/ / Acute respiratory viral infections in children

Acute respiratory viral infections in children

Because these diseases are quite commonOften and renewed 6-8 times a year, it is useful to know their main features. In this article, we will talk about the topic "Acute respiratory viral infections in children", topical this winter.

Upper respiratory tract infections

  • Cold. One of the most common diseases in children, the most common reason for going to the doctor and passes in school.
  • The cold causes more than 200 viruses (mainly rhinovirus and coronavirus), which inflames tissues or mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract.
  • Symptoms of cold appear 2-3 days afterContact with the carrier of the virus, can last about a week. In infants, these symptoms include nasal congestion, fever, anxiety, insomnia, sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Symptoms in older children: Nasal congestion or runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes, sneezing, moderate dry cough, fever, general muscle pain, headache, fatigue. The mucus is initially watery, then it becomes thick and yellowish. The common cold is different from the flu - a more serious disease, fraught with complications.

Most young children are sickColds 6-8 times a year and even more often if they go to a kindergarten. Since the age of 6, children do not get sick so often. Adolescents suffer from colds 2-4 times a year. Colds are most often observed in the fall and spring. The increase in the incidence of colds at this time of year can be attributed to the fact that children spend more time in the premises, in contact with other children and adults. In addition, viruses that cause colds multiply faster in cool, dry air. Colds occur because, in some cases, the symptoms may be similar, it is important to remember the main differences between these diseases.


It is an inflammatory process in the mucosaParanasal sinuses - air cavities in the front of the head. The sinuses are filled with mucus and create discomfort. There are acute sinusitis, which lasts no more than 3 weeks, subacute duration from 3 weeks to 3 months and chronic, lasting more than 3 months. Usually, sinusitis occurs as a complication of colds or as a consequence of inadequate treatment of the common cold. Sinusitis causes pain and local blockage, sometimes purulent maintenance, catarrhal inflammation, nasal congestion, fever, headache, even dizziness of varying severity. The most effective method of diagnosis - with the help of X-ray photographs of the nasal sinuses. Rinsing the nose with saline and removing the secretions are the two most effective means of preventing colds, but they can cause discomfort to the child.


Acute inflammation of the pharyngeal mucosa andTonsils, characterized by pain in the throat, can be very painful. As a rule, it is caused by a viral infection (in 45-60% of cases), but the inflammation can be bacterial (15%) or unclear etiology (25-40%). With viral pharyngitis, there is sore throat, dry irritating cough, difficulty swallowing, and in some cases, fever and general discomfort. If the last symptoms are severe and persist for more than 3 days, they may be caused by bacteria. It is necessary to consult a doctor to identify the cause of the infection and prescribe appropriate antibiotic treatment. Another possible diagnosis is infectious mononucleosis, a kind of pharyngitis of viral origin. He is treated the same way as an ordinary cold, however, you should consult a doctor who decides whether you need to take antibiotics. Since this infectious disease is transmitted through the discharge from the nose and saliva, several family members can get sick at once. Bacterial pharyngitis, caused most often by hemolytic streptococcus, is accompanied by very severe pain in the throat, difficulty in swallowing, high fever, purulent deposits on the tonsils and in the throat, swollen cervical glands (cervical adenopathy). Because the disease can cause serious complications, including rheumatoid polyarthritis, kidney disease and scarlet fever, any treatment for pharyngitis requires a course of antibiotic treatment - penicillin (or its derivatives) or erythromycin (an alternative in case of penicillin allergy). Before the start of the course of antibiotics, it is necessary to examine the sample of pharyngeal secretions to determine which bacteria caused the disease.

Tonsillectomy (surgical removal of tonsils)

Tonsils - two organs on either side of the softThe palate. They consist of clusters of lymphoid tissue that produces antibodies against infections, they are visible to the naked eye in the depth of the child's mouth, near the tongue, if not lift it. If tonsillitis is resumed and do not respond to drug treatment, tonsils can be removed. Usually this operation is performed simultaneously with the removal of adenoids. Each case the doctor considers separately, but tonsillectomy is usually recommended:

- With hypertrophy (excessive growth) of the tonsils - when the tonsils are so large that they prevent breathing, cause apnea and sometimes do not allow swallowing food.

- With the resumption of a throat infection.

- When abscesses appear on the tonsils. Such phenomena are characterized by relapses, they are considered dangerous.

- With convulsions caused by tonsillitis.

- If the size of the tonsils increases the risk of rhinitis and ear infections.

Inflammation of the middle ear

The middle ear is connected to the pharynx throughEustachian tubes, this means that infections of the upper respiratory tract often give complications to the middle ear. But sometimes they appear by themselves. The middle ear becomes inflamed when the coating covering it produces a lot of mucus. It clogs the Eustachian tube, causes pain and reduces the severity of hearing (in serious cases, it threatens deafness). Inflammation can be accompanied by fever, headache and lethargy. The main goal of treatment is to eliminate the cause of the disease.

- If the infection is persistent, it should be treated with antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.

- If the cause of the infection is an allergy, you will need vaccination and treatment with antihistamines, as well as control of external factors.

- If the adenoids create an obstruction and squeeze the Eustachian tube, they must be removed.

- If the inflammation has a number of causes and is difficult to treat, drainage of the tympanic membrane with a plastic tube is necessary.

