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Flu Tips

Cold In Children - How To Treat It?

Dr. Brahmesh Guntamukkala 89% (60 ratings)
MBBS
General Physician, Visakhapatnam
Cold In Children - How To Treat It?

Children are highly at risk of developing a common cold. It has been said that 22 million school days are lost each year because of the common cold.

This can easily be prevented by a number of simple measures. Here are the most common methods which people take to make sure that they do not catch the flu:


1. Make your child wash their hands
This is the most common reason for children getting the common cold. It is possible that whatever you touch may get infected with your germs and pass on to your children. This can happen even hours later. Therefore, it is crucial that you wash your hands as often as possible and if this is not possible, you should at least make your child use a hand sanitizer.


2. Do not sneeze into your hands
When you sneeze into your hands, the virus clings to your hands. Therefore, when you sneeze, try to sneeze into a tissue or at least into the inside of your elbow so that your child does not get a cold.


3. Make your child not touch your face
Colds can only enter your body through the eyes, nose and mouth. Tell your kids not to touch their faces so that they do not catch a virus.


4. Make your child do aerobic exercise
Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate and this means, that it also increases the ability of the body to kill viruses.


5. Give your child foods with phytochemicals
Green, red and yellow vegetable and fruits are very good at fighting off viruses. Eat them so that the natural virus fighting ability of the body is increased.


6. Do not allow your child to come near smoke
Smoking reduces the body's ability to fight off cold. This is why smokers get more severe and more frequent colds. It has been said that one cigarette can stop cilia from working for 30 to 40 minutes.


7. Relax 
There is also a lot of evidence that your immune system is stronger when you are not stressed out. Try to see that your child is not stressed from school or any other place which may cause them stress.
 

672 people found this helpful

COPD Exacerbations - Know The Preventive Measures!

Dr. Piyush Goel 90% (22 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, FNB-Critical Care Medicine
Pulmonologist, Gurgaon
COPD Exacerbations - Know The Preventive Measures!

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is generally used to describe a broad category of diseases. These include chronic bronchitis, emphysema, non-reversible asthma as well as some forms of bronchiectasis. All of these diseases, however, can be prevented from getting worse by taking similar measures as the causes of these diseases are very similar. Here are the ways to prevent COPD exacerbations.

1. Cleanliness

It is crucial that you do not allow infections to set in. Infections are probably the worst type of exacerbation possible in COPD. All you need to do to prevent infection is take a little care to ensure good hygiene. Wash your hands often and do not allow people with colds or flu to come close to you.

2. Take vaccines

Make sure your flu and pneumonia shots have not been missed.

3. Take medicines

It is crucial that medicines for your lungs are taken on schedule if you have COPD. The possible medicines, which you could take if your doctor prescribes it, include inhaled beta-agonists, steroids and anticholinergics.  

4. Spirometry

Use of hand-held spirometry has been recommended by many doctors in case of COPD. All spirometries do is check the condition of the lungs by measuring various parameters to see how well the lungs are working. FEV1, measured by spirometers, is a parameter which measures how much air you can blow out in one second. This is especially great if you do not know if your condition has been exacerbated or not.

5. Corticosteroids

These are another type of medicines, which can prevent COPD exacerbations. In its place, even inhaled beta-agonists or anticholinergics can be used. 

These are just some measures which the doctor will take. However, it is advisable that you listen to him and not do anything without consulting him.
 

2867 people found this helpful

Signs That Indicate About Influenza!

Dr. Udaya Nath Sahoo 95% (1597 ratings)
MBBS
Internal Medicine Specialist, Kendujhar
Signs That Indicate About Influenza!

Influenza or flu is a contagious respiratory infection that affects the lungs, throat, nose and occasionally, the ears. It usually does not require treatment but Paracetamol can provide relief from most of the symptoms. Rarely, influenza can lead to severe complications like pneumonia, sinus problems and asthma.Annual vaccinations can prevent these complications even if you do get a mild flu.
Causes
The influenza virus is air borne and can be spread through coughing, sneezing, skin to skin contact, or indirect contact like touching a contaminated object. Type A, Type B and Type C influenza viruses affect the respiratory organs.
People with weak immune systems are infected more easily than others- children under the age of 4, people above the age of 60 pregnant women, obese people and those who are suffering from kidney disorders and diabetes are at greater risk of infection. Air pollution also aggravates the problem.
There is also little chance that your body has the necessary antibodies to fight the virus if you have been infected before. This is because the influenza virus modifies constantly and new strains of the virus appear rapidly. So, the antibodies that work against one particular variant do not work effectively against the others. This is why vaccination is also not a foolproof preventive technique against this disease.

