An In-Depth Look at the Seasonal Illnesses Going Around
‘Tis the season for congestion, runny noses, sore throats, and fevers. While winter illnesses are to be expected, it is nice to know what to be on the lookout for and how to protect your family best this season. Here are a few of the most common illnesses we are seeing.
Upper Respiratory (Tract) Infection
One of the most common reasons people visit the doctor’s office is because of an upper respiratory infection (URI). URIs most commonly affects the nose and throat; however, the ears, sinuses, and lungs can also be involved.
The most frequent type of URI seen is the common cold. Symptoms include a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and sneezing. Other URIs include sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses) and croup.
URIs are highly contagious and spread most frequently through droplets spread when coughing, hand contact, and touching objects that an infected person touched. Proper hand washing is critical, especially before and after eating and when returning indoors.
Most URIs will go away on their own within about one week. However, if pain develops in the ears, chest or sinuses, another infection may be present such as an ear or sinus infection.
The flu is one of those illnesses most people know about but have a hard time distinguishing between it and a cold. Here’s some help brought to you from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
|Flu versus Colds: A Guide to Symptoms|
|Was the start of the illness…||sudden?||slow?|
|Does your child have a…||high fever?||no (or mild) fever?|
|Is your child’s exhaustion level…||severe?||mild?|
|Is your child’s head…||achy?||no headache?|
|Is your child’s appetite…||decreased?||normal?|
|Are your child’s muscles…||achy?||fine?|
|Does your child have…||chills?||no chills?|
Information provided by KidsHealth.org
We are currently scheduling flu shot appointments. Please note that it takes up to two weeks to build up an immunity to the flu after receiving the vaccine. While your child can still get the flu after receiving the vaccine, the vaccine reduces its severity. Schedule your child’s flu shot appointment today to keep them as healthy as possible this season.
Bronchiolitis and RSV
Bronchioles are the tiny “branchlike” airways in our lungs. When these get inflamed, it can become difficult to breathe. Bronchiolitis is sometimes caused by RSV and is most commonly seen in children under two years of age. Most children begin with common cold symptoms, including a dry cough that progresses into wheezing or labored breathing. If your child has difficulty breathing, they need to be seen urgently.
Children who were born prematurely (under 32 weeks) or those who have cardiac or lung conditions should see their pediatrician as complications from RSV can quickly occur.
Often presenting as a sore throat with a stomachache, strep throat is a highly contagious bacterial infection. Kids with strep throat often do not have other cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose or a cough. If diagnosed with strep throat, antibiotics provide rapid relief. Kids are no longer contagious 24-hours after taking their first dose of an antibiotic.
Keeping your child healthy is a priority for the team at Rainbow Pediatrics. If your child is not feeling well, give our office a call today.