How is influenza B transmitted?
After the Covid-19 pandemic, studies found that influenza B occurs in about 40%, influenza A accounts for 60% of seasonal flu cases, and influenza C and D are very rare. In tropical countries like Vietnam, the disease has can occur year round, but mainly in winter. The disease can cause epidemics that do not follow the usual rules.
Influenza B is spread from person to person through small droplets (containing the flu virus) in the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. By touching surfaces contaminated with infected droplets and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes.
The incubation period of influenza B is 1 to 4 days from the time of infection with the influenza virus. Children and people with weakened immune systems may have a longer incubation period.
What are the signs and symptoms of a child with influenza B?
Common symptoms include: Fever, sore throat, dry cough, headache, body aches, joint pain, fatigue feeling exhausted.
Children with the flu may also have gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea). Some flu symptoms can be similar to a cold, with most children recovering in 1-2 weeks, however coughing and fatigue can last for more than 2 weeks.
What are the possible complications when a child has influenza B?
Most mild influenza B infections go away on their own, but the virus can also cause serious complications, such as pneumonia or a bacterial superinfection. Other more rare serious complications such as myocarditis, encephalitis, rhabdomyolysis, and multi-organ failure are rare.
Which children are at risk for serious complications from the flu?
– Infants and young children (under 5 years old), especially children under 2 years old
– Children with chronic diseases: Congenital/acquired immunodeficiency disease, liver disease, kidney disease, asthma, chronic lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, children receiving immunosuppressive drugs, diseases cancer, blood diseases, metabolic disorders, obesity, etc.
How to treat a child with the flu?
Currently, there is no specific treatment for influenza, antibiotics are not effective against influenza viruses, depending on the clinical situation, the doctor will prescribe appropriate treatment.
Treatment and home care for children with mild flu, mainly symptomatic treatment:
– Let children rest at home with a clean, cool and ventilated environment
– Use antipyretic drugs if the child has a fever above 38.5 degrees Celsius, the drugs can be used such as: paracetamol dose of 10 -15 mg/kg/time (not for children with liver disease), or ibuprofen dose 6-8 mg/kg/time (do not use for children with thrombocytopenia or suspected dengue), the interval of use is 4-6 hours if the fever is 38.5 degrees Celsius
– Give children liquid, soft food, give more fluids (do not use industrial soft drinks): fruit juice, orezol solution…
– If the child has a cough, use herbal cough medicine
– Open the airways with physiological saline drops, clean the nose with a self-winding cotton wick…
When should parents bring their children with influenza B to health facilities?
– Children with high fever ≥ 39.5 degrees Celsius use antipyretic drugs and physical methods to lower the temperature (airy room 26-29 degrees, apply warm water actively) but the temperature does not drop. Or the child has a high fever 38.5 degrees Celsius for more than 3 days and does not tend to get better
– Children with rapid breathing, abnormal breathing: wheezing, wheezing, chest indrawing, respiratory muscle contractions
– Rapid pulse for age (when the child has no fever), purple veins, cold extremities (when there is no high fever)
– Children do not eat or drink
– Children show signs of dehydration: lips are swollen, eyes are sunken, mucous membranes of the mouth/tongue are dry, thirst is required to drink water, or urination is less (the diapers/diapers are less wet than usual).
– Change in consciousness: children refuse to play, fuss, lethargy, convulsions…
– Older children complain of abdominal pain/chest pain, vomiting a lot..
– Or the parent/caregiver feels insecure about the child
How to prevent influenza B?
– Keep a distance of at least 1m from people with flu symptoms
– If you or your child has flu symptoms, you should leave your child at home out of school
– Wash your hands before touching your eyes, nose and mouth
– Use a tissue or the inside of your arm when you cough and sneeze, dispose of the tissue in the designated place and wash your hands.
– Do not share items such as drinking cups, spoons, bottles, toys, or anything that comes into contact with the mouth or nose.
– Clean frequently touched surfaces