I Promise To Stop Flu Because It Can Be Life Threatening
Created by Ekta Updated on Aug 06, 2019
A few days back my daughter complained about not seeing her best friend, Nisha in school for the past two weeks. When I checked on Nisha, her mom told me that a few days back Nisha came home unwell. She was complaining of pain in her legs and back. She also had a fever and a runny nose.
Thinking of it as a seasonal infection, her mom gave her a medication to bring down the fever and tried a few home remedies for cold. But the fever kept coming back. It was only when Nisha was taken to the doctor they came to know that what looked like a regular seasonal cold and fever was actually the flu virus. The doctor then made them aware of the fact that contrary to what many people believe, the flu is a serious respiratory illness.
*Did you know each year, 3 to 5 million cases are reported with influenza virus worldwide? It is a serious disease, which can lead to hospitalization and if left unattended, it can result in loss of lives.
My young child is exposed to various micro-organisms, viruses, good and bad bacteria in school or if she is going out for any classes. Our children are most vulnerable to infections, hence, it becomes our responsibility to make sure that a child is timely vaccinated and protected against fatal or non-fatal viral diseases like the Influenza virus. It was only when I came to know about Nisha’s illness, I decided to make myself aware of the flu.
So, what is the Flu?
Influenza, commonly known as flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by Type A and B virus. It affects the nose, throat, and lungs. It is necessary to prevent it to have lesser cases of asthma, upper respiratory tract infections in the age group of 2-5 years, ear infections in children less than 3 years, wheezing and pneumonia.
How can my child catch the virus?
You know how children mingle at school, sharing each other’s food, talking and playing with their friends. What we have to keep in mind is that their school is a crowded place, therefore, a place where such an infection can easily spread. So if your child comes in contact with an infected person or touches an infected surface area and is then putting hands in mouth or nose, skin-to-skin contact like handshakes, saliva (like sharing drinks), can transfer the influenza virus.
How will I know if it is flu?
You should watch out for the following symptoms, which can be from mild to severe:
● High fever
● Runny nose
● Sore throat
● Muscle & joint pain
● Coughing, sneezing
● Lethargy/feeling tired.
What to do if my child catches flu?
If your child is diagnosed with flu, the doctor will recommend enough rest and plenty of fluid intake. No antibiotic is prescribed, however, your child’s doctor may give you a medication to control fever.
You should also try to keep the child indoors and make sure proper hygiene is being maintained in the house to prevent the spreading of the flu to other members of the family.
How can flu be prevented?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the best way to prevent flu and limit its complications, in any age group is a dose of annual Influenza vaccine. Well, I always rely on my pediatrician when it comes to vaccination. And, the doctor told me that this vaccine can be given to children from 6 months onwards and it should be taken every year after that.
When is the best time to take the vaccine?
The best way to prevent flu is to vaccinate. You should ask your pediatrician for advice on the vaccination.
A mom wears many hats. She is a provider, caretaker, supporter, and protector. Therefore, I choose to be aware of what can harm my child. I promise To Stop Flu. Have you taken the #IPromiseToStopFlu pledge yet? Take the pledge now and also share it with your fellow parents to make them aware of the Flu virus.
(*Reference: Centres For Disease Control and Prevention, Flu Symptoms and Complications available at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/complications.htm Accessed January 24, 2018)
This article is meant to help create awareness and spread knowledge. Any decision regarding your health and child's health should be done after consultation with your doctor. Read my full disclosure here. While all efforts are made to keep articles updated, the speed of research in these fields means the information often may change when more research knowledge is available. The authors should be in no way held responsible in that case.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative on influenza supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.