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Watch out for flu this monsoon in Bengaluru

DECCAN CHRONICLE | JOYEETA CHAKRAVORTY
Published Jul 20, 2015, 11:49 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 11:55 am IST
Children aged 4–6 years have the highest transmission potential
Vaccination is now available in 2 forms: Nasal and Injectable.
 Vaccination is now available in 2 forms: Nasal and Injectable.

Bengaluru: Kids are at risk due to the damp, rainy weather and the elderly too. They are all increasingly susceptible to the influenza virus, especially at this time of year.  “Summer seasons are not conducive for the influenza virus to live and spread. Generally winters and rainy weather are ideal for the bacteria to flourish. The sudden fluctuations in  temperature and showers have caused children below the age of five and senior citizens above sixty-five to be most susceptible to the flu,” informs Dr Dr Riyaz Basha S, Professor of community medicine, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute. He informs that almost a third of pediatric admissions are due to respiratory infections, along with  rash and fever. “Almost one-third of the pediatric inpatient admissions are because of flu, which ranges from, mild, moderate to severe,” he adds.

Influenza, commonly known as flu, is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system -- nose, throat and lungs. Influenza impacts people of all ages, but can be life-threatening for children and those with weakened immune systems. “Children are more prone to get influenza as they don’t take care of themselves, nor do they take precautions to protect themselves. It’s the duty of parents to ensure that their children are healthy and fit. It is recommended that all children above the age of six months, receive an annual flu vaccination,” says Dr S M Prasad, Assistant Professor, Dr B R Ambedkar Medical College.  Health experts stress that children are at high risk and also are the key spreaders of flu. Dr Bhaskar Shenoy, Consultant, Manipal Hospital, said, “Children are the main source of flu in a population since they are in frequent contact with each other as well as family members.

They are more susceptible to influenza infection than adults, and can shed greater amounts of virus for longer periods of time. Children aged 4–6 years have the highest transmission potential (Taipei).”

Common symptoms include a high fever (101F-102F) that begins suddenly, muscle/body aches, chills, tiredness, and sudden onset of symptoms. Influenza frequently causes its victims to miss school and work but in some cases there are severe complications such as pneumonia.

“Influenza is a common cause of pneumonia, especially among younger children, the elderly, pregnant women, or those with certain chronic health conditions or who live in a nursing home. Many cases of flu never lead to pneumonia, but those that do, tend to be more severe and deadly. Pneumonia can be caused by many different things, but influenza is one of the most common and widespread causes,” informs Dr Basha. He  adds, “Mild and moderate flu can be treated at home with an antibiotic but severe flu needs additional monitoring, antibiotics for the full duration of the course.”

...
Location: Karnataka


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