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With the mounting cases of the seasonal and common ailing in the city, parents today are flummoxed by how to handle the common symptoms and when to treat it before it turns into a complication.

It was inevitable the moms’ made a beeline to an invite to catch up with the city’s renowned doctors,  Dr. Mukesh Gupta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician, and Dr. Udai Ananth Pai, a Pediatrician who were part of a panel discussion to answer queries on the topic –  #MothersAgainstInfluenza or  #MomVsFlu.

I know for a fact that this topic has taken center-stage ever since I turned a mom, in every online and offline gathering I’ve participated.   And more so during seasonal changes during monsoon and winter.  I gathered,that April to July are particularly a sensitive time which means our body immunity is at a low and hence, adults and kids are more susceptible to catching the flu.

20180227_115807The session began with a round of welcome by the host Supreet Kaur of #RaisingKarma.  A mother herself, Supreet spoke of her own predicament of the situation when a family is down with the flu.    After a round of ice breaking session, the ladies in the house had joined in, sharing their experiences on the symptoms of the flu, from a sore throat, a runny nose, excruciating body ache, headaches, high fever, loss of appetite, tiredness, lack of sleep and so much more, we had the bull by the horn…  But, then what? How does one curtail these symptoms from running into complications?

The doctors put us at ease, anticipating, this very common question which was running through all the minds.  The answer was a simple as it gets, Precaution is indeed Better than Cure.   Influenza vaccines, also known as flu shots or flu jabs, are vaccines that protect against infection by Influenza viruses.   Since the virus keeps changing, a new version of the same is developed twice a year.   However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a yearly vaccination for nearly all people over the age group of 6 months, especially those at high risk i.e. children between six months to five years age, the elderly, pregnant women, those with health problems and those who work in healthcare.

Vaccines may take 4 to 6 weeks to develop complete immunity in your body, so you must take it before any epidemic like swine flu breaks out,” said Dr Udai Ananth Pai.    “April, May, June is the best period to take influenza vaccination for children and the whole family for complete prevention against flu”.

Facts to be noted here:

  1. a)Children between six months to five years, Senior citizens, pregnant women are at a higher risk of influenza bouts.
  2. b)Children are prone to catch the viral from other children in their social environment e.g. school, malls, play area, especially if these are in confined spaces that are air conditioned and not open air.
  3. c)#SamuhikVaccination – Sibling, parent, caretaker of the babies or any other member of the family can easily transmit the flu to the young child, so it is important that every member of the family takes the vaccine.  The Flu shot can be taken by anyone at any age. Men and women alike.
  4. d)Only a healthy body can bring in a healthy baby, hence, it is equally important for ladies to go for preconception vaccine.  This will safeguard their young ones from future complications arising out of Flu infection.
  5. e)Best time of the year to take the vaccine is just before school re-opens for both the child and mother.

To get more insight to the dos and don’ts on Influenza and the list of doctors available in your vicinity log onto http://www.mothersagainstinfluenza.in/doctor-list.html.

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From being a Worrier to playing the Warrior, mothers have wisely turned to safeguard themselves and the family from this recurring ailing by administrating the flu shot at least once a year as advised by the doctor.

A healthy and routine communication with your family doctor helps to quell any doubts and take appropriate measurements to handle any future complications from developing. It is definitely a cheaper option than the run-in with medications and complications which may occur.

Also, a healthier lifestyle definitely helps boost immunity – healthy diet, good night’s sleep, keeping oneself well hydrated and maintaining hygiene is of utmost importance as a lifestyle practice.

In certain countries, it is a mandate to have these flu shots received in advance by foreign tourists travelling to their countries.  A wise government policy to curb the spread of this very viral bacterial ailing which has also proved fatal in certain cases.

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Celebrity mother, Genelia Deshmukh, now a mother of two boys dropped by to the surprise of the mothers present. “If you are in doubt, feel free to ask your doctor any questions”, she advised saying that she may listen to all the pieces of advice pouring in but a mother’s instincts work best.  She continued “To safeguard your child, it is important that not just them, but the whole family is vaccinated for flu”. 

RED FLAG SIGNS FOR FLU-RELATED COMPLICATIONS: If a patient has one or more of the following in addition to the usual flu symptoms, immediate hospitalization, testing, and treatment is needed – In Adults symptoms of concerns are  · Breathlessness · Chest pain · Fall in blood pressure · Feeling drowsy · Coughing blood tinged sputum · Bluish nails · Worsening of underlying chronic conditions.

In kids symptoms of concern include · Feeling drowsy · High & persistent fever · Not feeding well · Convulsions · Breathlessness · Difficulty in breathing · Worsening of chronic condition

As it turned out, the afternoon proved to be very enlightening, bursting quite a few myths and bringing forward a few facts on the topic.  All in all, setting the minds of the constant warrior mothers’ at ease on how best to protect their families against The Flu.  Truly a #mothersagainstinfluenza move.

“Disclaimer: I attended a discussion on influenza awareness facilitated by Abbott IndiaLimited. Any opinion expressed in this blog is my personal opinion and not the opinion of Abbott India Limited. Abbott India Limited does not assume any liability for the content of the blog. The blog post is not meant to be a replacement for a doctor consultation, nor is it a medical recommendation or prescription of treatment for babies having Influenza. Any reader of this blog or their family members suffering from Influenza should specifically consult his/her doctor for the same and follow the suggested course of treatment.”