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Influenza, commonly called the flu, is an infection caused by a strain (version) of the influenza virus. It mainly affects the nose, throat and lungs, although it can involve other parts of the body. In healthy children it is much like a bad cold; However, influenza can cause more serious illness, especially in very
children and people with chronic medical conditions.
Influenza occurs especially during the winter. Every year an infection caused by a strain that is slightly different from the virus. Sometimes one of these strains can cause an outbreak wider or heavy (eg H1N1 swine flu outbreak in 2009)
Influenza usually begins with sudden fever and at least two of the following symptoms :.
If you think your child has influenza, you’ll see a GP who may want to do tests to confirm if your child has influenza.
Antibiotics do not help to influenza because antibiotics do not treat the virus. Your child will only be prescribed antibiotics if they are alleged to also have a bacterial infection.
Influenza can be serious in children with chronic (long-term) medical condition, including:
It can also be more serious in children who are immunocompromised (have immune systems weakened because of drug or disease). If your child has this condition and they showed signs of influenza, see your doctor.
The antiviral drugs (such as Tamiflu) is sometimes given to children with chronic medical conditions or who have developed severe symptoms. These drugs are not given to children otherwise fit and healthy who has influenza, because drugs are usually not the make
differences with disease duration. They also have little effect if administered more than 48 hours into the disease.
Most children recover from influenza within seven days without treatment. Make sure your child has plenty of rest, encouraging them to drink plenty of fluids and use of paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain or discomfort. See our fact sheet
Do not give aspirin to your child, as this can cause serious side effects.
If your child becomes more unwell or shows signs of dehydration or have trouble breathing, you should go back to the GP urgently. Some children may need to be hospitalized.
Influenza is highly contagious. It can be spread through the air by coughing and sneezing, and by touching objects that have been in contact with saliva or mucus of an infected person. A person with influenza contagious from the day before symptoms begin until several days after.
Good hygiene reduces the chance of getting influenza or passing it to others. good hygiene include:
If your child has the flu, keep them home from child care, kindergarten or school until they are well again.
The influenza vaccine is the most effective way to reduce the chances of your child becoming ill with influenza. The vaccine can be given to any child over six months of age. It is voluntary, but encouraged for everyone.
If your child has a chronic medical condition, it is advisable that they have an annual influenza vaccination. All household members should also be vaccinated to reduce the chances of your child being exposed to influenza.
Because the influenza virus mutates (changes) a little from year to year, your child will need a new influenza vaccine and updated at the start of the influenza season. Two doses are often required in the first year of vaccination for children under the age of nine.
The side effects of the vaccine include soreness and redness at the injection site. Less commonly, children may experience fever or aches and pains, which is one to two days. The vaccine can not cause influenza because it contains inactive (killed) influenza virus.
While the current influenza vaccine is made using small traces of egg protein, influenza vaccines extensive research shows that safe for children with allergies to eggs or egg anaphylaxis. All children will be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination.
What natural remedies can I
give my child to help them feel better?
We do not recommend giving care – whether
medical or natural – for children without professional medical advice. vitamin
is not required to make your children get better faster.
Is the flu vaccine safe?
All of these vaccines are currently available in Australia must
pass rigorous safety testing before being approved for use by Therapy
Goods Administration (TGA). Because the vaccine contains an inactive form of
virus, can not cause influenza. It can, however, cause mild symptoms
which may resemble a common cold.
I’ve heard a lot of people
catch the flu even though they got the vaccine. Do vaccines
A new influenza vaccination
developed for each start of flu season (most often in the winter
month). Several years of vaccination were more effective than others, depending on the
how the influenza virus has mutated. Some new strains of the virus is not possible
covered by the vaccine. It is still worth influenza
vaccination, as always will provide protection. Even if your child
not infected, although vaccinated, they will be less disease
severe than if they were not vaccinated.
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