Flu is also known as influenza and it is much severe than the common cold. It is usually hard to differentiate between a common cold and flu, but it can be diagnosed as either of the two if the symptoms are thoroughly and closely observed. Generally speaking, cold sweeps in slowly, whereas flu will affect your child suddenly and with extreme severity. Your child will feel worse in two to three days after the virus has affected him or her.

The main cause of flu is seasonal changes, including the yearly epidemics which comes and goes with seasons. Flu is highly contagious, and children can pass this on from one person to another easily. In schools and play areas, your child can inhale the droplets that are being coughed and remain airborne, allowing the flu to be easily contracted.

Children can transmit the infection one to two days before their symptoms start to show. Five to seven days after they’ve been affected, they still can easily pass flu on to other kids.

Common symptoms of flu include:

  • Fever of over 100-degrees Celsius

  • Headache

  • Dry cough

  • Muscle and body aches

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nasal congestion

  • Runny nose

  • Sore throat and difficulty in swallowing

  • Hoarse voice

  • Diarrhoea and vomiting, in some cases

  • Red watery eyes​

It is usually easy to treat flu. However, for preventive measures you can consult the medical specialists working with the Children’s Hospital Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital to get flu shots for your child, if he or she is above six months of age.
If your child’s age is two years and above, a nasal influenza shot will be injected.
These shots should be given before the seasonal outbreak of influenza virus.

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

The symptoms of flu are very commonly known. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam to diagnose the disease. You can get in touch with the Family Health Service Line as well as the Children’s Hospital Services at The Aga Khan University Hospital to get yourself and your child examined.

Influenza can be easily treated. Two things are most important in these five to six days of treatment:

  • Plenty of rest

  • Increased fluid intake like hot water with honey and ginger, hot soup and green tea. Herbal teas and herbal drinks which are readily available in the market in the form of sachets and are also very beneficial. If your child does not like the original flavour, herbal drinks are also available in other flavours like chocolate.

Your doctor may treat your child symptomatically and prescribe him or her medications to relieve body pain and clear up nasal passages for easy breathing.

If you feel that your child’s condition is not improving, then you should consult your doctor again for a follow-up check-up. You should also immediately come to the 24/7 Emergency and Acute Care Service Line if your child is having one of the below problems:

  • Your child is turns blue or green

  • Your child is develops difficulty in breathing

  • Your child loses consciousness

  • Your child is not taking fluids at all

  • Your child’s fever goes up to 103 or 104 degrees Celsius

  • He or she seems to be a little delirious and is not making eye contact with you when being called upon​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.
The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.