As per discussion with Dr. Gokul Bora, a renowned Child Specialist, Influenza virus (Flu) is a Viral disease like common cold. Influenza is generally a disease of winter season. There are many Strains of Flu Virus.
Influenza Virus spreads from one person to another through sneezing or coughing or with a close contact with a disease person. In case of children, it spreads through fomites like uses of pencil, pen etc. used by Influenza infected person. In case of complications seen in children like Encephalitis urgent hospitalization is necessary. If the children becomes very ill with high fever, respiratory distress, delirium etc he or she should be hospitalized on prior basis.
During the time of disease, children should eat semisolid, simple and easily digestible food. Flu virus causes running nose, mild cough, fever and general weakness. There is no specific treatment for such viral disease. Treatment is only symptomatic, where medications like aspirin, cough syrup, paracetamol for fever, sufficient fluid and citrus fruit juice like fresh lemon or orange juice is very helpful. Little rest is essential. Simple food is good. Till now flu vaccines are not given routinely but in endemic areas vaccination is recommended in early childhood.
Dr. Gokul Bora also states that sometimes influenza virus causes mild epidemics but these viruses are generally not lethal like corona virus. Some children may suffer from high fever as their resistance power is less. One should not be worried much – simple measures like healthy food and rest is always helpful.
Conclusion: In general cases, one should not be worried much— it has got no lasting effect on the body but it can cause general weakness for a few week times. Whereas in serious cases the patient or the child should be hospitalized for appropriate treatment.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the संभाषण Team.