By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute
Influenza begins with a rise in temperature and pains everywhere. The fever disappears in 3 to 4 days. If your child is drowsy or has trouble breathing, you must call the doctor immediately.
Influenza is a very common disease during the winter half-year. Often, it occurs as an epidemic. This means that many people in the same area fall ill at the same time.
The illness is caused by a viral infection. It starts of a sudden with high fever, 39-40°C or higher, possible chills, strong headache, muscle pain (pains everywhere) and a strong sense of being ill.
Contrary to common cold, a child is rarely snotty when having influenza. On the other hand, stomach aches and vomiting is common with influenza, especially the first couple of days of the illness. The virus can spread to the airways (bronchi) and the lungs and cause a strong cough.
The illness is not dangerous and passes by itself. After 3 to 4 days, the temperature falls and after 6 to 7 days, the child has recovered. Influenza can cause complications with pneumonia, bronchitis, inflammation of the middle ear and other bacterial diseases that are treatable.