Influenza is the only respiratory virus disease that can be prevented by vaccination, yet the vaccination coverage of children in Poland hovers around 1 percent. Her symptoms, especially this year, may be mistaken for a coronavirus infection, which will put parents under great pressure. It's worth saving yourself.

This year is special in many respects, also related to healthcare. The world fears the coronavirus. However, other pathogens are also on the attack, some of them very dangerous. Among them is the flu virus. Every year in Poland it causes disease in over 2 million children up to the age of 14. This is as much as 45 percent. the sick population.

Children, especially those under the age of 5, are particularly at risk of complications from the flu. The most common are: pneumonia, bronchiolitis, otitis media, febrile convulsions, myocarditis, encephalopathy. Each of these diseases not only puts a heavy strain on the child's immune system, but also in many cases requires antibiotic therapy. It is often necessary to hospitalize a small patient, which is associated with unpleasant medical procedures, including putting on a cannula, drawing blood, but it also strongly affects the mental condition of the child. A stay in a hospital is a lot of stress for him, especially in times of a pandemic.

Flu vaccination. What do you need to know?

In Poland, influenza vaccination is included in the Preventive Vaccination Calendar as recommended, which means that parents have to pay for the vaccination out of their own pocket. Its cost is about PLN 50. The price is several times lower than in the case of other recommended vaccines, e.g. against rotavirus, meningococcus or tick-borne encephalitis. So why only 1 percent. parents decide to vaccinate their child against flu? According to specialists, this is because our society is downplaying this serious disease.

It also seems we do not trust the vaccine that has to be given every year. We are used to being protected against the disease by 2-3 pricks. However, the annual flu vaccination is due to the specificity of the virus. It undergoes very rapid changes. The World Health Organization announces a new composition of vaccines every year. In the 2020/2021 season, children are recommended to receive a 4-valent vaccine, which includes two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B.

The most common complications of flu in children

Flu in the COVID-19 Era

For several months now, the whole world has been struggling with the coronavirus pandemic. There are more and more people suffering from COVID-19, also among children. However, it should be remembered that this is not the only disease that we may struggle with. Our immune system attacks many pathogens on a daily basis. Some of them can cause symptoms of infection, while others will be overcome very quickly by an efficient immune system. Among them, however, is the flu virus - an extremely dangerous opponent. It attacks suddenly, giving many bothersome and disturbing symptoms, incl. fever, headache and muscle pain, chills. No wonder then that we would like the child to be examined by a doctor in such a situation. In times of pandemic, however, it may be difficult.

It will also be difficult to distinguish between coronavirus infection and flu. Although these diseases differ, their symptoms, especially in the initial stage of infection, may be similar. The final diagnosis should be confirmed by a test. However, taking a smear is unpleasant, much more so than a single prick when vaccinated. But also in this field recently changes have taken place. New forms of the flu vaccine have appeared on the market - intranasal, which you should talk to your pediatrician about.

It is best to vaccinate children against flu in the fall. It should take 2-3 weeks for antibodies to neutralize the flu virus to develop. The young body will therefore be ready for contact with the virus in early 2021, when flu is expected to increase significantly. And even if our child gets sick, it will most likely pass the infection mildly and will not develop complications.

Very often our bad mood is explained by colds , weaknesses or simply by age. The number of activities that we perform every day and the pace of life these days means that we do not pay attention to the signals that our body sends. The most common symptoms of blood disorders, such as sweating at night, weight loss or fatigue are confusing for us, meanwhile according to the National Cancer Registry over the last thirty years, the incidence of cancers of the lymphatic and hematopoietic systems has more than doubled. Diseases of the hematopoietic system and blood can be quite mild, but sometimes the changes are very serious and can even lead to the death of the patient.

1. Blood diseases - characteristics

Blood plays an extremely important role in our body. When it is healthy, the internal organs are in good shape and well nourished, and our defense system works well.

Blood disorders, generally speaking, arise from the abnormal formation of morphotic elements (red blood cells, platelets , white blood cells) that lead to their deficiency or excess. The basic diagnostic test is morphology , which allows to assess individual parameters, such as hemoglobin level , platelet count, T lymphocytes , hematocrit , MCV or granulocyte fractions.

