Colds and Flu in Children
It is common for flu and cold to occur together in their attack on a child’s immune system. This combination resuIts in an infection from the cold symptoms while the flu virus causes other symptoms, The treatment of the cold infection and flu virus is mainly symptomatic resulting in some relief of symptoms. This offers some relief in many cases while the cold and flu run their course. This symptomatic treatment works better for some children than it does for others.
A cold and flu are picked up when one is in contact with someone who already has the symptoms of a cold which are sore throat, headache, sneezing, sore muscles and fever as well as some other symptoms. These symptoms of the cold manifest themselves over a period of between two to five days. The flu virus then takes three to five days to develop completely. Having had the flu, it can take up to two weeks to get over it completely and it mainly affects the upper respiratory tract.
Flu symptoms are more severe than those of the cold. They include a runny nose, sore throat, headache, nausea, fatigue, vomiting and severe headaches. To differentiate between a flu and a cold, it is necessary to focus on the presenting symptoms and severity of them Furthermore, one will recover more quickly from a cold than one will recover from a flu.
In terms of treatment, antibiotics simply don’t work for flu sufferers and are of no use in improving the symptoms. Ensuring a good intake of fluid is of paramount importance. There are over-the-counter medications available from your pharmacist to alleviate some of the symptoms. The use of antiviral medications can speed up the process of recovery if they are commenced within forty-eight hours of the first presentation of symptoms. It is a good idea to treat the symptoms of flu to avoid the ill effects on one’s health. Untreated flu can lead to pneumonia for example, a scenario which is best avoided.
Flu is very prevalent in children attending school and it gets a chance to spread a lot from one child to another. It is estimated that nearly one quarter of all Americans develop the flu each year and up to twenty thousand people die in America annually as a result of the flu. It is possible to prevent your child from getting the flu by immunizing him with the flu vaccine annually. This vaccine is administered as a nasal spray or a shot and regular doses of this vaccine improve immunity to the flu by reinforcing the immune system and developing antibodies to the flu virus.
The flu shot is a great advantage for some people to avoid getting the flu but it it is not suitable for everyone. Some people have had allergic reactions to the flu immunization previously so it is not advisable for them to take it again. Those who have an allergy to eggs cannot take the flu immunization either. A doctor’s advice is highly recommended before it is decided whether or not to get immunized against the flu virus. Groups of people who are at risk of getting the flu are the elderly, young children, pregnant women and health care workers.
Although this article’s focus was on colds and flu as they affect the child, many of the points made and the information given apply just as much to adults as children.
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