Recommended

Flu and cold - how do children get sick?


Flu and cold are not the same.

Although these terms are often used interchangeably and treated as synonyms, the two diseases that are used to identify them differ significantly. It is worth learning to distinguish them in order to effectively treat the most frequent infections occurring in the season.

Flu symptoms

The flu is different from the common cold that appears suddenly. Most often accompanies her headache and fever. The child is tired, complains about muscle pain, a dry cough appears.

As the disease progresses, they sometimes attach to cold-like symptoms: especially sore throat and swelling of the nasal mucosa.

Flu can also be accompanied gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, stomach ache), eye redness and conjunctivitis, which is inflammation of the membrane covering the eye.

After several days of the flu, some children also complain about calf pain, refuse to walk alone, they get tired quickly. In rare situations, flu can lead to pneumonia or laryngitis.

Despite the characteristic symptoms, flu can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from colds (especially in the advanced stage).

When do most people get flu?

In Poland, the largest number of cases of influenza is recorded between December and Marchwith the peak of incidence in February.

How is influenza virus transmitted?

The influenza virus is transmitted during direct contact with an infected person. Unfortunately, infection most often occurs before symptoms occur, therefore an infected person does not know that he is infecting. For children, the process of spreading the virus may take longer: via nasal discharge.

Infection usually occurs through being in a room with a sick person - Inhalation of large air droplets with the virus in progress sneezing or coughing - in this way the virus can spread even at a distance eight meters.
Children get infected quickly through nasal secretions transmitted to toys.

The influenza hatching period is from one to three days.

How long does the flu last?

Flu, unless it is accompanied by other illnesses, usually continues from five to seven days.

How is flu treated?

flu treats symptomatically. The most important thing is fluid administration, using a varied, nutritious diet and limiting work by going to rest: the flu is best to "lay out" while resting in bed.

  • For children who do not want to stay in the crib, it is enough to limit their activity and help to fight the virus in peace, in a place that they know and feel safe in it.
  • It can be helpful in treating air humidification - humidifiers or traditionally by hanging wet towels. Paracetamol or ibuprofen can be given for fever and pain. Learn more.
  • It is also possible moisturize the nasal mucosa and, if necessary, use sprays to reduce swelling of the mucous membranes.

Can flu be prevented? Yes and no.

Avoiding infection through limiting contact with sick people is only partially effective (slightly, because the disease spreads before the onset of symptoms). Certainly, reduction of morbidity can be achieved by limiting the stay in large clusters of people, especially in shopping centers, nurseries, kindergartens during influenza infection. However, of course, it can be difficult for children in crèches, kindergartens and clubs every day. Assessing the effectiveness of influenza vaccines is also difficult and varies depending on what sources it reaches.