The scary reports about swine flu suffice to put any parent on edge– however this previous pandemic is now covered by the flu vaccine. Keep reading to read more about the differences in between H1N1 and the seasonal influenza (there aren’t lots of!) and how to treat your sweetheart if he gets sick.
Swine influenza is another type of influenza virus, much like those that cause our normal seasonal flu symptoms. In 2009, the huge distinction was that when swine influenza A (H1N1) virus first appeared, it was new and the majority of us do not have any immunity to it.
WHAT SWINE FLU IS
Swine flu (technically called the 2009 H1N1 flu) was a brand-new strain of influenza (flu) that made its launching in the spring of 2009 and reached its peak in late 2009 and early 2010. On August 10, 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Laws (IHR) Emergency Committee declared an end to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic globally, according to the CDC. And thanks to advances in the flu vaccine, swine flu is now more like the seasonal influenza, with the very same symptoms and recovery time. Like the regular seasonal influenza, swine flu is a contagious viral infection that impacts the breathing system (that includes the nose, throat, and lungs). And good news– this year’s seasonal flu vaccine secures against the H1N1 virus, too, which is why it’s much more crucial that your kid (who, like all children, is at a high-risk for flu) be vaccinated as quickly as possible (so long as he’s 6 months or older). If your baby or toddler does capture swine flu (or any sort of flu), symptoms typically last about a week. However if there are complications (normally triggered by underlying health conditions, like seasonal flu, with the very same symptoms and recovery time. Like the routine seasonal influenza, swine flu is a contagious viral infection that affects the breathing system (which includes the nose, throat, and lungs). And great news– this year’s seasonal influenza vaccine secures versus the H1N1 infection, too, which is why it’s even more essential that your little one (who, like all children, is at a high-risk for flu) be immunized as soon as possible (so long as he’s 6 months or older). If your baby or toddler does catch swine flu (or any type of influenza), symptoms normally last about a week. But if there are complications (generally brought on by underlying health conditions, like asthma or a jeopardized body immune system), the symptoms might last as long as three weeks.
WHAT CAUSES SWINE INFLUENZA IN CHILDREN
Your child can catch the infection by entering contact with an individual who’s infected (especially if that person sneezes or coughs on your youngster!) or by touching something– like a tissue or toy– that somebody with swine flu has actually touched.
WHAT SYMPTOMS OF SWINE FLU SHOW UP IN CHILDREN
The symptoms of swine influenza are practically identical to the symptoms of seasonal flu (except, sometimes, your child may experience vomiting and diarrhea). And unless your child develops a bad case of it (he has a really high fever, can not keep liquids down, and is soirritable he refuses to be held), it’s unlikely your doctor will order lab tests to determine which range of influenza your child has (after all, the treatment for both types of influenza is the very same).
How can you inform when it’s the flu or simply a bad cold? If the fever comes on suddenly and is high (normally over 100.4 ° F in babies under three months and over 101.5 ° F in older babies and toddlers) and your child is achy all over, it’s most likely the influenza. Blockage (a cough and runny nose) is likewise a sign of the influenza, however if your child was crowded a day or so before he came down with fever, he most likely has a cold.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT SWINE FLU IN CHILDREN
In spite of the media hype that surrounded swine influenza, many people (including youngsters) who come down with the infection recover within a week with simply regular medical treatment (pain relievers and possibly antiviral medications, in addition to rest and liquids). But due to the fact that children below 5 years of ages (and especially babies and toddlers under two) have a high risk of developing complications from any strain of the influenza, it’s important that you act quickly at the first sign of flu symptoms in your kid. Your doctor will probably suggest the following to alleviate your ill sweetheart’s suffering:
- Antiviral medication. If your baby is below two years old or your child (no matter what age) has an underlying health condition, your doctor may recommend an antiviral medication called Tamiflu, which stops the infection from replicating in the body and can make your child feel much better quicker. Tamiflu works best when it’s taken within Two Days of the first sign of flu symptoms, which is why it is very important to call your doctor if you suspect your child has the flu.
- Rest. Assist your youngster get a lot of R&R by letting him nap when he’s drowsy and motivating quiet activities during the day.
- Fluids. Offer lots of fluids to prevent dehydration (from fever and loss of appetite). You can continue to nurse and bottle-feed your baby; if he’s eating solids, try offering him a little bit of applesauce or broth. You can give your toddler Popsicles too, along with soup, broth, and hydrating fluids like Pedialyte.
- Pain relievers. Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to minimize the fever (however do not provide ibuprofen to babies below 6 months old). And never give kids of any age aspirin (even the baby kind).
WHEN TO CALL THE DOCTOR
Whenever you presume influenza (swine or regular), call your doctor right now. The faster you catch it, the most likely the antiviral medication will be able to alleviate symptoms. Also, call your doctor if you discover these symptoms:
- If your baby is less than 3 months old and has a temperature of 100.4 ° or greater, call the doctor instantly. If your baby is between three months and three years, call your doctor if his temperature reaches 101.5 ° or higher (again, you’ll want your child to be checked for complications).
- Extreme irritability (for example, your child does not even wish to be held).
- Your child isn’t really consuming enough.
- Fever with any kind of rash.
- Symptoms improve but then return more severe than before with fever and bad cough (this could be a sign of pneumonia or another serious infection).
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing.
- Bluish skin color.
- Seems baffled, is not interacting or awakening, or has seizures.
HOW TO PREVENT SWINE FLU IN CHILDREN
There’s no doubt about it– the best defense versus any type of flu is to get the influenza vaccine (after all, immunizations are a required part of children’s health). Here’s what you need to know about the 2013-2014 trivalent influenza vaccine:
- The primary swine influenza infections flowing in the United States over the last few years are the swine triple reassortant (tr) H1N1 infection, the trH3N2 virus, and the trH1N2 infection. This year’s vaccine is made from the following 3 infections: an A/California/7/ 2009 (H1N1) pdm09-like infection; an A( H3N2) infection antigenically like the cell-propagated prototype infection A/Victoria/361/ 2011; a B/Massachusetts/2/ 2012-like virus.
- There are two types of seasonal flu vaccines– the influenza shot and the nasal-spray flu vaccine– however nasal spray is not authorized for children under two, pregnant women, or anybody with an underlying health condition.
- Babies younger than six months are not old adequate to obtain the vaccine. If your baby is younger than six months it is necessary that everyone in the household (in addition to any caregivers) get vaccinated.
- Children nine years of ages and younger will require two doses of the influenza vaccine separated by a minimum of four weeks (kids 10 years old and up will require simply one dose). It takes about two weeks after receiving the 2nd vaccine prior to the body starts to develop immunity to the flu (suggesting your child might come down with it during that two-week window), so ensure your child gets his shot as quickly as possible.
- If your child has a chronic health condition like asthma or diabetes, it’s specifically important that he get vaccinated since he has a higher chance of developing complications.
- Worried that the H1N1 strain is too brand-new to be safe? Don’t be. Seasonal influenza vaccines have a record of being both safe and efficient, and the most common side effects are extremely moderate, like soreness, aches, and queasiness.
OTHER WAYS TO AVOID THE SWINE FLU IN CHILDREN
- Wash your baby’s hands frequently (and teach your toddler hand cleaning essentials).
- Steer clear of other ill kids and parents (and their tissues!) to prevent illness.
- Keep your cutie home– if he does get the influenza– until he’s been fever-free for a minimum of 24 Hr (without using fever-reducing medication) to reduce the risk of infecting others.