3 major viruses that cause respiratory infections in children
1. Respiratory syncytial virus Respiratory syncytial virus is a single-stranded RNA virus. RSV infection occurs year-round and is a major cause of respiratory illness, especially bronchitis and pneumonia, in infancy and early childhood. The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with secretions, droplets of a patient, or indirectly through contaminated hands, contact with nasal or throat secretions of a newly infected patient. Respiratory syncytial virus infection usually heals within 1 to 2 weeks, but it may occur throughout the year, and the peak period is usually between November at the end of the year and January of the next year.
2. Rhinovirus Rhinovirus is the most common virus that causes colds and the most common virus that causes respiratory infections in children. According to the American Society for Microbiology, more than half of all colds are caused by rhinoviruses. Infection with rhinovirus usually causes cold symptoms such as sore throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, etc. It usually recovers in about a week, but it may also cause more serious complications such as rhinitis and bronchitis. Although the symptoms of this type of cold are milder, the course of the disease is shorter, and the infectivity is weaker, parents should still pay attention to prevention, whether at school or at home, to avoid the spread of the disease.
3. Influenza viruses are most commonly caused by influenza A or B viruses. Common symptoms include sudden onset of fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, and runny nose. The course of the disease can last for 2 weeks or more, and most people will gradually recover within a week. The most worrisome aspect of influenza virus infection is the complications, such as pneumonia. The World Health Organization pointed out that influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and may also cause the onset of underlying disease or secondary bacterial infection. Especially pregnant women, the elderly, children, and patients with some chronic diseases are more prone to severe influenza complications. In most countries with four distinct seasons, influenza has seasonal characteristics (such as low temperatures and dry winters), but in countries located on the equator, influenza has no seasonal characteristics, so influenza viruses lie dormant throughout the year. You and I are around.
4 warning signs of a worsening condition
It can be difficult to tell whether a respiratory infection in a child is a cold, flu, or something more serious. Typical symptoms of a respiratory infection in a child include nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever, headache, and loss of appetite. If your child feels unwell, you don’t have to rush to the hospital, you can observe to see if the symptoms are serious. But if your child has the following conditions, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible to find out the real cause and treat it early.
1. Dehydration If the child refuses to eat or drink, or even has diarrhea, vomiting, etc., it means that the risk of dehydration may increase. In addition, pay attention to whether the child is dehydrated such as thirst, dry mouth, and dark urine. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you develop signs of dehydration.
2. Shortness of breath If the child has difficulty breathing, shallow and rapid breathing, chest pain or blockage when breathing, it is a sign of deterioration and should seek medical attention in time.
3. High fever If the child has symptoms of respiratory infection, parents should measure the body temperature at intervals. If the body temperature is as high as 38 degrees or above, don’t delay any longer and take your child to see a doctor as soon as possible.
4. If the tired and sick child is in good spirits, still lively and active, and his appetite has not been greatly affected, parents can feel at ease. If your child suddenly becomes lethargic, refuses to eat or lies still, it’s time to see a doctor to find out what’s wrong.
Do two things right to strengthen the respiratory system
The most effective way to prevent respiratory infections in children is vaccination. In addition, we should try our best to prevent it in our daily life. By doing two things right, you can strengthen your respiratory system.
1. Healthy Diet Diverse and balanced healthy diet is the basic principle to protect children’s health and strengthen respiratory system function. Malnourished children are at higher risk of contracting the virus. Therefore, parents should allow their children to eat a diverse and balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and grains. As for health supplements, if the child can get enough nutrients from the daily diet and is not a picky eater, additional health supplements may not be necessary; if there is a need to increase the intake of nutrients due to various reasons, appropriate supplementation of vitamin C, probiotics and other nutrients can be considered .
2. Exercise Exercise can not only improve lung capacity and respiratory system, but also enhance immunity. Appropriate and reasonable exercise is of great help to children’s all-round growth. Long-term inactivity may lead to decreased respiratory system function and reduced body resistance, making it susceptible to viral infections.