Diseases of the blood and hematopoietic system (hematological diseases) constitute an important group of diseases. These include, among others: anemia , granulocytopenia and agranulocytosis , cancer (including Hodgkin's disease , non -Hodgkin 's lymphoma, leukemia and others), haemorrhagic diathesis.

The research of blood diseases is done by the medicine department called hematology, which is usually manifested by disturbances in blood parameters.

2. Blood diseases - diagnostics

According to experts, each of us should perform blood counts at least once a year. In fact, although most of us are aware of the importance of this study, 43% of Poles do it much less often.

Morphology is not associated with us as a study that allows you to detect more serious blood disorders. Only 19% of respondents indicated leukemia as detectable thanks to this study, only 17% of people indicated the possibility of detecting cancer, and only 5% indicated other blood diseases.

The number of new cases in recent years has been steadily increasing, the forecasts are also not optimistic, because the aging of the population can be observed, which significantly increases the incidence of hematological diseases . However, this is not the domain of older people, there are about 1100-1200 new cases of cancer in children up to the age of 17, the most frequent of which is leukemia - a cancer of the hematopoietic system. It accounts for about 26% of all cancers in children.

In fact, the first suspicion of cancer , based on an interview with the patient and the result of a morphological examination may already be a family doctor, or even give direction to further diagnosis. Unfortunately, we only go to the doctor only when it is necessary, for example when the pain is impossible to perform everyday tasks, or when performing tests for work. It is worth performing a morphology, which is no longer present in preventive examinations, however, many employers also have it in the benefits package, in which case it is worth performing.

3. Diseases of the blood - symptoms

Symptoms of blood diseases are usually non-specific, may resemble viral or bacterial infections. Also recurrent infections that occur as a result of immune disorders may be a symptom of hematological diseases.

Among the general symptoms of blood diseases, we can observe:

In the case of this type of symptoms, it is worth going to the clinic and performing a basic morphological examination to rule out the existence of hematological diseases.

4. Blood diseases - types

There are many types of blood diseases. The most common occurrences below are presented below:

4.1. Anemia (polycythemia)

The redness results from the excessive production of red blood cells, the patient suffering from it usually has a red or reddish color on the face, often has bloodshot mouth and conjunctiva . It can be caused by prolonged hypoxia as well as by bone marrow proliferative lesions. In the case of this disease, it is worth finding the primary cause of both hypoxia and changes in the bone marrow - in the first case you should treat the disease that caused this condition - the heart and lungs . If the patient is suffering from proliferative lesions , cytostatic drugs should be given.

4.2. Anemia (anemia)

Anemia results from too little hemoglobin or erythrocytes. Among the symptoms you can observe:

Anemia can result from blood loss, a deficiency of B vitamins, insufficient erythrocyte production or their accelerated decomposition, folic acid or iron . It can also result from bone marrow cancer.

Treatment depends on the cause that caused this condition. It often happens that the problem disappears after implementing a proper dietrich in vitamins and iron. However, if the patient's condition is serious, it may be necessary to have a blood transfusion or even a bone marrow transplant.

4.3. Leukemia (leukemia)

It can have different characters. In myeloid leukemias, the production of leukocytes increases to a large extent, and their increasing number begins to displace other blood cells, including red blood cells , hence anemia usually also occurs in this case.

We distinguish between acute and chronic leukemia. Therapy depends on the stage of advancement and the type of this disease. Combination therapy is the standard, i.e. bone marrow transplantation and chemotherapy.

4.4. Hemophilia (hemorrhagic diathesis)

It is formed as a result of mutations in the gene that affects the conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin. The patient develops blood coagulation disorders. Only men suffer from hemophilia. There is no cause for bleeding in the joints and muscles , it can also lead to heavy hemorrhages threatening even life. Haemophilia patients receive medications that are designed to restore adequate clotting .

4.5. Cancers

They are a large group of diseases of the hematopoietic system. We can distinguish:

Among other diseases of the circulatory system and blood, we can distinguish among others

5. Blood diseases - early detection

Thanks to morphology, blood diseases can be detected relatively early. The information that is contained in the blood give us quite accurate information about the changes that occur in various organs. The following samples are usually determined in a blood sample:

Researchers are providing more and more evidence that a brain deprived of sufficiently long and deep sleep is more susceptible to Alzheimer's disease

"Changes in sleeping habits can prepare the ground for dementia" , says Jeffrey Iliff, a brain researcher at the University of Oregon Health and Science in Portland.

