Karnataka

Bengaluru witnesses a spurt in viral fever and respiratory tract infections among children

While many primary school teachers said that at any given point, at least 15-20 students in a class are reporting sick, paediatricians said one in every four children is down with a flu-like infection since the last three weeks. File Photo

While many primary school teachers said that at any given point, at least 15-20 students in a class are reporting sick, paediatricians said one in every four children is down with a flu-like infection since the last three weeks. File Photo | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Doctors in the city are noticing a spurt in viral fever and respiratory tract infections among children aged below 12. While many primary school teachers said that at any given point, at least 15-20 students in a class are reporting sick, paediatricians said one in every four children is down with a flu-like infection since the last three weeks.

Symptoms back within a week of recovery

Many children are showing symptoms again within a week of recovery from the initial infection. Attributing this to inclement weather and reopening of schools, doctors said most reporting with flu-like infection are developing viral pneumonia.

Chikkanarasa Reddy, professor of Paediatrics at Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College and Research Institute, said he is seeing over 120 children every day at the hospital with high grade fever, cold, cough, vomiting and diarrhoea. “Although symptoms are similar to COVID, they are not being tested. We are treating them symptomatically. The incidence is higher this year with schools reopening,” he said.

S.R. Lakshmipathy, Senior Consultant - Paediatrics at K.C. General Hospital, said the paediatric ward in the hospital is running full with several of the infected children requiring admission. “Almost all children have flu, wheeze-associated lower airway infections and viral pneumonia. Many are requiring admission,” he said.

Advising precautions, the doctor said apart from schools, children are also getting infected through adults in their homes. “Parents are passing on the infections to their children most of the time. It is advisable that they wear a mask when they go out to social functions. If the child is sick, they should seek medical advice without going in for self-medication,” he said.

Shivananda, former director of Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, said although the symptoms that children present with are similar to COVID, doctors can differentiate by the type of cough. “Children we are seeing now are reporting with protracted cough (chronic wet cough) unlike a COVID-induced cough that is dry and persistent. Besides, many are reporting with similar symptoms again within a week of recovery,” the doctor said..

Private hospitals

Private hospitals too are witnessing a similar scene. Gunda Srinivas, Consultant- Paediatric Emergency and Paediatrics at Aster RV Hospital, said apart from viral infections, some are also reporting dengue-like symptoms such as fever, severe bodyache, vomiting and abdominal pain.

“Parents should seek immediate medical advice if their child has a high grade fever for more than 48 hours or has a worrying cough or has vomiting and stomach ache,” the doctor said.

Rashmi Jeenakeri, Consultant Neonatologist at Apollo Hospitals (Sheshadripuram), said viral infections are common with dip in temperature and wet weather. “Our immune system fails to mount a quick and adequate defense response leading to rapid spread of viral infections that are highly contagious in children and adults alike. Parents should keep their children at home if they are sick. This will prevent the spread among other children,” she added.


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Printable version | Aug 5, 2022 3:18:50 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bengaluru-witnesses-a-spurt-in-viral-fever-and-respiratory-tract-infections-among-children/article65722223.ece