Pune: Snehal Patwardhan was worried since both her school-going children are down with viral infection. She says, “This time of the year is when the academic year is nearing closure and both my children are at home for a week now. I am worried for their health as well as their academic year”.
Snehal and other parents in Pune city are concerned as children, especially school-going kids, are down with cough, cold and fever.
Children under radar of virus 'adeno'
After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2022 proved to be unfortunate for the scores of children in Pune and Mumbai. Earlier in the year 2022, the children were down with infectious hand, foot and mouth disease. After that virus subsided, the children were attacked by measles.
They are now on the radar of yet another virus known as ‘adeno’, a virus which is the main cause of prolonged cough among children.
An unusual feature for this time of the year, the virus especially targets children below 10 years of age. The paediatric OPDs in the city are full of children having prolonged coughs and mild to severe fevers.
Paediatrics say it is very common among children
However, paediatrics say that though the virus is on the prowl, it is not serious. “Parents are worried over the cough among the children and it is very common”, said leading paediatric Dr MM Bhalerao adding that but there is nothing to worry about.
Well-known paediatric Dr Pramod Jog said, “prolonged cough is the primary symptom of this virus. But antibiotics are not required for treating the children. Children recover on their own. Explaining the nature of the viral infection Dr Jog said, “it attacks the respiratory system. The hyperactive airway gets blocked and thus the prolonged cough”.
There is another virus RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus) which attacks children in the age group of one and two years. It is generally seen in the winter days where the infants find difficulty in breathing and wheezing sound can be heard”, he said.
With the pandemic, there is an increase in alertness over any type of bacterial or viral infection and thus people panic more”, Dr Jog gave a word of caution.
Doctors say antibiotics are not crucial in treatment
Dr Aarti Kinikar said, “the irritation in the throat puts off children from eating. Similarly, the prolonged cough too makes the child irritable. Antibiotics are not needed while treating the patient," she said.
Dr Kinikar added, "The viral infections are on the rise from November to March. Only thing is that nowadays everything is discussed at large since there is awareness among the society.”
Dr Bhalerao said, “If the child plays, eats once the fever subsides, then there is no need to worry about it even if the fever returns."
Dr Jog and Dr Bhalerao mentioned that it is unusual to have such an infection during this time of the year, but then lower immunity among the children make them vulnerable to various infections. “Fortunately, the infection is not getting worse”, echoed the doctors.
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