Symptoms
The symptoms of influenza begin to show within a few days after infection. In a few cases, the infection may be asymptomatic. When they do show, the symptoms are very common- high fever, shivering, a blocked and runny nose, frequent coughing and sneezing and chest congestion are the predominant signs. In the later stages, there are headaches, body aches, general fatigue, reddened and watering eyes, throat pains and difficulty in speaking.
In the cases where the patient is a child, there are a few other symptoms like digestive and gastrointestinal disorders such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. The last two are especially common in children who have been infected by influenza virus Type B.
Aged people often have low resistance to the virus. This is why the flu quickly escalates and the complications like primary viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia. In such cases, there are sever symptoms like breathing problems, the presence of blood in the sputum, red and itchy skin and petechial rashes (caused by minor punctures in the capillary blood vessels).

H1N1 Flu Spreading Wings - How Well Are You Prepared?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Faridabad
H1N1 Flu Spreading Wings - How Well Are You Prepared?

The sudden spread of the Influenza-A (H1N1) virus has left the Karnataka government a bit worried as the death toll this year has reached 6 with two fresh casualties in Bengaluru.

The government has alerted all the districts and has ordered to take the preventive measures to combat the prevalent disease. A total of 4,902 H1N1 cases have been tested positive this year across the country, out which 456 have been registered in Karnataka only.

What is H1N1 flu?

It is also known as swine flu because of its past. Initially, people go got infected with it used to be in direct contact with pigs. It is a respiratory disease which is caused by influenza viruses that infect the respiratory tract of pigs leading to barking cough, decreased appetite, nasal secretions, etc. The molecules released by the infected pigs quickly get transmitted to humans turning the flu into a pandemic.

How does H1N1 flu prevail?

It spreads just like seasonal flu. It is transmitted from one person to another through sneeze or cough. The small molecules released while sneezing or coughing stay alive in the air and whenever another person comes in contact with these drops, he/she also gets infected by the virus. It also gets transmitted when someone touches the things used by an infected person.

H1N1 Flu Symptoms:

Swine Flu has similar symptoms to the seasonal flu. They include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Running nose
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Breath shortness
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Pain in the belly region

H1N1 flu, however, can lead to more serious ailments like pneumonia, lung infection and breathing problems. It worsens the situation in case the patient is already a diabetic or asthma patient.

Ways to diagnose H1N1 infection:

Due to various similarities in the symptoms of seasonal flu and swine flu, the doctor has to run a swab up inside the nose around the back of the throat of the patient. The doctors, however, use this method only on those having life threatening issues due to swine flu.

H1N1 Treatment:

The doctors prescribe same anti-viral drugs for swine flu that are given to treat seasonal flu. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab) and zanamivir (Relenza) are some drugs that fetch best results.

Consuming antibiotics will solve no purpose in H1N1 flu as it is caused by virus, not bacteria.

H1N1 flu prevention:

The vaccinations are a good option to keep swine flu at bay but here are some more preventive tips that can be of help:

  • Keep your hands clean
  • Use alcohol-based hand-sanitizer
  • Do not touch your eyes, mouth or nose
  • Try to maintain a safe distance from infected people

Preventive tips for family members and colleagues of a swine flu patient:

  • They should ensure they cover their mouth while sneezing or coughing
  • They should wear a mask while sharing the same room or cabin with the infected person
  • They should wash their hands with soap and water multiple times a day
  • They should avoid using or touching the clothes or other products used by the infected person

H1N1 flu is a deadly pandemic that is causing serious issues for the people as well as the government in Karnataka. Everyone should be aware of the preventive measures to keep themselves as well as their families safe in such a situation. If you also have any of the symptoms of swine flu, you should immediately visit a doctor to diagnose the problem.

2 people found this helpful

All About Influenza!

Dr. Vikram Tolani 90% (65 ratings)
MD - Medicine, MBBS, DTCD
Internal Medicine Specialist, Faridabad
All About Influenza!

