Key Points About The Flu In Children
Influenza is a very contagious viral infection of the respiratory system.
It causes a high fever, body aches, a cough, and other symptoms.
Most children are ill with the flu for less than a week. But some children have a more serious illness and may need to be treated in the hospital. The flu may also lead to lung infection or death.
The flu may be treated with acetaminophen, cough medicine, and antiviral medicine. Your child will also need lots of rest and drinking plenty of fluids.
The best way to prevent flu is to have the yearly flu vaccine. Because the viruses change, researchers create a new flu vaccine each year to help protect against strains of the virus that are currently active. The vaccine is advised for all children 6 months and older.
Are There Home Remedies To Help Me
While the last thing you probably want to do when you have diarrhoea is to eat and drink, remember that severe diarrhoea can cause you to become very weak and dehydrated. It is important to drink plenty of water as you are losing a lot of fluid through bouts of diarrhoea.
Even if you have very little appetite during the first couple of days, try to eat a little dry bread or toast, to keep your blood sugar levels up. Some plain yoghurt should not aggravate your condition, and may even reduce symptoms of diarrhoea. It is important not eat sugary foods, fatty foods, or those which will aggravate an already sensitive digestive system.
Give yourself plenty of rest, as diarrhoea can cause you to feel weak. Exerting yourself while you are suffering from flu and diarrhoea will slow down your recovery.
If you see a healthcare provider for suspected food poisoning, you can expect:
- A review of your symptoms
- Going over your medical history
- Physical examination
- Blood, urine, or stool tests to identify the potential source of infection
Testing is especially important in the case of a community outbreak.
Follow Health Precautions To Lower Your Risk Of Getting Sick
Continue to take all of these viruses very, very seriously, Fayanju said. Were about to begin the holidays … and traveling and gathering, which means more chances for virus spread.
Its important to think about lowering your risk stay home if youre sick, wash your hands, wear your mask in crowded spaces, and get vaccinated for COVID-19 and the seasonal flu, he said.
Through these measures, Fayanju added, we can keep people well and out of the hospital through the holidays.
Experts are still learning about COVID-19. The information in this story is what was known or available as of publication, but guidance can change as scientists discover more about the virus. Please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most updated recommendations.
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What Causes The Flu In A Child
The flu is caused by flu viruses. Flu viruses are divided into 3 types:
Influenza types A and B. These 2 types of viruses cause widespread illness almost every winter. They often lead to more people needing to go to the hospital, and more people dying from the flu. Public health officials focus on stopping the spread of types A and B. One of the reasons the flu remains a problem is because the viruses change often. This means that people are exposed to new types of the viruses each year.
Influenza type C. This type of virus causes a very mild respiratory illness or no symptoms at all. It does not cause epidemics. It does not have the severe public health impact that influenza types A and B do.
A flu virus is often passed from child to child through sneezing or coughing. The virus can also live for a short time on surfaces. This includes doorknobs, toys, pens or pencils, keyboards, phones and tablets, and countertops. It can also be passed through shared eating utensils and drinking. Your child can get a flu virus by touching something that was touched by an infected with person, and then touching his or her mouth, nose, or eyes.
Are The Stomach Flu And Food Poisoning The Same Condition
- Stomach flu or gastroenteritis means any nonspecific inflammatory problem in the gastrointestinal tract some doctors consider the stomach flu to be more narrowly defined as a viral infection that attacks the digestive system.
- Food poisoning specifically is caused by eating or drinking contaminated food or fluid that contains bacteria, viruses, parasites and/or their toxins they produce.
Consequently, there is some crossover between the two terms.
- Food poisoning usually is found in small outbreaks that occur among individuals that have ingested the same foods or drink, and symptoms occur rapidly within hours whereas the stomach flu has a more gradual onset of symptoms and usually lasts longer than food poisoning.
- Stomach flu is highly contagious and can be spread quickly to other individuals whereas food poisoning usually requires ingesting the poison and does not easily spread to other individuals.
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Impact On Infants And Young Children
In very young infants less than 6 months old the CDC said irritability, decreased activity, a decreased appetite and apnea, or pauses in breathing for more than 10 seconds, are common symptoms, but a fever does not always present itself.
RSV can lead to serious illness in infants, such as pneumonia or bronchiolitis, the CDC said, and one to two out of every 100 children younger than 6 months of age with RSV infection may need to be hospitalized.
Who Is At Risk Of Getting Severe Norovirus Illness
Most people will recover from a Norovirus infection with no complications. The symptoms of Norovirus infection may be more severe for infants, young children, the elderly and those with weak immune systems. Dehydration can be more serious for these individuals who should seek medical attention if this becomes severe.
