Don’t panic, other viruses also give flu symptoms, says doctor - GulfToday

Don’t panic, other viruses also give flu symptoms, says doctor


Medical personnel work in the emergency room of a hospital. The photo has been used for illustrative purposes. File/ Agence France-Presse

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

A paediatrician-neonatologist in Dubai has reiterated the call of a senior Dubai Health Authority (DHA) official regarding panic amidst the worrisome situation brought about by the global pandemic, Coronavirus 2019 (COVID19).

Directed this time to parents, Dr Abdul Majeed emailed to Gulf Today, “Avoid panic. Realize that there are more common viruses which can have flu symptoms and are resolved by themselves.”

His advice, among other suggestions, came about as a result of the Ministry of Education decision to impose an early four-week Spring break in all schools, colleges and universities across the country beginning Sunday.

On Tuesday, DHA-Public Health Protection Department-Preventive Medicine Section head Dr Abdulla Al Rasasi, through the institution’s easy-to-understand/precautionary measures brief on COVID-19, highlighted too, the need for restraint — “Avoid getting into panic mode” — as he also stressed that recent travelers to countries severely affected or which have “widespread transmission” rates, should bear in mind that it is a “community obligation to get tested.”

Majeed of the Aster Hospital (Mankhool) wrote, “At a challenging time to care for children’s health, as a clinical practitioner, the number one advice to parents is to encourage children to follow the practice of hand hygiene. Help them do it many times of the day and watch them doing it to ensure it is practiced. Avoid visiting crowded places and gatherings. Make sure children consume healthy food, plenty of water and indulge in physical activities.”

Child (Care/Hope/Interventions for Learning Disabilities) counselor Jolliene Galit meanwhile pointed out the value of instilling healthy living among the children.

In a previous interview, Galit mentioned the “structured plan” as a beneficial tool on imposing discipline on children during the sudden unexpected month-long vacation with the “studies and extra-curricular activities” accomplished within the confines of the homes.

The structured plan includes the application of “study analysis,” filled with visuals and crafts so that the young minds would not be bored.

Galit said study analysis enhances the children’s interest and result in their better reading comprehension.  

“It would also be good for the children to help in the house chores (because by doing so, parents/adult family members imbibe in them values and virtues on teamwork, cleanliness, healthy living and hygiene),” she added.

“We have to explain the benefits of cleanliness,” Galit continued, pointing out that easy prey for the COVID-19 are those with weak immune system.

Galit encouraged family discussions on COVID-19 as she had observed that children were joyful and thrilled about the “long break when there is a serious reason for this long break.”

She put up the red flag on the possible incessant use of the Internet and the social media.

Children may think they have all the time for these since they are not in school and the home environment may let them indulge.

Galit furthermore put up the warning on junk foods since the children may think they have the freedom to binge on these, in contrast to their experience in their schools where, as regulated, only healthy snacks and meals are allowed.

“I suggest that older family members join the children in their snacks and meals for the additional bonding moments,” she also said.

As for the physical exercises and since children are normally “very active” in the early part of the day, the high-energy level activities must be scheduled in the mornings.

“Remember that nap time and rest are (essentials),” Galit said.

 For his part, Majeed said: “In case of illness, do give the children adequate rest and stay away from gatherings and crowd. Let them use facemasks.

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