Influenza or seasonal flu is basically a viral infection. It is different from common flu that accounts for many conditions that occur due to changing weather. These conditions include cold, stomach problems and fever. Influenza or flu comes with a variety of symptoms and is primarily caused by a virus due to lack of precautions taken as far as food and outings go, during the changing seasons. Let us find out more about the symptoms and treatment.

Symptoms: The main symptoms of this condition include fever, an aching body, dullness, fatigue, dry hacking coughs, a sore throat and even headaches. Appetite loss and drowsiness are also some symptoms of the condition.

Causes: Influenza is usually caused by either of the two influenza viruses, such as virus A or Virus B. The strains of these viruses are known to change every year.

Congestion: The main form of treatment revolves around treating the congestion that may have occurred in the nasal or the sinus tracts. The treatment for this is usually done with the help of nasal decongestants or sprays which can be used for a few days to get relief until the infection and congestion leaves the body. One must avoid the use of these decongestants for prolonged periods of time as they can make the condition reoccur again and again.

Allergies: Histamine is the chemical that the body produces automatically when an allergy hits. This is what causes influenza and hay fever as well. One can get treated with the help of anti-histamine drugs that will be prescribed for the doctor in case an allergic reaction or hay fever is detected. This drug can cause severe drowsiness, so it is best to take it at night and wake up fresh in the morning.

Blood Pressure and Other Complications: It is important to know what kind of medication you are allergic to, before you ingest anything or take a spray. If you are suffering from high blood pressure or any other cardiovascular complications, then you may want to steer clear of decongestants as these sprays can increase the blood pressure as well as the heart rate of the patient.

Cough: In order to cure a cough, one can take a cough medicine that will also have anti-histamines and analgesics, which will help in clearing the pollutants, dirt and allergens that have caused the cough.

Fever: In case you are experiencing fever and body ache, you can take aspirin or acetaminophen. However, this should be avoided by children.

With the treatment, one should take ample precautions while stepping out the home. Also, the patient should be careful about the dosage to avoid an overdose.

4223 people found this helpful

H1N1 Infection Kills 70 In Maharashtra - How To Stay Safe?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Faridabad
H1N1 Infection Kills 70 In Maharashtra - How To Stay Safe?

H1N1 infection, more commonly known as Swine Flu, has gripped Maharashtra badly and has so far accounted for over 70 deaths in the state. More than 700 people have been hospitalised and the number is increasing rapidly.

The infection, which has worst affected cities like Pune and Nashik, has brought a bunch of viral diseases including dengue.

What is H1N1 infection?

It is a respiratory disease which is caused by influenza viruses that infect the respiratory tract of pigs and eventually result in a barking cough, nasal secretions, decreased appetite and listless behaviour. It quickly gets transmitted to humans and turns into a pandemic.

How does it prevail?

It spreads its wings in a very similar manner as seasonal flu. When people sneeze or cough, they release tiny drops of virus into the air. Whenever another person comes in contact with these drops, he/she also gets infected by the virus. It can also spread by using or touching the things touched by the infected person.

H1N1 Symptoms:

The symptoms of the disease are also very much similar to the seasonal flu. They include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Running nose
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Breath shortness
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Pain in the belly region

Swine flu can lead to more serious problems that include pneumonia, a lung infection and other breathing problems. In ailments like diabetes and asthma, it can make the situation even worst.

How is H1N1 infection diagnosed?

As there are many similarities in the symptoms of seasonal flu and swine flu, the doctor runs a swab up inside your nose around the back of your throat. The method, however, is not used on everyone but only on those who are at risk of life threatening problems because of swine flu.

How To Treat H1N1 Infection?

Some of the anti-viral drugs used to cure seasonal flu are used to treat swine flu also. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab) and zanamivir (Relenza) are some of the best kinds of drugs that fetch best results.

Taking antibiotics will do no benefit as swine flu is caused by virus, not bacteria.

Can vaccination keep swine flu at bay?

The flu vaccine which keeps away seasonal flu also protects against N1H1 infection.

How to prevent H1N1 infection?

Apart from vaccinations, there are some other ways also to keep yourself healthy:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • Use alcohol-based hand-sanitizer
  • Do not touch your eyes, mouth or nose
  • Try to maintain safe distance from infected people

Prevention is always better than cure! At the time when the pandemic is quickly spreading across the country, people should be more cautious about their health. If you also have the symptoms of the disease, you should immediately visit a doctor to diagnose it and start with the treatment.