It turns out that during sleep, the brain cleans itself of toxins combined with the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease . As shown in animal studies, if the body does not get enough of a healthy sleep dose, these toxins can accumulate and cause brain damage.

Iliff and a team of researchers are beginning research to explain the relationship between sleep problems  and Alzheimer's disease in humans. It has long been suspected that there must be a connection between these two conditions, as people with this condition often also suffer from sleep disorders .

It was long believed that this was happening because the disease was destroying the brain center responsible for regulating sleep" says Iliff. However, the last two findings indicate that this relationship can be much more complex.

The first evidence comes from 2009, from research at the University of Washington in St. Louis. Observations have shown that amyloid plaques, which are associated with the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease, formed much faster in the brains of mice that did not have adequate sleep.

In subsequent studies, Iliff and his research team discovered how a lack of sleep can accelerate the development of these plaques. Researchers found that during deep sleep there is an extremely effective brain cleansing process, at least in animals.

According to Iliff, at this time a process occurs in which the cerebrospinal fluid, usually located outside the brain , begins to re-circulate inside the brain around the blood vessels. This system, called the glimphatic system, allows the brain to cleanse toxins , including those that are responsible for the formation of amyloid plaques that cause Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers want to conduct similar research in 2016, but this time with people to make sure that their discovery is also applicable to humans. Researchers hope that their research will contribute to a better understanding of the causes of the disease and the development of new treatments.

The sore throat hurts the most immediately after waking up. During the day, we can even forget about it. However, the cold does not go away so easily.

1. Sore Throat and Cold

A sore throat is not always caused by an infection . It can also be caused by inhalation of too dry or cold air, especially when breathing with your mouth or due to air pollution like smog or smokes etc. If the symptoms of a sore throat go almost immediately after getting out into the fresh air (when the reason is, for example, air conditioning) or entering a warm room (when the reason is cold air), there is no reason to use specialized treatment.

Both the common cold and the sore throat itself are most often caused by viruses. This means that in most cases, antibiotics that only work on bacterial infections will not help here.

Sometimes a cold starts with a sore throat. Runny nose, especially at night, irritates and causes the spread of infection. That's why we usually feel worse in the morning.

Typical symptoms that mean a cold are:

2. Sore Throat and Angina

Sore throat may also turn to be angina, which is caused by bacteria. In this case, antibiotics will help in the treatment. However, the statement that it is definitely angina requires laboratory testing and not just "looking down your throat".

Angina is accompanied by more severe symptoms than in the case of a cold:

Angina can even lead to rheumatic fever, which is a serious systemic disease and can cause heart defects.

3. Sore Throat - Prevention

As with any infection, hygiene is the most important thing. The following rules should reduce the risk of getting to a minimum.

  1. Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  2. Avoid close contact with people complaining of a sore throat. Remember, however, that the common cold is contagious before the onset of symptoms.
  3. Air humidifiers can prevent throat pain resulting from inhaling too dry air.
  4. Remember: until recently, the removal of tonsils was considered a method for sore throat recommended for everyone. Currently, this is only recommended in some cases.

4. Sore Throat - Treatment

There are several ways to get a sore throat . They will help relieve symptoms and even cure a cold. But if the symptoms are sharper, they mean angina and then you have to go to the doctor.

If you have a sore throat, it will help you:

Remember to never give aspirin to your child! It is also risky to use aspirin in viral infections, as it can lead to serious complications such as the Rey Syndrome.

5. Sore Throat - Danger

You should contact your doctor if the sore throat is getting worse, as well as:

Lactose intolerance means that the body can not properly process lactose - the natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. If lactose does not decompose during digestive processes and travels to the large intestine, it can cause discomfort such as abdominal pain and bloating.

1. Lactose Intolerance - What is it?

Lactose is a milk sugar consisting of galactose and glucose . Its highest content is recorded in sweet sheep's milk (5.1 / 100 g) and cow's milk (4.6-4.9 / 100g). Lactase is responsible for the breakdown of lactose. Lactose intolerance is a food disorder that arises as a result of lactase deficiency. This results in unpleasant ailments of the digestive system .

