Read all that you need to know about Influenza
Among all the major concerns that parents have about their kids, one that always tops the list is related to their health and hygiene. Runny nose, cough, cold, etc are some of the most common infections that kids catch. Unlike adults, kids do not have a strong immunity and so they are more susceptible to these infections.
I remember when A&A were born, I was one paranoid mom and would go about sanitizing each and everything that I would see around my kids. But in spite of all my efforts of keeping a hygienically clean environment, A&A caught their first viral infection pretty early (read 2 months) and I was heartbroken to the core. Now as they have grown into toddlers and started going to school, cold and cough has become a regular phenomenon. And every time they fall sick with a common cold, I dread a bigger infection like flu and start watching out for different symptoms. My worries and apprehensions about their overall health and immunity, keep growing each day and I think, so is the case with each mother.
I recently attended a bloggers event ‘Mom Against Flu’ that addressed these concerns that most mothers have about their kids’ health. The event brought to light some relevant facts about the most common and easily spread virus in kids – Influenza.
It was an interactive session with expert panel of doctors and health care specialists sharing their insights on various risks involved with flu virus and how best they can be prevented.
As the event unfolded, Dr Mukesh Gupta, a renowned gynaecologist/obstetrician, mentioned that we often mistake flu to be common cold. However, the two are different and shouldn’t be mistaken for each other. Dr Uday Ananth Pai, an expert paediatrician with 29 years of experience, broke the myth that not just children, everyone is susceptible to flu including adults and ‘our body is exposed to many risks on a daily basis’.
The event also marked the presence of the gorgeous celebrity Genelia Deshmukh who stressed that influenza symptoms shouldn’t be taken lightly and urged that ‘all mothers must go and meet their paediatricians, gynaecologists and get all questions answered about their flu and staying protected with vaccination.’
There is so much to know about this virus-caused infection which we moms usually tend to ignore. The event equipped me with the right knowledge on the symptoms of influenza, it’s effects, preventive measures, relevance of annual vaccination, etc. Sharing all that I gained at the event here –
Facts On Influenza
Seasonal Influenza is an infectious disease caused by Influenza Virus. It is a highly contagious respiratory illness that mainly infects the nose, throat and lungs.
- The virus is spread mainly through tiny droplets that are made when an infected person coughs, sneezes, etc. A person as far as six feet away can easily catch the infection. Anyone touching an infected surface, object, railing etc too can easily catch the infection.
- It’s important to know that flu is different from common cold. It is more severe than common cold, especially in children. It’s symptoms include fever with chills, cough, runny nose, body pain, tiredness, etc
- Severe influenza can lead to serious complications so preventive measures and timely medical attention is required in such cases.
- Kids, pregnant women and senior citizens are always at a high risk of catching flu infection. Children with chronic health problems like asthma, diabetes, etc are at a higher risk of developing serious complications because of flu. Getting flu during pregnancy can cause serious problems to the mother and the unborn baby. Read more on the impact of Influenza here.
- One can take various preventive actions to avoid getting infected with flu virus especially when out in public places – like covering one’s nose and mouth, washing and sanitizing hands, avoiding touching railing and door handles, consulting doctor and taking influenza vaccine on timely basis.
Importance of Influenza Vaccination
Flu vaccine or shots are known to be the best preventive measure against influenza virus. It is recommended that everyone older than 6 months should get a flu vaccine. These shots contain killed flu viruses that help the body create antibodies that can fight off infection.
The event brought to light many eye-opening facts related to influenza vaccine that I myself wasn’t much aware of. Here are some relevant pointers to keep in mind –
- For pregnant women, the vaccine is a must to avoid any complications arising out of flu infection. It should ideally be taken during pre-conception stage, but if missed can be taken anytime during pregnancy. Dr Mukesh Gupta stressed ‘there’s not much of a time and energy left in mom after delivery, so take influenza vaccine during pregnancy. ‘
- Since flu virus keeps mutating every year, a new version of the vaccine is developed twice a year. The vaccine shot should be taken every year as a preventive measure.
- The vaccine should be taken a few weeks before flu season begins (atleast 4-6 weeks) . That allows the body to develop antibodies beforehand. Dr. Udai mentioned – ‘ Vaccines may take 4 to 6 weeks to develop complete immunity in body, so it must be taken before an epidemic like swine flu breaks out’. As per Dr. Mukesh the best time of the year for kids to get vaccinated is before the schools reopen.
- Flu virus is the most easily spread virus and so it’s best that all the members of the family get vaccinated against it. Dr Uday stressed on the importance of Samuhik Vaccination and highlighted that flu virus can easily spread by touching coughing, sneezing, etc. Moms themselves can give their kids a flu, if infected; and so the entire family should take this vaccination including parents, grandparents and care takers. ‘.APRIL, MAY, JUNE is the best period to take flu vaccination for children and whole family for complete prevention against flu’.
The event also highlighted the fact that vaccines aren’t the cure to flu illness, rather they are the primary preventive measures which one can take in the first place to minimize the spread of flu virus.
For us parents, it’s important to be aware of what flu virus is and how best it can be prevented. One thing that Genelia Deshmukh mentioned during the event, that really touched a chord is- ‘No mother must be a Worrier, She is a Warrior. The best way to tackle your questions about flu is talking to your doctor’.
We moms are usually full of concerns and questions regarding our kids health. The best we can do to deal with our doubts is to consult the right healthcare expert, gather the right information about vaccines and other preventive measures and then take a decision as an informed parent. Vaccinating doctors are present in every locality and can be found with a simple pincode search. If you are looking to consult one, click here to find the doc nearest to your place.
I have taken the plunge to be a ‘warrior mom’, instead of a ‘worrier mom’ and have booked my appointment with the doc to know more about influenza vaccination. Have you?
Also Read: #RuleOutThyroWeight
Disclaimer: I attended a discussion on influenza awareness facilitated by Abbott India Limited. Any opinion expressed in this blog is my personal opinion and not the opinion of Abbott India Limited. Abbott India Limited does not assume any liability for the content of the blog. The blog post is not meant to be a replacement for a doctor consultation, nor is it a medical recommendation or prescription of treatment for babies having Influenza. Any reader of this blog or their family members suffering from Influenza should specifically consult his/her doctor for the same and follow the suggested course of treatment.
This post is a part of My Friend Alexa campaign with Blogchatter. I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter.
#themomsagas #blogchatter #MyFriendAlexa