Children and Flu: Health experts warn Parents against self medication

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For weeks, cases of Flu and cough have been rife in school children in Uganda; Courtesy Photo

For several weeks, Hospital officials in different parts of Uganda reported that their facilities are overwhelmed with children presenting with severe flu, cough and mild fever which were not responding to common antibiotics and other drugs including syrups.

A number of schools are also issuing circulars to parents urging them not to panic but ensure that children get appropriate healthcare especially when they develop symptoms such as high fever and breathing difficulties.

The Ministry of Health however stated that this persistent flu and cough among school going children is not related to COVID-19 but a seasonal type of influenza that is still being studied.

Officials from the Ministry of Health confirmed this week that samples have been taken off from children and a detailed statement about their findings and how well to be treated will soon be released.

Health experts however warned people who are diverting to the use of concoctions that are not tested for safety saying that these should be used sparingly not to put their kids at risk of tougher complications.

Pediatricians attribute these coughs to the fact that children lost their immunity against viruses during the COVID-19 school closures when interactions with fellow children were minimal. They say with the reopening, this was expected.

Dr. Sabrina Kitaka, a pediatric infectious diseases expert says while a lot of factors can case cough and flu, parents confronted with such cases should not take such an issue lightly but seek qualified medical advice and treatment.

Dr Kitaka says the worst case scenario is the infection graduating into pneumonia and therefore parents and care givers should consult pediatricians and various tests done on the infected children to ascertain the extent of the risk.

She highlighted the bad practice of parents who are wrongly resorting to self medication which may result into serious consequences.

In case of infection she advises that focus should be put on controlling children’s temperatures with simple actions such as a cold press and giving them plenty of fluids because symptoms will not go away for up to five days even as the children are on the right treatment.

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