Health

PERSISTENT COUGH AND FLUE IN CHILDREN WORRIES PARENTS

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Parents and guardians are worried over persistent cough and flu among the children.

Parents who talked to our reporter in Mbarara noted that this has escalated as children mix up at schools which has led to its spread.

They are worried of respiratory challenges where in some cases it becomes severe causing difficulties in breathing.

Speaking to Endigyito radio recently Dr Sabrina Kitaka, a paediatrician, said they have noted an increase in the number of cough cases among children. 

Dr Kitaka urged parents to take children who present with cough for Covid-19 testing given the current state of the pandemic in the country.

Dr Ayella Ataro, the vice president of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA), however, cautioned that these cases cannot be treated as Covid-19 cases until one is tested.

Dr Ataro said the rise in flu-like illnesses tend to occur during colder weather that is usually characterized with rain.

Dr. Emma Murisa of Divine Medical Clinic in Mbarara says that flue and cough in infants is caused by change and transitioning of seasons, allergies and pneumonia, however he advised parents and guardians to ensure effective diagnosis by visiting health facilities in cases of symptoms.

Health scientists have asked schools to isolate and treat or send home learners who have serious signs of flu and cough as investigations into the exact cause of the spike continue. 

The experts also asked parents to give children a lot of fruits to strengthen their immunity so as to fight off the infection or minimise the chance of developing severe disease.

Dr Herbert Luswata, the Uganda Medical Association secretary-general, told Endigyito radio that schools should revive adherence to preventive measures such as wearing facemasks and handwashing.

Directors of hospitals and doctors told Endigyito radio on condition of anonymity that hospitals are already overwhelmed with children who are presenting with severe cough, flu and other respiratory diseases. 

Dr Charles Olaro, the director of clinical services at the Health ministry, said teams from Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) are investigating the cause of the increase.

Dr Julius Lutwama, the deputy director of UVRI, said they were still analyzing the results to explain the spike in cases of flu and cough.

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