H1N1 in children

H1N1 flu is highly contagious. It spreads from person to person through droplets that form when an infected person coughs, sneezes, laughs, or talks. The virus can also live for hours on surfaces. A person can become infected by touching acontaminated surface then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.

About half of the confirmed H1N1 flu cases in Singapore involve young people below the age of 20. At KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), the average age of a patient is 10 years old, with the youngest being just 14 months.

Children are more susceptible to H1N1 because they have no underlying immunity to the virus, and also because children do not practise good hygiene most of the time. They may cough and sneeze and won’t even remember to cover their mouth and nose. Parents should always pay special attention to children under 5 years of age, because they are more likely to become seriously ill than older children.

H1N1 flu symptoms are about the same as regular flu symptoms. These include fever and chills, headache, body and muscle aches, dry cough, runny nose, and weakness. The child may also have sore throat, diarrhea, or vomiting. Young children may have difficulty breathing and low activity, but few other symptoms. Children with Influenza A (H1N1) are likely to have a higher fever than adults.

If your child, particularly small children, exhibits any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care:

Trouble breathing, including rapid breathing.
Gray or bluish skin color
Not drinking enough fluids
Not waking up or not interacting
Being irritable and not wanting to be held
Not urinating or no tears when crying
The symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough


Denesa on September 8, 2009 at 9:58 PM said...

Have read some of your posts. Thanks for sharing very informative parenting information:)


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