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Is The Stomach Flu Worse In Some People
In general, most people recover quickly from the stomach flu. Symptoms can be worse in babies, young children, older adults or anyone of any age that is immune-compromised. Vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration within just a short period of time, depending on the circumstances. Signs of dehydration include:
- Extreme thirst.
- General weakness.
Lasting Symptoms Are Usually A Sign Of Covid
Unlike flu and RSV, COVID appears to have lingering long-term effects, commonly known as long COVID, Fayanju said.
This can include brain fog or confusion after the infection clears up or a loss of taste and smell that doesnt return for weeks. But, similar to above, not all COVID infections will lead to long COVID .
Its less common for flu and RSV to result in long-term symptoms, but studies show that RSV can cause long-term wheezing after infection.
Additionally, Fayanju noted that flu can lower the bodys natural defenses and cause an inflammation cascade that can set off other diseases, mainly heart attacks strokes, especially in adults.COVID-19 also results in higher levels of inflammation in the body post-infection that puts you at risk for stroke, heart attack and more.
This underscores the importance of getting your seasonal flu vaccine and COVID shots.
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Influenza And Gastrointestinal Symptoms
In a recent press conference , Dr. Keiji Fukuda of WHO made the following statement about infection with the new influenza H1N1 strains:
The illness that we are seeing is generally consisting with seasonal influenza infection. That is the kind of symptoms that the milder cases are experiencing and generally what are seen with other influenza viruses, although there is some suggestion that perhaps cases are developing diarrhea more often than is normal with seasonal influenza influenza or seen with seasonal influenza.
But human influenza is a respiratory disease how can it cause gastrointestinal symptoms?
According to the textbook Clinical Virology , in infants and children,
About 40% of symptomatic patients have fever, cough, and rhinitis, up to 40% have emesis or diarrhea, and 25% or more have otitis media or lower respiratory tract disease.
Furthermore, CDC notes that
Influenza is a respiratory illness. Symptoms of flu include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Children can have additional gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but these symptoms are uncommon in adults. Although the term stomach flu is sometimes used to describe vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea, these illnesses are caused by certain other viruses, bacteria, or possibly parasites, and are rarely related to influenza.
Testing And Treatment For Std And Diarrhea From Rapid Std Testing
No matter what type of STD you may have been exposed to, we know that you might feel afraid, embarrassed, and uncertain about how to proceed. Our team at Rapid STD Testing can help.
If you think youve may have been exposed to an STD that causes diarrhea, please call today to speak to a Rapid STD Testing counselor or visit one of our clinics for confidential testing and fast, accurate results.
How To Treat Stomach Flu
When youre feeling miserable with stomach flu and other gastroenteritis symptoms, the last thing you want to hear is,
You just have to wait it out.
Unfortunately, theres no cure or treatment for the stomach flu.
There are, however, some things you can do to relieve symptoms:
- Stay hydrated by taking small sips of clear liquids, such as water or broth.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee and black tea, as well as alcohol, which can make symptoms worse.
- Stay away from foods that contain dairy, fiber, grease, and spices.
If you cant hold down fluids, gastroenteritis can lead to dehydration.
Symptoms of dehydration include weakness, dizziness upon standing, rapid heartrate and decreased urination.
Dehydration can be treated at urgent care centers like GoHealth Urgent Care with IV fluids and anti-nausea medications.
BUT if you have a fever or severe localized abdominal pain or pain concentrated in one area, you may be sent to the Emergency Department for advanced imaging and lab testing to make sure its not something more serious.
Remnants Of Infected Submucosal Intestinal Antigen
The faecal presence of influenza virus RNA may be related to the detection of human influenza viral RNA in remnants of infected intestinal antigen-presenting immune cells. Influenza virus could bind intestinal cells such as DC-SIGN+ CD68+ dendritic cells, which are localized in the small and large intestine . These intestinal DC-SIGN+ CD68+ cells act as antigen-presenting cells and participate in the stimulation of immunity through T-cell activation . Antigen-presenting cells of various origins are susceptible to infection by different influenza virus subtypes , and may act as vehicles for extrapulmonary dissemination of the virus . The shedding of viable influenza virus in stools in the absence of viraemia, suggests that the virus does not disseminate to the GI tract haematogenously after a primary respiratory tract infection .
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How To Know If Your Diarrhea Is From Std Or From Flu
In reality, its challenging to determine if your diarrhea is from an STD or the flu without a blood or urine test. Diarrhea, abdominal pain, and painful bowel movements have many causes, from the stomach flu to food poisoning, bacterial infections, and more.
Developing diarrhea doesnt necessarily mean that youve contracted an STD. Because of the complexity of the infections, STDs are nearly impossible to diagnose based on a single symptom.
