As the season changes and the temperature drops, pediatric clinics across the UAE have reported increased flu instances among children. Seasonal influenza or flu is not new to most people in our country, which is why most parents are now aware of the best precautionary measures they need to take to keep their little ones safe during the outbreak. With that said, it is equally important to get tested for flu and receive treatment from the best pediatric doctors in Dubai if children do start showing early signs of the illness.
Flu testing and results have become faster and better over the past years. Even so, most pediatric clinics use nasal swabs to collect samples. This process can be very uncomfortable, especially for children. This is where myPediaclinic’s innovative diagnostic technology for flu detection is making a change.
Before we discuss this new flu diagnostic method, let’s learn a little more about the flu, its effects, and why getting tested and treating it on time is important.
Influenza: What is it All About?
Influenza is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system. It involves the nose, throat, and lungs. Most people can expect a full recovery in two weeks. Doctors recommend getting tested on time to make a proper diagnosis and start early treatment. Flu can be especially troublesome for some people.
- Babies and young children under the age of 2
- Older adults above the age of 65
- Expectant mothers or those planning for pregnancy
- People who are immunocompromised (weak immune system due to various reasons)
- People who have chronic illnesses, including heart diseases, kidney diseases, diabetes, liver diseases, and asthma
Generally, doctors recommend that people who are at higher risk of contracting the flu and face potential complications should get an annual influenza vaccine. Children above the age of 6 months can be given a flu shot. Kids doctors in Dubai especially recommend giving a flu shot to young children who go to daycares/ play schools/ regular schools and those who are planning to travel with their families during the flu season. The vaccination is effective in protecting people against developing complications from the flu virus.
While vaccination can provide a certain degree of protection, it doesn’t make you or your children completely immune to the influenza virus. If you have contracted the virus, you may show symptoms similar to that of a common cold, such as-
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
These Symptoms are Followed by Typical Flu Symptoms Like-
- Muscle aches
- Chills and sweats
- Persistent dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness and tiredness
- Stuffy nose and throat
- Eye pain
Children may also show additional symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
If you suspect that you or your child has contracted the flu, it is prudent that you see a doctor immediately for testing and treatment. Once flu is confirmed, antiviral medication can help reduce the symptoms and prevent more serious issues from developing.
Most clinics and diagnostic laboratories in the country rely on rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for flu detection. The RT-PCR tests require the health care provider to swipe inside the nose using a nasal swab, which is a very uncomfortable experience. While the results are accurate, it takes several hours for them to get confirmed as well.
At myPediaclinic, they rely on a rapid flu test for detecting the flu virus. This test, developed by Dr. Medhat, is highly effective in delivering accurate and fast results, especially in detecting flu in children. Instead of a nasal swab, our team collects nasal secretion samples from children to do the testing. This is much easier, faster, and more comfortable for collecting samples from children without the pain and discomfort that usually accompanies a nasal swab swipe. The results are also considerably faster, taking a maximum of 3 minutes.
As flu testing is an important part of confirming a flu diagnosis, this testing method has indeed made life easier for both children and parents in Dubai. Their pediatricians in Dubai can do this simple test during your consultation and give your little one appropriate treatment in a matter of minutes.
As the winters are coming in full swing, their best pediatricians recommend taking all the necessary precautionary measures to keep your children safe. Make sure that your child is not in close contact with others with the flu symptoms, follows hand washing and other hygiene practices, not touching their eyes, nose, and mouth unnecessarily and eats healthy foods, and stays hydrated throughout this period. If you suspect your child has contracted the flu, it’s best advised to take them to see their pediatrician and keep them indoors afterward not to spread it to others.
At the End
In short, flu is a common virus that affects the respiratory system and can be troublesome for kids, seniors, and those with health issues. Annual flu shots offer some protection, but it’s not a guarantee. If you suspect flu, prompt testing and treatment are vital. MyPediaclinic’s diagnostic tech makes testing easier and faster, with results in minutes. Take precautions to prevent the spread of the flu during winter.