Get flu shots for your children as vaccination is the only effective way to control the situation
It is advisable for families to stay away from crowded places, especially when there are children or adults suffering from flu at home.
Healthcare facilities in the UAE are witnessing a surge in pediatric patient footfall as flu cases are increasing with the onset of winter months. Doctors advise parents not to send their unwell wards to school as flu is highly contagious.
They also urge parents to get their kids administered with the influenza shot as people are looking forward to travelling with school-age children during the upcoming holidays. Flu vaccine could be a precautionary measure to avoid severity, frequency and complications later, according to the doctors.
Dr Meenakshi Sesama, specialist paediatrician, Aster Clinic, Barsha said: “With the onset of the winter season, hospitals and clinics are seeing a huge influx of children with fever, cough, cold, body ache, loose motion, vomiting, and breathing complaints. Flu and RSV infections are on the rise. Also, the Covid-19 restrictions have been relaxed to a great extent. Travelers who want to reduce the risk of influenza should consider vaccination, preferably at least two weeks before departure.
” She said most influenza cases in healthy children are self-limiting. “In severe cases, anti-viral treatment is recommended. Mostly, in suspected influenza cases, it is just the symptomatic treatment, and supportive management after consulting the paediatrician. But in severe cases or where there are other risks — if your child is influenza A positive — they should be treated with antiviral medications at the earliest,” Sesama added.
How to differentiate between symptoms of flu and other viral infection?
Medics explain symptoms of flu and other viral infections are more or less the same initially.
However, the differentiating factor is that in the case of flu, children experience high-grade fever, breathing difficulties, chills, and generalised feelings of not being well, compared to a common cold.
Dr Sahar Mohamed Elghawaby, specialist paediatrician, Prime Medical Center Motor city branch Dubai, said: “We are seeing lots of children suffering from influenza in the last couple of weeks. It is a bit hard for parents to differentiate between influenza and other viral infections. Common symptoms of influenza are high fever, cough and flu along with vomiting and very poor intake, sometimes. Luckily, all clinics now have kit for rapid test to detect influenza, which is helpful.”
Elghawaby added: “Parents can see the doctor immediately when their child’s general condition is getting bad and if they can’t handle the symptoms. “
Visit the doctor within the first 48 hours
Doctors recommend that parents should quickly seek professional help, instead of waiting for too long.
According to Dr Elghawaby, it is optimum to visit the pediatrician within the first 48 hours. The family should be aware of all medications that can be used for the child to control fever, including the dosage, frequency and contraindications. All instructions should be precise and clear.”
Parents are advised not to panic as most flu cases are mild to moderate and are treatable.
News source: Khaleej Times