taking them within 48 hours after the symptoms are shown.
  • Antivirus medicines will minimize the condition and will provide relief to the patient. Also, they will prevent the disease from escalating to a critical stage in people who could develop a severe infection, like old persons and pregnant ladies. It is not necessary for normal children to take them.

Things to consider in keeping Influenza under control

  • If you are infected, don’t forget to use a handkerchief/tissue paper when sneezing. Otherwise, you can bend your hand from the elbow and cover your face in it. Since this particular place in your body does not touch any surface, it can help minimize the spreading of the disease.
  • The towel/plate/cup of an infected person should only be used by him/her.
  • Always avoid using another person’s handkerchief/tissue papers/towel.
  • Do not send the children to pre-school until they have completely recovered.
  • After being in a crowded place, wash your hands well with soap.
  • Use a mouth mask.
  • Even at home, persons who are ill should stay away from those who aren’t. If you are pregnant and your child is having the flu, it will be better if you can get someone else to look after your child. This is because you might easily get infected, which could result in severe ill-health for you and your unborn baby.
  • Avoid going to public places until you are fully recovered. Minimize traveling and outings.
  • It is very important to protect people who are over 65, pregnant women, and those who have lung infections. Such persons can obtain the Influenza vaccine that is provided at private hospitals, with a doctor’s prescription.
  • Persons who require immediate treatments.
  • Patients with breathing difficulties
  • Patients with intense pain in stomach or chest
  • Patients who are afflicted by a sudden and intense headache, intense vomiting, sluggishness

Please keep in mind to seek medical advice and get the required tests done on your child in a situation like this.

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