H3N2 influenza: How to keep kids safe from aggressive flu virus

Currently, not only adults but even children are down with fever, cold, cough, sore throat, diarrhoea, and body pain owing to H3N2 infection. It is the need of the hour for patients to take the utmost care of their children by following certain guidelines. Read on to know more about this, and seek timely medical intervention when it comes to your child’s health.

Neglecting any symptoms is a strict no-no as doing so can be the child a tough time as one’s health will deteriorate further. It is better to stay in touch with the doctor and take medication prescribed by the doctor only.

H3N2 Influenza is a subtype of Influenza A virus that is spreading rapidly in the country. A large number of children are falling sick owing to the infection of this virus. Mumbai is seeing drizzles, a hot and humid climate, and slightly cold weather from night till early in the morning. Thus, many children are complaining of symptoms such as cold, cough, fever, runny nose, blocked nose, body pain, sore throat, throat pain, chest tightness, breathing difficulties, diarrhoea, headaches, vomiting, dehydration, lethargy, weakness, sneezing, and wheezing.

These children are also having a higher risk of suffering from respiratory ailments such as pneumonia, and other fatal infections that may require hospitalization and can even lose lives if not treated at the right time. Parents should make sure that the child follows good personal hygiene practices and stay healthy. These are some of the foolproof measures that are advised for the child.
Parents should adhere to these vital tips and make sure the child stays hale and hearty;

  • Children should wear masks without fail to avoid getting infected by the person with flu. They should follow cough etiquette. They should cover the mouth while coughing and sneezing and properly dispose of the tissue.
  • The child should avoid handshaking, hugging, or sharing notebooks with others. Also, do not be around sick people.
  • The child should wash his/her hands properly and sanitize them from time to time without fail.
  • Parents should disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, faucets, furniture, and countertop.

The child has to eat a well-balanced diet that consists of all the vital nutrients. Try to make the child eat fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, lentils, nuts, seeds, and legumes. The child should bid adieu to junk, oily, canned, and processed foods. It is better to stay away from Chinese food, sweets, colas, sodas, and bakery items. Stay hydrated by drinking enough water, coconut water, buttermilk, or smoothies.

It will be imperative for the child to take a flu shot and exercise at home to boost immunity.

(The article is authored by Dr. Jagdish Kathwate, Consultant Neonatologist & Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital Kharadi Pune)

Does a moderate fever help clear infections more quickly than medications?

Individuals in India have begun to take additional health measures as a result of the ongoing H3N2 flu infection danger. Prominent medical experts have recommended the general population take the necessary safeguards whenever they detect any symptoms.

It’s worth noting that a recent animal study revealed that allowing a slight fever to run its course rather than taking medicine may be beneficial. A study published in the journal Immunology and Inflammation found that fish with a modest temperature cleared infections faster, reduced inflammation, and repaired tissue damage.

According to lead researcher and immunologist Daniel Barreda of the University of Alberta in Canada, moderate fever is self-resolving, which means it can be brought on by the body and subsequently cleared away without the need for medications.

Despite the fact that the favourable effects of natural fever on human health have yet to be demonstrated, the researchers believe “it is fair to predict that similar improvements will occur in humans given that the mechanisms producing and maintaining fever are shared among species.”

The study recommends that patients avoid taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), also known as over-the-counter fever treatments, at the first sign of a minor fever. The work adds to our understanding of the processes that cause moderate fever which “has been biologically conserved from across animal kingdom for 550 million years,” benefits from.

Fish were infected with bacteria for the study, and their activity was observed and assessed using deep learning, a sort of artificial intelligence (AI). These external symptoms, such as immobility, tiredness, and malaise, were akin to those associated with a fever. These were then matched to important immune systems discovered in the animals.

Natural fever offers, “an effective reaction that not only stimulates defences against illness but also helps regulate it,”
according to the findings of the study, Barreda added. The researchers added, it took twice as long for animals not allowed to exhibit fever to treat an illness as it did for fish with fever. They also stated that temperature aided in the mending of injured tissues and the reduction of inflammation.