Lower respiratory tract infections

  • Acute bronchitis

Inflammatory process in the trachea and bronchi, usuallyAccompanied by an infection of the upper respiratory tract or complication of the latter. Usually of viral origin, but in some cases it may be bacterial (caused by the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae or Bordetella pertussis, causative agents of whooping cough). Pneumonia is an infection provoked by the growth of microorganisms inside the alveoli; They cause inflammation and cause lung damage. With an inflammatory reaction in the alveoli, a secret clearly visible on the x-ray of the chest is identified. Treatment is symptomatic, that is, aimed at eliminating cough and fever. In some cases, especially when it comes to allergic children, bronchial obstruction is possible, requiring the use of bronchodilators. Antibiotics should be supplemented with treatment if there is a suspicion of a bacterial infection: talk to your doctor.

  • Whooping cough

This infectious disease is caused by bacteriaBordetella pertussis. After the incubation period lasting 8-10 days, the child has symptoms of bronchitis, such as cough, especially at night. After about a week, the catarrh passes into a convulsive stage, characterized by coughing, accompanied by a sensation of suffocation. If they occur during a meal, the child may begin vomiting, and in severe cases even a bleeding hemorrhage. The cough gradually turns into noisy deep breathing. Complications almost entirely depend on the intensity of seizures that can cause pulmonary emphysema. In some cases, when coughing is accompanied by vomiting, the child suffers from nutritional deficiencies - this aggravates the situation and slows recovery. Infection causes direct contact with the infected patient, as well as secretion, which is released during sneezing and coughing. Pertussis can be infected at any age, but it is especially common in young children. Pertussis can be prevented by vaccination, which is prescribed concomitantly with vaccinations against tetanus and diphtheria (DTaP vaccine) at the age of 2, 4 and 6 months, repeated at 18 months and 6 years.

  • Infant pneumonia

Pneumonia develops when pathogensMicroorganisms penetrate into the lung tissue, getting into them through the nose or throat, together with the air during breathing, through the blood. Under normal conditions, the respiratory tract is inhabited by bacteria (bacterial flora). These bacteria do not enter the lungs due to the action of cells of the immune system and reflex cough, which provokes ciliary cells responsible for removing any foreign bodies. If these protective mechanisms are weakened, pathogens penetrate the lungs and cause infection. Symptoms of pneumonia are varied. In some cases, they fit into the picture of a typical pneumonia, which is distinguished by the appearance of coughing with expectoration (sometimes with blood inclusions) for several hours or 2-3 days before the outbreak, as well as chest pain and fever with chills. Pneumonia caused by pneumococci develops according to this scenario. Other types of pneumonia, related to atypical, are characterized by the gradual development of symptoms: mild fever, pain in muscles and joints, fatigue and headache, dry cough without expectoration, less severe pain in the chest. Such patients may have weak symptoms from the digestive system - nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. They are particularly typical of pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma, Coxiella and Chlamydia. When confirming pneumonia, treatment should be started as soon as possible. In bacterial pneumonia, antibiotic use is indicated. The choice of one of the many antibiotics depends on the causative agent of the disease, the degree of its severity, the characteristics of the sick child. But in some cases, additional tests may be necessary, the child is hospitalized for examination and treatment.

  • Bronchiolitis

This is an acute viral infection of the lower partRespiratory tract is found in young children. After catarrhal phenomena and light heat, difficulties with breathing begin, audible crepitating rales, cough becomes stronger and persistent. There may also be a tightening of the chest, with extreme manifestations of the disease, the skin turns blue due to airway obstruction. Bronchiolitis usually occurs as an epidemic disease, especially in children under 18 months of age. Most often they are observed in infants under the age of 6 months. The most common causes are the respiratory sync virus and the paravirus of influenza 3. Bronchiolitis is transmitted through direct contact. The virus is contained in small droplets in the exhaled air and is easily spread by sneezing or coughing. The sick child is the carrier of the virus for 3-8 days, the incubation period lasts 2-8 days. Particularly susceptible bronchiolitis (in the most severe form) premature babies, children with congenital heart disease and immunodeficiency.

  • Acute inflammation of the external ear

Inflammation affects the external auditory canal,Characterized by pain and itching. Increased production of earwax, ingress of water in the ears, damage to the ear canal increases the likelihood of infection. The pain increases with touching the outer ear and chewing food, there are discharge from the ear. Treatment: pain relief from analgesics - paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen; Antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, etc.) in combination with anti-inflammatory drugs. If the tympanic membrane or external ear and glands are swollen, additional therapy with oral antibiotics (amoxicillin and clavulanic acid, cefuroxime, etc.) is necessary. Usually such diseases give relapses, especially in the summer. To avoid them, it is recommended to take the following precautions.

- Encourage the child not to immerse his head in the water while bathing.

- When washing the head and taking a shower the ears should be protected from water.

- Do not insert ears and tampons into your ears, as they retain moisture.

  • Laryngitis, epiglottitis, croup

These inflammations cause infection in the organsLarynx. Laryngitis is common in children and is usually caused by viruses. With this kind of disease, like epiglottitis, the inflammation spreads quickly, can completely block the airways and in the most severe cases leads to death. The main causative agent is Haemophilus influenzae, type B. Whistling breathing is one of the characteristic signs of this disease, it is caused by the difficulty of passing air through the vocal cords due to inflammation of the larynx and trachea. The same symptom can be provoked by various viral and bacterial diseases, chemical substances (corrosive, irritating gases), physical irritants (gases or hot liquids), allergies (angioedema). Croup is the most common cause of wheezing in children aged 1-5 years. With croup, there is inflammation of a viral origin, noisy and shortness of breath. Attacks of false groats often occur early in the morning: the child wakes up from the fact that it is difficult for him to breathe and from a very characteristic barking cough. This situation often occurs after the onset of symptoms of catarrh or cold, it is especially common in autumn and winter, but this does not mean that croup can not get sick at any other time of the year. Now you know what are the acute respiratory viral infections in children.

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