My child has fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, suspected influenza A, should I take Tamiflu, how to prevent disease, when to be hospitalized? (Thu, 26 years old, Hanoi)
Influenza A is an acute respiratory infection that often circulates when the weather changes seasons, caused by common strains of influenza A virus such as A/H1N1, A/H3N2, A/H5N1, A/H7N9. In which, strains A/H7N9 and A/H5N1 circulate in poultry and are at risk of spreading to humans and becoming epidemics.
Children with mild influenza A have symptoms such as fever from 38 degrees Celsius, headache, muscle fatigue, lack of exercise; cough, sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose.
Influenza A is fast-moving, potentially dangerous, and can explode into a pandemic. Anyone can get influenza A. However, the group that is more susceptible and at risk of serious complications is people over 65 years old; children under 5 years old, especially children under two years old; people with underlying diseases such as blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease…; pregnant women, immunocompromised people (HIV, long-term corticosteroid use).
When there are severe symptoms such as high fever of 39 degrees or higher, no response to antipyretic drugs, lethargy, fatigue, poor appetite, anorexia, vomiting, cold limbs, convulsions or shortness of breath, rapid breathing … need to go to the hospital to check. Complications of influenza A can be otitis media, laryngitis – bronchiolitis, pneumonia, more severe respiratory failure, meningitis, myocarditis…
Influenza A is transmitted through the respiratory tract. When a sick person coughs, sneezes… droplets carrying the virus escape, a healthy person can breathe in. Sharing utensils or touching surfaces with an infected person, then touching their nose and mouth with their hands; Contact with infected animals (poultry) is also at risk.
Families should maintain personal hygiene, wash their children’s hands frequently, disinfect children’s utensils and toys, and clean their accommodation. Avoid exposing your child to someone who has or is suspected of having the flu.
Get your child vaccinated against the flu on time. Never use Tamiflu without your doctor’s prescription.
Doctor Pham Huy Tan
Deputy Director of Center for Family Medicine and Community Health Care, Hanoi Medical University Hospital