With the onset of the cold season, the incidence of acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) and influenza increases every year, becoming epidemic. Children are most susceptible to these infections: they catch a cold from an average of 7 to 10 times a year against 2-3 cases of the disease in adults.
There are two main causes of such morbidity in children: first, their immune system is not yet familiar with many viruses and cannot give them a fitting rebuff right after they enter the body. Secondly, children are often located in large, close groups, such as a kindergarten and school, which contributes to the transmission of infections.
To date, more than 200 ARVI pathogens are known, most often rhinovirus is detected in the diseased. Influenza viruses differ in their antigenic composition and actively mutate, which is why a long-lasting immunity to them is not formed.
Previously it was believed that respiratory infections are transmitted mainly by airborne droplets. However, modern studies have shown that the main transmission route is contact, through touching each other, to door handles, toys, etc. Therefore, the most reliable way to prevent ARVI is frequent hand washing. Also, do not forget to wear a child for the weather, to monitor its nutrition and adequate sleep – all this affects the immune system.
ARVI usually begins with general malaise, weakness and fever, as well as a sore throat. Soon a runny nose, coughing, sneezing and headache may be added to these symptoms.
Influenza is more abrupt onset and more severe with a predominance of common symptoms. Usually there is a sharp rise in temperature up to 38-39 ° C, chills, headache and muscle pain, severe weakness, sore throat, hardened dry cough and chest pain. In children, the disease is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Help with flu and ARVI
In the overwhelming majority of cases, ARVI do not pose a serious risk to the health of the child (except for newborns). However, the subjective manifestations of the disease are often extremely unpleasant and debilitating the child, which requires symptomatic therapy, for example, with the help of complex anti-cold drugs.
Influenza is a more dangerous disease that proceeds harder and longer than simple acute respiratory viral infections. But even with it, the main importance is the fight against symptoms, since in most cases antiviral drugs for children are not prescribed due to high toxicity or unproved efficacy. Antibiotics for influenza and ARVI are contraindicated because they do not act on viruses.
A sick child first of all needs to ensure that there is no significant physical exertion (bed rest is preferable in the first days) and plenty of warm drink. Food should be easily digestible, but high-calorie.