First of all, in most cases, you should not worry unnecessarily, underlines Dr. Johanne Blais, doctor at the Saint-François d’Assise Family Medicine Group.
Allergies, leftovers from a good old cold that comes from day camps or daycare services and, of course, COVID-19: young Quebecers will not be at the end of their sentence this fall with the return of the cooler temperature.
Three main symptoms of COVID-19 to watch out for :
- high fever
- dry cough
- breathing difficulties
For kids starting school, if they have a runny nose, it’s not COVID. There has to be a fever, which absolutely must be controlled, and there is a cough too. But we must not put a child aside because he has a runny nose, because there will not be many children in school, explains Dr. Blais on the morning show First hour.
Getting the nasty kid test for a runny nose really isn’t a good idea.
The key: persistent fever
A child who has a hot temperature should obviously stay at home. The 48 to 72 hours after the onset of fever in the child is crucial in parents’ decision-making.
80% of people who have COVID-19 are either asymptomatic or not very sick. The common cold lasts about 5 to 7 days. There is not a lot of fever. You can have a basal fever of 38 at the beginning, but nothing more. For the flu, we have high fevers, but these fevers last 3 to 4 days, but if we are able to control it [avec de la médication], we know that this fever will eventually fall. And it’s not COVID-19adds Dr. Blais.
A fever that persists beyond the first days of illness is therefore a potential sign that your child has contracted the virus, estimates the family doctor.
If you have a child with a runny nose who has a fever, and you have trouble controlling it, it is important to consult or call a screening center., she insists.
Less flu this fall?
Mandatory masks for adults could also help reduce the number of people with colds or flu this fall. This would be a significant beneficial effect on our health system, while the threat of a second wave looms.
I have the impression that we may have less flu. Because [les trucs]is always to wash your hands frequently and [de porter] the face cover when we go somewhere. It’s a way to protect yourself from droplets that you can all throw out when you cough or talk.
The importance of the flu shot
Dr. Blais reminds us of the particular importance of get flu shot this year.
If we are able to have a lot fewer cases of the flu this year, that will help us a lot. COVID-19 does not prevent getting the flu shot, she says.
Canada’s chief public health officer Theresa Tam also said last week that preventing influenza with the vaccine would be key to avoiding medical overload this fall.