Children can carry the flu not only in its classic form, but also in atypical ones. The most dangerous of all can be the hypertoxic form of influenza with the very rapid development of all clinical symptoms, as well as the formation of hemorrhagic syndrome, severe hyperthermia and meningitis or encephalitis.
Such a course of influenza infection is usually extremely unfavorable projections.
The erased form of influenza in children is rare, it is difficult to diagnose, because it does not have a temperature reaction, there are practically no symptoms of intoxication, there is only a slight indisposition. Children who are vaccinated against flu are usually sick. The innaparant form can be established only according to the laboratory diagnostics data on contact flu for infants, with this form, the children apparently stay healthy.
Features of the flu in children at an early age
Often, young children suffer the flu with complications due to the frequent addition of a microbial infection. This is due to the activation of conditionally pathogenic flora. The main complications in such cases are otitis with purulent discharge, trieobronkhity, laryngitis, tonsillitis.
The most dangerous of the complications is the formation of pneumonia, which is manifested by an increase in temperature, an increase in the effects of intoxication against the background of a newly emerging fever. At the same time cough becomes more frequent and wet. May also appear cyanosis of the face and extremities, shortness of breath is pronounced. Pneumonia is detected by listening to the lungs, but the final confirmation of it will be radiological.
In children, the flu can produce various kinds of neurological complications – meningitis, encephalitis, and peripheral nerve damage (polyradiculoneuritis) can also occur. On the background of high temperature, babies may experience common brain signs and focal phenomena, convulsions.
Influenza in the first year of life
Babies in the first half of the year and newborns with flu often have false croup, and the damage to the lung tissue is often total, without division into segments. The clinical symptoms of the infection are mild, with a fairly severe course, often with a layering of secondary infection.
Early age implies a high risk of death, several times higher than in older children.
In children, in the first year of life, the flu may develop gradually, initially the temperature may be low, gradually increasing to critical numbers. Initially, the symptoms of intoxication are mild, babies eat poorly, refuse to breastfeed, sleep poorly, lose weight.
Children also develop coughing and wheezing, difficulty breathing through the nose, and there may be abundant regurgitation or vomiting.
Influenza in children under 3 years
At this age, the flu is very difficult with high fever, intoxication syndrome, development of damage to the nervous system – meningitis or encephalitis, seizures. Often, against the background of the flu, a false croup appears, an asthmatic attack or lesions of the segmental lung tissue are formed.
But the manifestations of the nasopharynx are mild, there may be slight redness of the throat and nasal congestion. For them, secondary microbial complications, especially acute otitis, are typical.
Forms of flu in children of different ages
During childhood, influenza is possible both in typical (with the presence of all the main signs and symptoms) and in an atypical form that has manifestations that are significantly different from what is generally considered signs of infection. If we talk about the typical course, children can get mild, moderate and severe (most dangerous) forms of flu.
The atypical course of infection is the erased, inapparant or hypertoxic (fulminant) form of the disease. The manifestations of the intoxication syndrome and the presence of signs of damage to the nervous system are decisive in determining the severity of the disease and its prognoses. Children with influenza may experience neurological manifestations such as loss of consciousness with headaches, development of seizures, and impairment of consciousness.
In addition, severe forms of influenza can be accompanied by the development of hemorrhagic syndrome, as well as disruption of the heart and problems with vascular tone, which leads to sharp fluctuations in pressure. The combination of these manifestations and causes the overall severity of the flu.
Typical forms of flu in children: what are the symptoms
If children suffer from mild flu, the temperature usually does not exceed 37.0–37.8, or it may even remain in the normal range. The manifestations of intoxication syndrome will be weakly expressed, usually it is capriciousness or lethargy, drowsiness and problems with appetite. Relatively mild cold symptoms – runny nose, sore throat, are also identified.
If it is a moderately severe form of the flu, intoxication symptoms form in the form of muscle aches, discomfort in the joints, chills, headaches, and general lethargy, weakness. Fever reaches values of 39.0-39.5 ℃, some children against the background of the flu may give the development of a false croup with the presence of barking cough, hoarseness of voice, difficulty breathing. In some children, against the background of this form of flu, there may be discomfort in the abdomen and a slight upset of the stool as a reaction to toxicosis.
If these are severe manifestations of infection, toxic manifestations in children will be of a pronounced degree with symptoms of impaired consciousness (the baby may wander, hallucinations may occur). There may be tonic or clonic convulsions, fever can reach numbers around 40.5, which can lead to a significant disorder of breathing and cardiovascular function.