Saying “Especially children under 2 years old are at high risk of developing severe flu-related complications”, Near East University Hospital Child Health and Diseases Department Specialist and Neonatal Intensive Care Person-in-charge Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ceyhun Dalkan pointed out that even deaths may occur due to flu-related complications.
The US Center for Disease Control and Protection reported that since 2010, there have been between 7,000 and 26,000 flu-related hospitalizations among children under 5 years old in the United States, with many seeking medical or emergency services for the flu.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ceyhun Dalkan said in relation to flu-related complications that aggravation of chronic diseases such as pneumonia, dehydration, heart disease or asthma, sinusitis and ear infections, and impaired brain functions, and rarely, deaths may occur due to these complications.
Children under 6 months stand out as the highest risk group
Children under 6 months of age have a higher risk of being hospitalized for the flu than children of other ages. Stating that the use of flu vaccines in children younger than 6 months is not approved by the health authorities, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ceyhun Dalkan draws attention to the importance of protecting children in this age group from flu.
Recommendations to protect from flu
“It is not enough to just vaccinate children. Their caregivers and all family members need to be vaccinated to protect both themselves and their children from the flu.”, saying Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ceyhun Dalkan, emphasized that the first and best way to protect against flu is the annual flu vaccine. Flu vaccine reduces the risk of influenza, hospitalization and death in children.
Drawing attention to daily preventive actions to protect against flu, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ceyhun Dalkan says that adults should keep both themselves and their children away from sick people as much as possible.
People with flu symptoms should avoid contact with other people, including the child in their care, whenever possible. In case of cough or sneezing, it is recommended to cover the nose and mouth with a handkerchief, discard the handkerchief after use and wash the hands frequently with soap and water or clean with an alcohol-based hand cleaner. In order to prevent the spread of microbes, the eyes, nose and mouth should not be touched, and frequently touched surfaces should be disinfected.
Stating that antiviral drugs used in the treatment of influenza in children and adults alleviate the disease and shorten the duration of the disease, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ceyhun Dalkan emphasized that they prevent serious flu complications. Antiviral drug therapy works best when started within 2 days of getting sick.
While all children younger than 5 are considered to be at high risk for flu complications, children younger than 2 are at greatest risk. The highest rates of hospitalization and death are seen in infants younger than 6 months.
Flu; It can cause fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose / stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and tiredness. Young children may also experience vomiting or diarrhea along with flu symptoms.
Consult your doctor if you have flu symptoms
“Monitor children in your care closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory illness. Contact your doctor if you develop fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, tiredness or vomiting/diarrhea" saying Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ceyhun Dalkan reminded that starting the use of antiviral drugs effective in the treatment of flu without delay will increase the effectiveness of the treatment.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ceyhun Dalkan listed the flu-related complications that require admission to the emergency department as follows; Excessive fluid loss of the body including rapid breathing or difficulty breathing, purple lips or face, chest pain, muscle pain severe enough to prevent walking, absence of urine for 8 hours, dry mouth, and absence of tears when crying, while awake lack of interaction, convulsions, fever above 40 degrees, fever in children younger than 12 weeks, fever or cough that resolves but returns or worsens, worsening of chronic medical conditions.