Respiratory infections spike among children in Bengaluru

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Bengaluru/ September 6, 2022In recent months, adults and children have headed back to normalcy, with the reopening of offices and schools. Likewise, in-person learning, sports and afterschool activities have begun in full swing. While this has given many families a bit of normalcy back in their lives, it has also created a health challenge among school going kids.

Doctors have reported a significant increase in cases of respiratory infections among children in Bengaluru in the last few weeks. School-going kids normally suffer from respiratory infections during the rainy season due to low immunity, but compared to the last two years, their incidence is on the rise this year. Opening of schools is leading to cross-infection between students, leading to recurrent infections. Weather is also helping the viruses to grow and multiply, infecting more and more people, according to paediatricians in the city.

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Said Dr. BK Vishwanath Bhat, Paediatrician and Managing Director of Radhakrishna Multispecialty Hospital, Bengaluru: “We are seeing a surge in both viral and bacterial infections among children, especially H1N1 cases. Kids are presenting themselves with symptoms like common cold, wheezing, fever, and loss of appetite. If these respiratory infections are not treated early, they can lead to pneumonia and empyema, an infection that spreads directly from the lung, leading to a build-up of pus. In these cases, hospital admission is required for the child, and longer treatment. We are already seeing many children getting admitted due to these infections.”

Added Dr. BK Vishwanath Bhat: “Respiratory infections are contagious and spread through air or physical contact. Children with reactive airways disease, in which bronchial tubes which bring air into the lungs overreact to an irritant, swell, and cause breathing problems, are prone to recurring respiratory symptoms. These infections can spread to adults too from children. We should follow Covid guidelines like social distancing, mask and frequent hand sanitisation. Parents should not send their wards to school when they have fever to prevent spread of infections. Schools also should not allow students with fever to come for classes. After coming back from school, kids should wash properly and change clothes. Everyone should avoid crowded places.”

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