Flu, otherwise known as influenza is an acute viral infection which commonly affects the throat and the airway tract. The disease is highly contagious. In other instances, the disease will spread down to the lungs and cause further damage. It is usually caused by three types of viruses, A, B or C.
Even though flu affects people of all ages, children are at a greater sick of contracting the disease. The flu virus multiplies in the tiny saliva droplets which are then sneezed or coughed out into the air by someone who already has the infection. If an uninfected person inhales these saliva droplets, then they are bound to contract the disease. Furthermore, the flu can spread further when an infected person touches some common surfaces including door knobs and counter tops with their bare hands.
Flu symptoms usually commence two to three days after the exposure. The virus gets into the body rapidly and attacks the upper part of the respiratory systems.
Typical flu symptoms
When an individual catches the flu, they present with a myriad of symptoms which may range from acute to just mild ones that may not require the attention of a doctor. The symptoms may include:
- The patient may complain of muscle pain
- The individual feels a sore in the throat
- The individual complains of unending head pain
- The person feels exhausted
These symptoms may generally last for about three days before disappearing. However, you will still cough and feel weak for another one to two weeks after all the other symptoms have subsided.
In younger children, they may present with other infections that attack the respiratory including bronchitis, pneumonia or croup. This may be very dangerous to a young child since they may easily succumb to the infections. As such, when you notice them, the best action to take is rush to have a doctor examine them and recommend treatment. Other symptoms that you may also observe in children include:
- Abdominal pain
Vomiting, compared to diarrhea, is a more significant symptom among young children. In infants, the symptoms of flu are not marked, and that means they can easily go unrecognized. This infection is less prevalent among children who are less than six months of age. However, that does not mean they can never contract the flu. If it happens that they do, then the following may be the symptoms
- The baby does not eat adequately and properly
- the baby is generally weak
- There is poor circulation of blood in the system of the baby.
Complications of flu in children
There is some complication of influenza that may be noticed in children. They include:
- Sinus infection
- Ear infection
Whenever you observe the above flu symptoms in your child, you have to confirm the diagnosis so that they can be put to prompt medical treatment. The doctor will conduct a diagnostic test for influenza which is known as Direct Fluorescent Antibody (DFA). For this diagnostic test, the doctor is going to need to get a secretion from the back of the nasopharynx.
When the physician confirms that your child is suffering from influenza, see to it that they consume a lot of liquids and get enough rest. It is imperative to mention that you should never give aspirin to teenagers who have flu-like symptoms. Without the advice of a physician. Otherwise, it can lead to a grave condition known as Reye syndrome.
You should always watch out for things that can lead to the contraction of this disease by following simple do’s and don’ts.