Most Europeans or people with European roots have an adequate level of lactase in the body. This is caused by a diet rich in cow's milk . This makes the body produce more lactase. In Western and Northern Europe, lactase deficiency reaches 20% of the population. Inhabitants of Africa or Asia are characterized by a much worse result, which is about 70-100%. In Poland, approximately 25% of adults and 1.5% of infants suffer from lactose intolerance.

2. Lactose Intolerance - Types

After birth, the activity of lactose in the intestines is high. In the first years of life, it drops by almost 90%. Lactose intolerance can be divided into two types:

3. Lactose Intolerance - Causes

Lactose intolerance occurs when sufficient quantities of an enzyme called lactase, which is necessary for the digestion of lactose, are not produced in the digestive tract . This condition can be hereditary. It happens that the problem is already present in newborns .

Then the child can not consume any products containing lactose. Temporary lactose intolerance may occur in premature babies because their bodies are not yet able to produce lactase. The problem usually disappears spontaneously when the process of producing this enzyme begins in the gut.

Lactose intolerance is promoted by diseases such as:

Also some medicines, such as antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, areresponsible for problems with lactose tolerance .

4. Lactose Intolerance - Symptoms

Symptoms of lactose intolerance may vary from mild to severe depending on the amount of lactase produced by the body. Symptoms of lactose intolerance usually appear 30-120 minutes after ingestion of milk or its products. These are most often: bloating , spasmic abdominal pain, excessive gas , loose stools or diarrhea , vomiting and "splashing" in the abdomen.

5. Lactose Intolerance - Diagnosis

In order to diagnose lactose intolerance, tests such as:

6. Lactose Intolerance - Treatment

Unfortunately, healing is impossible. People suffering from lactose intolerance should exclude it from the diet or limit it. You can also take tablets containing lactose. In patients with illnesses, the appropriate diet adjusted to the severity of the disease is crucial.

7. Lactose Intolerance - Diet

Although there is no drug for lactose intolerance , thanks to dietary changes, you can significantly reduce the symptoms of this problem. A lactose-free diet requires the elimination of fresh milk, sweet cream and buttermilk. However, the total abandonment of dairy products is not recommended, because the child's body needs a sufficient amount of calcium .

In order to avoid a shortage of this mineral, it is necessary to ensure that the following products are included in the child's menu:

In the diet of a child with lactose intolerance, other changes are also indicated. In order for the child not to experience digestive problems, it is recommended to give up not only fresh milk and cream, but also mayonnaise, creams based on cream or milk, chocolate , ice cream, pudding, cakes, marshmallows, butter biscuits, biscuits and pancakes. 
It is worth remembering that powdered milk is often included in breakfast cereals, chips, crackers, protein bars and spaghetti sauce.

Dairy products can also be used as flavorings for processed meats : sausages, sausages and preserves. In dietary management in people with lactose intolerance, it is worth helping with proven Probiotics for children .

8. Lactose Intolerance and Milk Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is not the same as milk intolerance. In case of milk intolerance, allergy to milk protein is responsible for unpleasant symptoms. The immune system in contact with this allergen causes known ailments. Symptoms associated with milk intolerance may occur more than a dozen hours after ingestion.

We have known for a long time about the negative impact of smoking on health. However, it turns out that the risk of diseases does not disappear after breaking the addiction. American scientists have just discovered that the heart needs as much as 15 years to recover from smoking cessation.

It is well known that smoking cigarettes has negative consequences for our health. According to the latest research, it turns out that the effects of this addiction will be borne by the organism also after it has been discarded. In the area of ​​the highest risk is above all the heart .

A group of scientists from the American University of Vanderbilt discovered that the heart needs as much as 15 years for full recovery after quitting. These results can change the thinking about the consequences of smoking. Previous studies have indicated that a higher risk of heart disease and stroke occurs "only" within 5 years of quitting.

Meredith Duncan, the author of the study, explained that in the body of people who smoke for a very long period of time, the return of heart and lung to normality may be impossible. The changes that are caused by substances in cigarettes may be too large.

Researchers analyzed the results of 8,700 people who smoke for 50 years. It turned out that patients who smoked regularly for 20 years min. One packet of cigarettes per day were up to 70 percent. more likely to have a heart attack than other smokers.

According to the Ministry of Health, almost 9 million people smoke cigarettes every day in Pakistan. Result of which is, 60 thousand people die yearly due to tobacco-related diseases, among which are lung cancerchronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart attack.