Flu In Pregnancy - How Can You Prevent It From Happening?

Dr. Rashi Sinha 82% (140 ratings)
MBBS, MS, DNB, Rcog London
Gynaecologist, Muzaffarpur
Flu In Pregnancy - How Can You Prevent It From Happening?

When you are pregnant, the need to watch your health is significantly higher. It is not just a question of your health, but of the developing baby also. This makes it extremely significant as different bacteria and viruses could affect the baby’s development and even lead to complications with pregnancy and childbirth.

The flu, short for influenza, is a mild viral infection that affects the upper airways, including the nose, throat, and sinuses. The usual symptoms include nose blockage, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, cough, heavy headed feeling. It is caused by a virus and therefore there is no remedy for it. It has to run its course which usually takes about 7 days, and the body will fight off the infection on its own.

Symptomatic treatment including paracetamol and adequate hydration can help live through the flu. Though it is common in any weather, the winters increase the risk.

Another increased risk factor is the reduced immune levels in a pregnant woman, making them more prone to catching the flu. This could lead to complications like pneumonia which might require hospitalisation and prolonged treatment with antibiotics. The baby could also be at risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature birth.

Symptoms: If you do catch the flu during your pregnancy, you will notice the following symptoms a headache, runny nose, fatigue, sore throat, shortness of breath, coughing, sudden chills or fever, diarrhoea or vomiting, and body aches, and loss of appetite.

Management: If you suspect that you could have the flu, contact the doctor immediately. Taking safe antiviral medications can help reduce the duration of the illness and reduce pain and suffering. In addition, getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids can help recovery. Acetaminophen can help manage the fever, while Robitussin and guaifenesin can help manage the cough.

Prevention: If you are planning for pregnancy or are already pregnant, it makes great sense to get vaccinated for the flu. This can help prevent a flu attack and sail through pregnancy smoothly. In addition to protecting the mother, the flu vaccine also transmits the virus to the newborn, which gets immunity for up to 6 months of life. The vaccine also has a beneficial effect on the newborn.

It is safe to get the flu vaccine during pregnancy, though taking it in the early months is advisable. It is also safe during breastfeeding with no harmful effects documented. In addition, some healthy habits like regularly washing hands, eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, and keeping a safe distance from people with flu can help prevent flu attack.

While prevention is the best solution, if contracted, the flu can be managed well by seeking immediate medical attention.

2552 people found this helpful

Influenza - Factors That Lead To It!

Alliance Munot Hospital 88% (60 ratings)
General Physician, Pune
Influenza - Factors That Lead To It!

Influenza or flu is a contagious respiratory infection that affects the lungs, throat, nose and occasionally, the ears. It usually does not require treatment but Paracetamol can provide relief from most of the symptoms. Rarely, influenza can lead to severe complications like pneumonia, sinus problems and asthma.Annual vaccinations can prevent these complications even if you do get a mild flu.
Causes
The influenza virus is air borne and can be spread through coughing, sneezing, skin to skin contact, or indirect contact like touching a contaminated object. Type A, Type B and Type C influenza viruses affect the respiratory organs.
People with weak immune systems are infected more easily than others- children under the age of 4, people above the age of 60 pregnant women, obese people and those who are suffering from kidney disorders and diabetes are at greater risk of infection. Air pollution also aggravates the problem.
There is also little chance that your body has the necessary antibodies to fight the virus if you have been infected before. This is because the influenza virus modifies constantly and new strains of the virus appear rapidly. So, the antibodies that work against one particular variant do not work effectively against the others. This is why vaccination is also not a foolproof preventive technique against this disease.

Symptoms
The symptoms of influenza begin to show within a few days after infection. In a few cases, the infection may be asymptomatic. When they do show, the symptoms are very common- high fever, shivering, a blocked and runny nose, frequent coughing and sneezing and chest congestion are the predominant signs. In the later stages, there are headaches, body aches, general fatigue, reddened and watering eyes, throat pains and difficulty in speaking.
In the cases where the patient is a child, there are a few other symptoms like digestive and gastrointestinal disorders such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. The last two are especially common in children who have been infected by influenza virus Type B.
Aged people often have low resistance to the virus. This is why the flu quickly escalates and the complications like primary viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia. In such cases, there are sever symptoms like breathing problems, the presence of blood in the sputum, red and itchy skin and petechial rashes (caused by minor punctures in the capillary blood vessels).

