Tuesday, April 11, 2023
HomeHealthcareChildren are catching flu more often now: Medical experts

Children are catching flu more often now: Medical experts

There has been a sharp rise in the number of children reporting flu-like symptoms in the country, a sign that staying at home for two years may have taken a toll on their immunity, medical experts said.

A lot of children under the age of 15 are getting infected with adenovirus and Covid-19, with some cases leading to complications like pneumonia, doctors said.

“Starting this past winter and continuing till the present, we are noticing a sharp rise in viral influenza in our communities and schools,” said Arvind Taneja, chief advisor – paediatrics and infectious diseases at Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, in Delhi. “The illness is highly infectious and starting with the index case, very soon the whole family gets affected. The virus is mostly H3N2 strain but occasionally H1N1 is also observed,” the doctor said.

Jesal Sheth, senior consultant – paediatrics at Fortis Hospital, Mulund, in Mumbai, said the trend has been observed more in the last few months and is continuing. “We have observed infants with a fever over the past three months due to the virus epidemic like Adeno, Rhino, and H Influenza,” he said.

Doctors said the numbers may further increase, but assured that there is nothing to worry about. “Most children are getting better after a few days of rest and only a miniscule number require hospitalisation or major intervention,” said a doctor who requested not to be identified.

Experts said children who have any kind of health complication are most at risk. The symptoms of Covid-19 in children are similar to flu-like symptoms which include high fever, coughing, head and body aches, fatigue, and runny nose. Those infected with adenovirus also show redness and watery eyes. Taneja of Max hospital said bed rest and oral fluids are the best treatments while vaccination against influenza can provide some protection to children.

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