Aid to children with respiratory diseases has soared in recent months in Belo Horizonte. The attendance at the João Paulo II Children’s Hospital, a reference unit in the East region, increased by 163%. The drier climate, typical of winter, and the decrease in social isolation are the main reasons for growth.
From April to June, 3,311 patients with bronchiolitis, pneumonia, asthma and other respiratory ailments passed through the unit. In the same period last year – when many families were in quarantine – there were 1,258.
Admissions also jumped, from 768 to 1,353 at the ICU in the hospital complex. Case of the girl Cecília, 8 years old, who spent three days at the site at the end of June. According to her mother, Nathália Cássia de Alcântara, the first step was to test her to see if she was with Covid-19. With a negative result, the medical team began treatment for an asthma attack.
According to the pediatric pulmonologist at the hospital, Alberto Vergara, most cases are not coronavirus infection. “Not only Covid, but other viruses also circulated. If we compare with 2019, the numbers are within the standard”.
For the specialist, the relaxation of restrictive measures and the return to activities in schools are the main factors that contribute to the increase in consultations.
The doctor warns that, with low humidity, care with children’s hydration must be redoubled. In addition, he calls attention to food and a good night’s sleep (eight hours, on average). “In the case of babies, breastfeeding should be encouraged up to six months,” he added.
The pulmonologist also highlights the care with vaccination, especially against the flu. “This year, influenza vaccine coverage is low. People thought it wasn’t necessary, but it is. Influenza also kills”, he warned.
According to Alberto Vergara, if children present a cough, runny nose or other respiratory symptoms, parents are advised to seek medical attention. “When she is more prostrate, eventually with a high fever or one that doesn’t go down, she doesn’t eat properly, it’s a warning sign. It should be taken to consult”.
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