 

How Flu Can Affect Your Pregnancy?

Motherhood 88% (259 ratings)
Speciality Birthing Care
Gynaecologist, Bangalore
How Flu Can Affect Your Pregnancy?

When you are pregnant, the need to watch your health is significantly higher. It is not just a question of your health, but of the developing baby also. This makes it extremely significant as different bacteria and viruses could affect the baby’s development and even lead to complications with pregnancy and childbirth.

The flu, short for influenza, is a mild viral infection that affects the upper airways, including the nose, throat, and sinuses. The usual symptoms include nose blockage, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, cough, heavy headed feeling. It is caused by a virus and therefore there is no remedy for it. It has to run its course which usually takes about 7 days, and the body will fight off the infection on its own.

Symptomatic treatment including paracetamol and adequate hydration can help live through the flu. Though it is common in any weather, the winters increase the risk.

Another increased risk factor is the reduced immune levels in a pregnant woman, making them more prone to catching the flu. This could lead to complications like pneumonia which might require hospitalisation and prolonged treatment with antibiotics. The baby could also be at risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature birth.

Symptoms: If you do catch the flu during your pregnancy, you will notice the following symptoms a headache, runny nose, fatigue, sore throat, shortness of breath, coughing, sudden chills or fever, diarrhoea or vomiting, and body aches, and loss of appetite.

Management: If you suspect that you could have the flu, contact the doctor immediately. Taking safe antiviral medications can help reduce the duration of the illness and reduce pain and suffering. In addition, getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids can help recovery. Acetaminophen can help manage the fever, while Robitussin and guaifenesin can help manage the cough.

Prevention: If you are planning for pregnancy or are already pregnant, it makes great sense to get vaccinated for the flu. This can help prevent a flu attack and sail through pregnancy smoothly. In addition to protecting the mother, the flu vaccine also transmits the virus to the newborn, which gets immunity for up to 6 months of life. The vaccine also has a beneficial effect on the newborn.

It is safe to get the flu vaccine during pregnancy, though taking it in the early months is advisable. It is also safe during breastfeeding with no harmful effects documented. In addition, some healthy habits like regularly washing hands, eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, and keeping a safe distance from people with flu can help prevent flu attack.

While prevention is the best solution, if contracted, the flu can be managed well by seeking immediate medical attention.

5678 people found this helpful

Flu Shot - When Should You Get It?

Dr. Bijut Hazarika 90% (10 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Medicine
General Physician, Guwahati
Flu Shot - When Should You Get It?

There are a variety of reasons why a person can fall sick. A good number of these illnesses cannot be prevented though a person may take general precautions. Having said that, in the case of influenza, it can be prevented to a large extent and it does not seem all that smart to avoid taking easy precautions when one has an option, right?

Every year, thousands of people die from influenza, which is so unfortunate because an annual shot can reduce that number by almost 60 percent. So what exactly makes a flu shot or vaccine work? As a result of the vaccine, after about two weeks or so, antibodies begin to develop in the body. These antibodies help fight off infection, specifically the kind that is targeted by the vaccine. It is important to get vaccinated for this flu on an annual basis.

Choosing the right flu shot
Considering the great number of options there are when it comes to flu vaccines, which are the ones to be injected? It is a good idea to get the opinion of a doctor to see which one to choose. This is because the choice is dependent on a variety of factors, which a medical professional would be able to assess appropriately. Note that it is important not to use the nasal spray version of the vaccine as the medical authorities have recently found that it is not as effective a method as it once was.


When should you get it?
Flu season does vary across the world, but in the US, it starts in about October and goes on till May. During this time, the flu viruses are a lot more active. When one gets a flu shot, it is this period that one needs to look out for. So, it is better to get vaccinated in late September or the start of October, so that there is minimal unprotected exposure to the viruses.

Who is it for?
It is to be kept in mind that every individual who is older than six months should be vaccinated. While it is said that getting a vaccine shot year after year reduces its effectiveness, it is still important to do so. This is because each year, the shot is altered to reflect the biggest virus threats in that year. There might be few side effects of the flu vaccine such as redness in the injected area, soreness or swelling. However, as long as one gets a flu shot in time, it is almost a given that there will be almost no time spent ‘down with the flu’. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

 

 

3097 people found this helpful
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