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.
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This Post Has 35 Comments
A very detailed post on the prevention of influenza. The relevant pointers is a must-read.
Very descriptive and apt.
Thank you for sharing about the event and the insights that would help us all a lot
As a toddler’s mom, I can completely relate with you. My son started play school a couple of months ago and is down with cold or viral almost every other week. It’s scary.. yes. We’ve made sure that he’s been vaccinated against flu.
That leaves me with lots of information. I didn’t knew that flu virus mutates so quickly but happy that vaccination is also evolved simultaneously. #mommyinmereads #myfriendalexa
Hey Charu , The dreaded word Influenza frightens us no end. You are lucky to get the opportunity to learn about it from the eminent panelist. Many thanks for sharing the much needed info about Influenza Vaccination . #MyFriendAlexa #SujatawdeReads
Very nice and useful information regarding Flu. Quite helpful for all.
Informative post on influenza. Although overlooked as a common cold, influenza can be fatal to infants and grown ups. Loved reading it
I tio attented this eveht n found that many myths about influenza was bursted.
It is really important to know what is your child getting affected by.. not many people know there are multiple types of flue. Thanks for sharing
it’s a very informative post, would help many people who disregard disease as common flu without thinking about it’s complications.
The post offers a detailed explanation of the symptoms and precautions of influenza which will go a long way in educating mothers. Thanks for the share!
It’s good to know that these myths are busted. The awareness needs to get real and reach all.
This is an informative post.
This is such an informative post.
Great work charu. you are doing an awesome job by helping people in being aware about this dreadful disease. super informative and expained all things so well.
This post is an eye opener, Charu. I was not aware that common cold and flu are different from each other. Also, that a new flu vaccine is developed twice every year. I will soon check with our doc about the vaccination against flu. Thanks for sharing this detailed informative post.
Amazing informative post. Thanks for sharing all the insights you got from the conference and I’m sure all parents will benefit from this read.
I am myself a paranoid mom. Even a cough was enough to give me sleepless night. I give flu shots to my son every year. Your article is very informative and I am sure will help educate many mothers.
There’s a common misconception that common cold, flu and influenza are the same… Thanks for enlightening us with an informative post on influenza …
Informative detailed post Charu. Good work.
Must read for young mothers.
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Great informative post. My boy had frequent episodes of cough and cold and so we are giving him flu vaccines every year. It’s given once every year till age 5 here in UAE. Glad to know India has it too now.
#MyFriendAlexa #Momlearningwithbaby #Blogchatter
Thank you for sharing this information. I never knew of the flu vaccination . I guess I need to check with my pediatrician.
I saw you at the event, and had no idea you have twins! Shall follow your blog closely. ?
I have been reading about it and loved how detailed you have mentioned so helpful for everyone.
A must read for all. Very informative!
This is quite informative and quite useful for each and everyone. Thank you.
Amazing and informative post. Very useful and beneficial tips for Influenza prevention. Very insightful thoughts.
I found the vent very entertaining and informative! It busted a lot of myths! sharing this for it needs to be read!
That’s very helpful event to make us aware about flu and it’s consequences. Sometimes normal flu can lead to serious issue if not treated on time. Get to learn a lot.
Very informative post. Some of things I read for the first time. It is great that we have vaccines available now that can be a preventive step for we all mothers.
Informative post. It’s difficult to find out the difference between cold and flu unless parents have awareness.
The right information shared the best way possible, Charu. Glad to be part of this awareness campaign with you and others.
One of the great event to attend and learn more..You shared a great insight
This is such an informative post. We also ensien we give flu shot every year. It helps the paranoid Mom in me at bay