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Seasonal infections are a problem for the whole family

In the treatment of SARS, preference should be given to antiviral drugs with proven efficacy and safety.

In the treatment of SARS, preference should be given to antiviral drugs with proven efficacy and safety.

A photo: Svetlana MAKOVEEVA

How not to get sick this fall, says Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Professor of the Department of Children’s Infectious Diseases of the Federal State Budgetary Educational Institution of Education and Science of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, an excellent worker in public health of the Russian Federation, a member of the European Association of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID), a member of the National Scientific Society of Infectious Diseases (NNOI) Tatyana Alexandrovna Chebotareva.

WHAT THE “TERRIBLE FLU” IS PROMISED TO US

– Tatyana Alexandrovna, this season they promise some kind of especially “terrible” flu … They scare me, in general. Do you need to prepare in any way?

– You should not be afraid in this situation, since a calm attitude to the situation is the key to health. The fears of scientists in anticipation of a more difficult than usual situation with influenza are associated with its low activity in the previous two seasons due to COVID-19. To combat the pandemic, unprecedented sanitary and hygienic measures were taken. This also affected the prevention of influenza. And now, due to the lack of a meeting with the influenza virus, the immunity of many of us may simply not be ready for it – antibodies to any seasonal causative agent of acute respiratory infections fade quite quickly.

The best preparation for dealing with the flu virus is getting vaccinated. Until the end of October, before the expected start of the epidemic season of influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections, it is still possible and necessary to have time to get vaccinated. This is especially important for children and older family members. Children can be vaccinated from the age of six months.

– And if I get a flu shot, will I not get coronavirus?

No, this statement is wrong. These are different infectious diseases caused by different viruses. A vaccine is directed against a specific pathogen.

To support the immune system in fighting both influenza and COVID-19, it is necessary to vaccinate both the influenza vaccine and the coronavirus infection, respectively. When vaccinated with Sputnik V, it is possible to carry it out on the same day as the flu vaccine, only in different hands.

– What are the main differences between seasonal SARS and influenza?

The flu is a type of SARS. But it most often occurs in severe form, can cause dangerous complications. The influenza virus is characterized by high variability and extreme contagiousness. It can cause epidemics and even pandemics. Also, only against influenza, unlike other acute respiratory viral infections, there are vaccinations and direct-acting drugs, for example, the well-known oseltamivir. Clinically, by symptoms, without determining the pathogen by laboratory methods, what kind of acute respiratory viral infection a patient has, it is sometimes quite difficult to distinguish.

IF SOMEONE IS ILL IN THE HOUSE…

– Why do our children often get ARVI, especially from autumn to spring?

– There are many reasons for this. This is the beginning of the school year in schools, kindergartens and children’s clubs with an adaptation process that requires additional efforts on the part of the child’s body. And the peculiarities of children’s groups, the presence of close contacts in the conditions of the circulation of a large number of viruses – the causative agents of SARS, transmitted by contact and airborne droplets. Both weather factors are important, and heating as a risk factor for dry air, which adversely affects the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx and eyes, and many other aspects that require hard work from the immune system. On the other hand, do not forget that, unlike an adult, a child’s body is not familiar with most respiratory viruses. And so the child has the right to get sick, training his immunity. Just due to the great diversity and high contagiousness, the most frequent encounters are with viruses – the causative agents of ARVI, among which in epidemic seasons up to 20% of cases in children are accounted for by the influenza virus, seasonal coronaviruses, rhino-, adenoviruses are frequent, and other pathogens occur.

– If someone in the family “caught” SARS, what should I do? How to treat a sick person and is there a universal approach?

– If someone gets ARVI in the family, first of all, it is necessary to try to isolate the sick person and reduce contact with him for all family members, except for the one who will take care of him. The range of drugs for the treatment of SARS is extremely wide. In my practice, I try to give preference to antiviral drugs with proven efficacy and safety. And at the same time capable of providing a comprehensive treatment of the disease, that is, those that have the maximum possible set of properties and effects necessary for successful treatment, and are able to cope with both the cause and the symptoms of SARS. This is the criteria for the so-called universal approach. For example, in my first aid kit there is always Ergoferon, which is suitable for children from the age of six months and adults, as well as aids that are indispensable in the treatment of SARS: nasal rinse drops, patches with essential oils and others.

ON THE SAFETY OF DRUGS

– How safe are medicines for the treatment of SARS?

– Of course, when choosing a drug for the treatment of acute respiratory viral infections, especially in a child, safety is one of the most important points. Despite the fact that all registered drugs have confirmed their safety in the course of studies and therefore have been officially registered, the safety profile of each drug is individual. It is characterized by the presence/risk of adverse events, including serious ones. The main criterion for choosing a drug is always an assessment of the benefit / risk ratio, during which the doctor weighs all the pros and cons of using this drug in a particular patient. One of the indicators for assessing the safety of a drug can be the age of the patient to take it – as a rule, the earlier it is, the lower the risks. When choosing a drug for me, as a pediatrician, the mechanism of its action is also important – those targets in the body on which it acts, and how exactly it acts. I always try to assess what the possible immediate and long-term consequences of using a particular drug in a child will be.

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