School outbreaks of flu increase at this time of year, learn how to prevent

School outbreaks of flu increase at this time of year, learn how to prevent

Cases of H1N1 and H3N2 have started to get more prevalent throughout the country and vaccination is the best way to prevent them from happening.

Suddenly, all the students in the room spent a week without going to school because they had the flu. If this has not happened to your child, at least you’ve heard a report like this year. It is that the outbreaks of the disease grow even at this time, and the school environment is perfect for the virus to proliferate, as children are among the largest transmitters of the influenza virus, which causes the disease.

Reports of spreading outbreaks attribute the episodes to H1N1, a type of influenza, but it’s not just him that worries. “This year, we have the three subtypes in circulation, H1N1, H3N2 and B, this in a lower proportion, but the treatment is practically the same for everyone, as well as attention to the risks of complication,” says Marco Aurélio Palazzi Sáfadi, president of the Department of Infectious Diseases of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP).

In most cases, influenza is a disease that bothers a lot for a few days, then goes away without major repercussions for the body. But, as it can also worsen and provoke pictures such as pneumonia and respiratory failure, it needs to be accompanied by a doctor and preferably prevented. The best way to do this is with the annual vaccination, available on the public network. The vaccination campaign ends Friday, the 31st, and has not yet reached its target.

Vaccine for children

From six months to five years, they can take the trivalent flu, which protects from three types of influenza, at health clinics. In the private network, it is possible to find the tetravalent, which includes one more subtype of the virus. Those taking it for the first time should take two doses, with 30 days between them.

The problem is that the vaccine has not yet shipped at once, which can contribute to the incidence of outbreaks. “This year the adhesion is timid, but with the fall in temperature the cases are increasing, which can take more people to the stations”, points Palazzi. Even if the child has a cold or flu, the child can receive the vaccine unless he or she has a fever.

It also costs nothing to lend a hand to the body’s defenses. Encourage the practice of physical activity, essential for regulating the immune system and give the little ones plenty of liquids, as well as fruits rich in vitamin C like orange, lemon, acerola and cashew. Washing your hands constantly, using alcohol gel and avoiding clutter and closed environments can decrease the chances of being hit by a microorganism that causes diseases.

Differences between viruses

There are many in circulation at this time, and in most cases harmless, with the exception of the respiratory syncytial virus, which especially attacks small babies and can cause bronchiolitis. Outside of this age group, the most common are similar: they affect the upper airways and trigger classic symptoms: sneezing, dry cough, coryza, headache, tiredness and loss of appetite.

“What is most worrisome is influenza, so it is important to differentiate it from the common cold,” says Heloísa Giamberardino, a pediatrician and coordinator of the Vaccine Center of the Hospital Pequeno Príncipe. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to do because the flu is more aggressive, causes high fever, pains in the body and knocks the mood of the child, which is part of the group at risk for complications of the disease.

Under the age of seven, the immune system is still developing, making the young more susceptible not only to the flu, but to other diseases. In addition to infections transmitted by viruses and bacteria, conditions of allergic origin such as asthma and rhinitis also tend to increase at this time. Persistent coughing, difficulty eating and wheezing in the chest should be evaluated by a doctor (learn more about common winter diseases here).

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