Flu and Other Viruses That Can Affect Your Child in the Winter

Even if your family enjoys the mild winter season in Las Vegas, you may still be affected by one of the many viruses that typically makes the rounds this time of year. Influenza, adenovirus, and rotavirus are some examples of infections to watch out for. When your child isn’t feeling well, the pediatric specialists at Sunrise Children’s Hospital can help.

Influenza is an infection caused by flu viruses. Pediatric specialists strongly recommend that all children six months of age and older receive an annual flu shot. Although many adults experience mild cases of the flu and may recover well at home, children are more susceptible to severe symptoms and complications that require emergency care. If your child displays the following severe symptoms of flu, it’s important to call 911 right away.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Fever with a rash
  • No tears when crying
  • Few or no wet diapers
  • Failure to respond or awaken
  • Symptoms that improve, then recur and worsen

Rotavirus is another infection that commonly circulates during the winter months. You can watch this featured video to hear a gastroenterologist at Sunrise Children’s Hospital explain some basic facts about rotavirus. Rotavirus most often affects babies and young children. The symptoms of rotavirus include watery diarrhea (often severe), fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, and loss of appetite. The major concern with rotavirus infections is the possibility of dehydration. A child requires emergency care for dehydration, which may be indicated by decreased urine output, lack of tears when crying, excessive sleepiness and fussiness, and dizziness upon standing.

There are several types of adenoviruses that tend to circulate this time of year. Adenoviruses are usually not serious unless they affect infants. They can also be more serious in children with suppressed immune systems or certain chronic diseases. Adenoviruses can cause respiratory symptoms like runny nose, cough, and sore throat, or intestinal symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. If an adenovirus affects the urinary system, it can cause frequent, painful urination and bloody urine.

If your child is experiencing severe symptoms or related complications, the emergency care team is always available at Sunrise Children’s Hospital . Our pediatric specialists know how to offer a comforting touch when a hospital visit is stressful for young patients. Parents in the Las Vegas area can call a registered nurse at our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437.

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