Influenza commonly referred to as the flu is a respiratory infection caused by a virus called influenza. The flu outbreaks annually since the virus often changes from year to year thus preventing a consistent immunity for people. However, you cannot catch the same flu twice. It is often mistaken to be cold, but the flu is usually more intense and comes faster than the cold. It is not always as easy to tell when your child has the flu, given its symptoms on children such as; nausea, vomiting and stomach pain that leads you to a stomach bug. It, however, tends to feel worse on the first two to three days on the kid’s sickness. This article entails a guide to the signs your kid has the flu, to help you act appropriately with this knowledge. But first, you need to be aware of its causes and spread to mitigate the risks of you or your child getting sick with the flu.
Causes of the Flu
The influenza virus causes this flu which exists in three types, that is A, B and C. Yearly outbreaks of the flu are usually caused by the A and B types of the influenza virus. Type C, on the other hand, entails a significant change in the influenza virus which leads to mild, random cases. This change makes it resistant to everyone’s immune system thus making people of all ages sick. The spread of such this flu is usually vast and fast, and within months it is spread to individuals of all ages around the world. At this point, it is then referred to as a pandemic. One such flu was the 2009 HINI pandemic, others such times include; 1889, 1918, 1957, and 1968.
How the Flu Spreads Among Children
The influenza viruses reside around the nose and throat, thus are commonly spread by coming into contact with the bodily fluids from these regions of the body. The following are the different aspects in which the flu germs are spread among children;
- Direct contact, which usually happens when the kids are playing entails, touching holding hands, and hugging just to name a few ways. When they touch or get touched by an infected person in the ways mentioned above and happen to come into contact with their mucus or saliva, they immediately contract the flu.
- The air is quite a vessel in the spreading of these germs especially when kids share close quarters such as classrooms. When one of the infected children coughs or sneezes, their mucus or saliva droplets may reach the other children’s noses and mouths through the air.
- Indirect contact, which entails coming into contact with an object that has already been smeared with germs from an infected child. Such objects include; toys that they share, door knobs, swing poles on the playground, pencils in class, and mugs just to name a few.
The flu virus is quite contagious as you can see and it can spread a day before the infected begin showing symptoms and five to seven days after they get sick.
The flu happens to affect children more severely than colds do, which keeps them in bed unlike children with colds that usually maintain their daily routine. The following are signs that your kid has influenza;
- Sudden fever that goes up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit
- Chills and shake
- Severe headaches and body aches
- Extreme and constant fatigue
- A dry hacking cough
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
- Occasional vomiting
- Belly pain
- Red eyes
These flu symptoms in children can cause a misdiagnosis by parents if they try to deal with them using home medication. If you are located in Dallas Texas, then Frontline ER Dallas is one such facility with expert physicians and state-of-the-art equipment to enable quick and accurate diagnosis plus immediate treatment.
Complications That Arise From the Flu
Contacting the flu may have underlying complications to the health of your child even as it develops. The flu weakens your young one’s immune system, which can lead to bacterial infections, the common ones among kids being pneumonia, bronchiolitis (causes breathing difficulty), otitis (an ear infection), sinusitis and an infection of the vocal cords and throat causing noisy breathing and hoarseness known as croup. Children under the age of two with influenza are at a higher health risk than some children with chronic illnesses. If your child’s fever lasts for more than three days, then it is imperative to call the doctor and get them checked out urgently. Frontline ER is one such facility that is entirely specialized and dedicated to providing urgent medical attention to patients of all ages.
Prevention and Treatment
Influenza can be prevented by getting vaccination shots for kids over six months each year. Washing of hands should be a habit within your household as well as the constant cleaning and disinfecting of toys shared among children to prevent the spread of the virus. As for treatment, the doctor will prescribe an antiviral medication such as Amantadine (Symmetrel), Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), and Zanamivir (Relenza) to fight the flu virus.