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Submissive: The flu usually hits when the cold hits

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A conversation with an expert in Odmevi

Covid-19 is currently not a problem for the youngest, although individual complications occasionally arise. The bigger problem is the flu, which is often the cause of serious health problems for the youngest, reports the expert director of the pediatric clinic, Marko Pokorn.



What is the situation before the expected peak of the respiratory disease season? Babies and young children, as well as the elderly, are particularly at risk. She explained in Echoes in a conversation with the presenter Igor E. Bergant given by the expert director of the Ljubljana pediatric clinic Marko Pokorn.


What is the actual situation regarding respiratory infections, especially among the youngest? The situation is as we pediatricians were used to every winter before covid. We have many respiratory infections, several viruses are circulating. Practically all of last calendar year, we had cases of children with respiratory syncytial virus infection, which before covid was usually seasonal, but last year it was present all year round. With the fact that somewhere at the end of October and the beginning of November there was a classic rise in the number of infections. The number calmed down a bit at the end of December. However, his cousin, the human metapneumovirus, has taken his place, which causes very similar problems in practically the same group of children, mainly lower respiratory infections, and often brings a small child to the hospital.

An unpleasant family. In what way did covid-19, even in a milder form, change the course of winters in the field of treatment? For sure, that first winter, 2020/2021, was such that, in fact, due to all the measures to prevent covid infections, there were literally no such infections. An entire generation of babies was practically spared the encounter with respiratory syncytial virus worldwide. Of course, with the opening of society, these viruses started to appear again and somehow brought in what they missed that season.

Sometimes we say, winter is coming, it’s colder, snow. Winter had been fairly mild until now, but now it has just begun. Can we therefore expect a new rise?The influence of various factors on the incidence of viral respiratory infections is very diverse. We must take into account meteorological, climatic factors, temperature, humidity, as well as social factors. In winter, we spend more time indoors and in close contact, and all this contributes to an increased number of infections. But it is true that the flu tends to hit when the cold hits.

How is the current situation with covid-19 for the youngest? Currently, covid-19 is not a problem for young children. Occasionally we meet a newborn with a fever or a child in the pediatric clinic with a chronic disease, but in principle we work more with other viruses.

Do you also deal with the long covid in younger people? These children also come to us at the outpatient clinic, at the infectious disease clinic, at the pediatric clinic. There are several forms of long covid. We also meet children who have memory problems, chest pain or skeletal pain. But luckily for most patients who have these problems, they go away within a few months.

There are probably no new insights into how to act preventively – especially with the youngest, who cannot yet accurately express how they feel. Or is it? What do you recommend to parents?At this moment, for example, vaccination against the flu is still available, which is often the cause of serious health problems in the youngest. A visit to the doctor for sure. Also some stormy disease picture or some complications. Currently, covid is not such a problem in the child population. Basically, Covid has now become some kind of virus that is a constant companion. Of course, the seasonal viruses started.

We also talk about prevention against these seasonal viruses. What can be done here? To do what we constantly repeat. If you have a newborn, a small baby, especially if he is born prematurely, who is more likely to get more seriously ill if infected, avoid social contact. In particular, do not let people near you who have any signs of respiratory infections.

Source: Rtvslo

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