The president of the Spanish Society of Out-of-hospital Pediatrics and Primary Care (SEPEAP), Fernando García-Sala, recommends universal flu vaccination from six months because this viral disease “he will be very confused” with the Covid-19, with which it will coincide this winter.
“It is something that we have been asking for for a long time,” says García-Sala in an interview, in which advises to vaccinate against the flu not only to children at risk (with pulmonary or immunological pathology) but to everyone, and remember that this annual vaccine is “one of the cheapest”, “super effective”, it covers influenza A and B and the two serotypes of each of them and does not produce side effects.
The flu, he points out, “is a viral disease that is going to be confused a lot with Covid, with which I would love for everyone to children get flu shots. If I have a patient who is vaccinated, I will be able to rule out one diagnosis and focus on another. “
The president of SEPEAP recognizes the problem that there may be vaccines for everyone, since there are priority risk groups to receive it and this year, due to the pandemic, “people are going to turn to vaccinate and perhaps we will have one. lack of flu shots“, and considers that this problem” should have already been raised a few months ago to prevent it. “
The school, better face-to-face
García-Sala believes that it is important for minors to come from face-to-face at school because, he explains, during confinement pediatricians have seen cases in children with problems of fear, insecurities, anxiety, sleep disturbances and night terrors, and in the case of adolescents, alterations in character because they were affected by not being able to be in contact with your friends or partners.
In addition, he indicates, there has been a increase in obesity among minors, since as a result of the confinement they have been more sedentary and have done less sport.
Values the importance of the school for the child social development but he warns that there must be “equal opportunities”, because if the classes are virtual there will be students who may have the means to follow them from home but others do not.
In his opinion, it is key that there be “safe schools” and points out that the Administration and the educational centers are making an effort to ensure social distance, the use of a mask and hand washing, something in which families have to collaborate.
“We are concerned about seeing images of groups of parents and students at the doors of the school, it is necessary for students to enter the center in a staggered manner, at different times,” he says, adding that he considers minors “they have become aware of the problem and they comply with hygiene standards “and advocate for extracurricular activities, but also with the necessary safety.
Closure of playgrounds
In his opinion, the measure taken by municipalities such as Valencia to close the playgrounds again was “correct“because if in schools the children are” in a bubble “, when they go out” the risk still exists and they cannot go to the park to meet other children “.
“We must be aware that we are in a situation where we have to do things correctly at home, school or the street. The virus does not know about spaces and special care must be taken to protect grandparents, who are the most vulnerable, “he says.
Cases in schools
Admit it was “foreseeable“That there were cases of Covid-19 in schools, although he emphasizes that, for the moment,” it is not a thing that is triggered “and ensures that the problem is” when a child has a fever.
In this last aspect, launch a message of tranquility and points out that children “have fever, snot and diarrhea; before the Covid they had snot, fever and diarrhea, and we should not go crazy and every time a child has 37.5 degrees of fever do a PCR. That cannot be because we are going to end the system. “
In his view, “is a task that we have to continually do a lot of tests. If you have a runny nose, it is not an obstacle for you not to go to school, because young children continually have snot and you have to assume it. Another thing is that they have a fever and respiratory difficulty that can guide us towards a Covid or another pathology “.
When performing a PCR on a child with a fever of 37.5 degrees “we have to be more critical, look for something else, because they may have otitis or tonsils. We are not going to do ‘fever, equal to CRP’, because if not we would have to do a detection test every day, because children have a fever regularly “.
For García-Sala it will be “very important” the new rapid diagnostic test antigen, because it is determined in ten minutes if you have Covid-19 or not.
He assures that pediatricians are concerned because the situation of Primary Care “is overflowing”, with agendas of more than 60 children, something that “is insane because it is very difficult to attend”, and also denounces that the protocols “change continuously” and the pediatrician “does not know what to do.”
It also claims that it is “fundamental” the appointment in order not to “collapse” the Primary Care and that the pediatrician and the nurse assess the possibility that the minor does not go to the health center or delay his attendance if he has a mild condition. “We are concerned that the serious pathology has not yet begun, we are still with a banal pathology.”
In fact, he points out, hand washing and masks prevent the spread of not only the coronavirus, but other diseases, and there is “a small decrease” in the usual pathology seen at this time of year and also less diarrhea: ” We have improved the epidemiological environment in general”.