Long term flu, is it viral or bacterial, and what is the treatment? | Health | Magazine

We almost resigned ourselves to accepting that at some point in this season, which some call winter and some call rainy season, we will experience influenza.This is the wettest and hottest month of the year, and Respiratory virus transmission, Although they are not the only opportunists: there are others, e.g. cold sores, They become very common, especially in children and the elderly.

this viral respiratory diseaseYes May become complicated or become overly infected bacteria and become pneumonia. “Bacteria produce pus in the lungs, and if we put that in numbers, 920,130 people die from pneumonia each year worldwide, Almost all of them are under the age of 5,” Dr. Gregory Sellis, an expert in clinical research and epidemiology, was impressed by the data. “Nearly a million children are dying due to respiratory problems.”

What is the current situation of respiratory diseases in my country?

  • As of week 52 of 2022, 106,906 pneumonia patients have been treated.
  • 2023, epidemiological week 15 (data from Ministry of Public Health) with 40,067 patients.
  • Of those, 15,209 were children. “These numbers are shocking,” the doctor said.
A fever above 38°C may indicate a bacterial infection. Photo: Shutterstock
  • The departments of Pichincha and Guayas are the most affected provinces for children aged 1 to 4 years and children over 65 years old. “They are the group at highest risk.” The disease is reported to be more common in men.

Celis explained that children have good and strong immune systems, but not against respiratory viruses, but against other types of viruses. “Again, older people have weaker immune systems and they are more susceptible. It’s the immune status that determines these things.”

Additionally, climate change has something to do with it. “We are seeing a resurgence in respiratory disease (He too Coronavirus), so much so that we are asking people to wear masks again in crowded places such as banks and markets. “

Obviously, this mask is not suitable for babies. “This message is for our young people. The elderly and children are staying home, but we are passing the virus on to them. Our immune systems respond better, but we go home and contaminate our children and adults. ” This is why it is recommended to wear a mask to avoid becoming a transmitter.

Healthy behaviors gained during the pandemic but now forgotten

Wearing masks and isolating during the flu were caring behaviors we learned during the pandemic, but as COVID-19 cases declined, this practice quickly fell out of use. Vaccination and maximum tolerance to the virus. Dr. Sellis sees this as a missed opportunity.

“Humans learn through fear, and that’s unfortunately the case. Like someone studying before a test because if they get a zero they will lose their grade for the year, not because they say “let’s study”. The same goes for wearing a mask, washing your hands and face when you go in and out, and now it’s like nothing happened; “This pandemic has taught us nothing, this is reality.”

Some of the habits developed during the pandemic have been cast aside. Photo: Shutterstock

That’s why their appeal focuses on the fact that respiratory diseases can kill young children and the elderly. “this WHOThrough its SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), the third goal talks about the biggest killers of humanity, one of which is respiratory diseases, so we must listen and protect our people. “

Differences Between Viral and Bacterial Respiratory Diseases

How do I know if my symptoms correspond to a viral or bacterial infection? Dr. Celis makes a comparison that may be helpful:

  • viral diseasesMore common than bacteria.They can easily enter the respiratory tract and produce warning signs and symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and Runny nose (very characteristic); The eyes are red and watery.
  • bacterial diseases They are opportunistic, they wait for the immune system to weaken due to the presence of the virus and enter the body; they absorb nutrients, destroy tissues and produce pus, develop fever and chills, general malaise, severe headache; The mucus becomes thicker and appears green (a clear sign).
  • For viral infections, there is no antibiotic. “The virus dies after completing its 15 to 21-day cycle; viral treatment is symptomatic.
  • Bacteria are treated with antibiotics for 7 to 15 days, Depends on the intensity of the infection and the type of bacteria.

Sometimes we think we have a long-lasting flu that won’t go away because we may already be in the stage of a bacterial infection. “Yes, it can turn into a very long-lasting flu where patients need to see a doctor over 20-plus days or a month, and they’re actually developing pneumonia.”

Celis emphasized that signs indicating a change in infection are Thick green mucus, congestion and stagnant flow, difficulty speaking, and fever exceeding 38°C.

One of the recommendations in this case is not to self-medicate or use something that is good for someone you know or to recommend homemade preparations, because in bacterial infections this is not enough to relieve symptoms. “Go to your GP or health center and sub-centre.”

A long or severe cough, what does it mean and when does it end?

this Cough after infection, Residual symptoms after a respiratory infection can last three to eight weeks. This is because a previous infection triggered an inflammatory cascade that increased bronchial sensitivity and mucus production. It affects 11 – 25% of adults. Diagnosis must be made by a doctor after a physical examination and ruling out asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), gastroesophageal reflux disease, or the use of certain medications.

But there may be other signs, such as Difficulty swallowing, breathing, or hoarseness, In this case, they may perform a chest X-ray. In addition, whether there is a history of repeated pneumonia or long-term smoking history. A cough that lasts for more than eight weeks is considered chronic and requires additional evaluation, such as lung function testing. (and)

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