Diarrhea combined with painful bowel movements and other symptoms like discomfort during sex, burning while urinating, swollen lymph nodes, and night sweats may point to an STD. Consulting a doctor or medical professional at one of our confidential Rapid STD Testing clinics is the only way to know if your diarrhea is a symptom of a sexually transmitted disease.
At Rapid STD Testing, we offer a wide range of individual and multi-panel tests, including:
- Early Detection Testing for HIV
With Rapid STD Testing, youll receive results in one to three days. Most importantly, your tests will be completely private and confidential only you and our staff of experienced doctors will know that you tested, what you tested for, and what the test results revealed.
How Does Influenza Spread
Influenza viruses are found in the nose and throat. Children can catch influenza from siblings, parents, other family members, playmates or caregivers.
Germs usually spread in one of 3 ways:
- Direct contact such as kissing, touching or holding handswith an infected person. If you have a virus, you will have germs in your nose, mouth, eyes or on your skin. By touching other people, you can pass on the virus.
- Indirect contact means touching somethinga toy, doorknob or a used tissuethat has been touched by an infected person and now has germs on it. Some germs, like the ones that cause colds and diarrhea, can stay on surfaces for many hours.
- Through the air when a person coughs or sneezes. Droplets from the cough or sneeze may reach another persons nose or mouth.
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Should I Call In Sick For A Cold Or Only The Flu
The CDC advises workers with flu symptoms to stay home until at least 24 hours after their fever is gone or at least four to five days after the onset of symptoms.
The CDC also recommends that people who have a cold stay home to prevent spreading it to other people and encourages parents to keep children with colds home from school or daycare.
What Can You Do To Stay As Healthy As Possible Get Your Covid
The best way to protect yourself and others from influenza and COVID-19 is by getting vaccinated for both viruses.
When you get a flu shot, youre up to 60% less likely to get the flu, according to the CDC. And studies also show that even if you do get sick, your flu symptoms will be less severe and youre less likely to need hospital care to recover.
When it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, data suggests all currently authorized vaccines are effective in preventing illness from COVID-19, with the greatest protection coming against severe illness, hospitalization and death.
Its also important to know its possible to test positive for the flu and COVID-19, as well as other respiratory conditions, at the same time. This can increase your risk of severe complications.
Schedule your vaccinations today
Want to get a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?
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How Can Stomach Flu Be Prevented
Since stomach flu can be caused by multiple factors, getting the flu vaccination alone isnt enough to protect you from gastroenteritis. Children should follow the standard vaccination schedule and get the rotavirus vaccination when indicated. This vaccination can protect your child from getting sick from the rotovirus but not all children can receive this oral vaccination, so please check with your pediatrician before doing so.
You can take other steps to reduce your risk of getting stomach flu:
Practice good handwashing
When youre sick, the virus spreads from anything that comes in contact with virus-infected feces. Good handwashing is vital in stopping the spread. Viruses left on hands can easily spread to surfaces, food and people you touch. Its important to wash your hands well after you go to the bathroom, change a diaper, touch any bathroom surfaces and before you handle food.
Be careful with food
You can catch stomach flu from contaminated food or water, or pass it on to someone else. To keep viruses out of your food:
Clean sick areas
Clean anything that you may have touched while you were sick with stomach flu. Wash laundry with hot water and dry with high heat. Be sure to use a disinfectant to clean areas where a sick person vomited or had diarrhea.
How Is The Flu Treated In A Child
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. The goal of treatment is to help prevent or ease symptoms.
Treatment may include medicines such as:
Acetaminophen. This is to help lessen body aches and fever. Don’t give aspirin to a child with a fever.
Cough medicine. This may be prescribed by your childs healthcare provider.
Antiviral medicine. This may help to ease symptoms, and shorten the length of illness. This medicine does not cure the flu. The medicine must be started within 2 days after symptoms begin.
Antibiotics arent effective against viral infections, so they are not prescribed. Instead, treatment focuses on helping ease your childs symptoms until the illness passes.
Talk with your healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines.
Also make sure your child:
Gets lots of rest in bed
Drinks plenty of fluids
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How You Catch Flu
The flu virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes.
These droplets typically spread about one metre. They hang suspended in the air for a while before landing on surfaces, where the virus can survive for up to 24 hours.
Anyone who breathes in the droplets can catch flu. You can also catch the virus by touching the surfaces that the droplets have landed on if you pick up the virus on your hands and then touch your nose or mouth.
Everyday items at home and in public places can easily become contaminated with the flu virus, including food, door handles, remote controls, handrails, telephone handsets and computer keyboards. Therefore, its important to wash your hands frequently.
You can catch flu many times because flu viruses change regularly and your body wont have a natural resistance to the new versions.