Influenza Virus or typically knows as the flu, has marked seasonality. Typically begins in October and can last as late as May, with the largest number of cases between January and March. Usually the highest incidence of cases occurring in school-aged children.
Symptoms of Influenza (Flu) Infection, begins suddenly and nonspecific like:
- Respiratory symptoms (cough, congestion, runny nose)
Most children recover from a Flu infection between 1 week of onset of symptoms. Complications associated with flu infection includes:
- Bronchiolitis, etc.
Children younger than 2 YO, or that have an underlying medical condition are a risk of hospitalization and to develop the complications listed above.
- Chronic Pulmonary Disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Metabolic Disorder
- Neurodevelopment Conditions, etc.
Treatment for influenza infections are most efficacious when given in the first 48hrs of symptoms. However, in patients with severe or progressive influenza infection, therapy should be started even after 48 hrs. Due to this reason, initiation of antiviral therapy should not be delay until confirmatory test results.
The best way to prevent the Flu, is to get vaccinated. The CDC recommends a yearly Flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. Vaccine should be given before flu activity starts in the community.