Köha, palavik, nohu: kuidas teha vahet Covid-19 ja talvehaiguste vahel?


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Lwinter is here, and with it colds, runny noses, fever, coughs, and other minor seasonal illnesses. The problem is that if in normal times these ailments caused little concern for parents and communities (schools, nurseries), the Covid-19 epidemic changes the situation somewhat. Because the main symptoms of Covid-19 may be similar to those caused by another virus, as part of the flu, bronchiolitis, gastroenteritis or even just a bad cold.

Therefore, young parents can only be worried: is there a risk of refusing their children in the community because they have a runny nose? Should we systematically have your child tested to Covid-19 as soon as suspicious symptoms appear?

To take stock of the different situations and symptoms, and the procedure to follow depending on the case, we interviewed Prof. Christophe Delacourt, Pediatrician at the Necker Children Sick Hospital and President of the French Pediatric Society (SFP) .

Covid-19: very “modest” symptoms in children

Recalling that the symptoms of infection with the new coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) are generally very modest in children, where we observe fewer severe forms and many asymptomatic forms, Professor Delacourt indicated that fever, digestive disorders and sometimes respiratory disorders were the main signs of infection in children, when they develop a symptomatic form of Covid-19. Unfortunately, and this is the problem, for example, cough and difficulty breathing are not easily distinguished from those caused by bronchiolitis. “The signs are not very specific, not very severe”, Emphasizes the pediatrician.

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However, it should be noted that the appearance of the Delta variant, which is more contagious than its predecessors, has triggered more symptoms in young people, even if the majority remain asymptomatic.

Suspicion of Covid-19: what the National Education advises

What to do if a child develops symptoms reminiscent of a coronavirus infection, without having been in contact with an affected adult, or being around a person at risk? The Ministry of Education recommends isolating the child directly from the onset of the first symptoms if he has any, and directly after the sample if the test result is positive. The duration of isolation is at least ten days. It should also be noted that the entire class will be considered as a contact case and must be closed for a period of seven days. 




When a Covid-19 screening test is essential

The pediatrician recalls that the first contaminant of the child with regard to the coronavirus is the adult, and not another child. And the home is the first place of contamination of the child. “It was initially believed that children could be important transmitters and play a key role in the spread of the virus. In view of current data (August 2020), children do not appear as “super transmitters”. In fact, data from grouped case studies, particularly intrafamilial, have showntransmission from adults to children much more frequent than the other way around”, Details the French Society of Pediatrics on its website.

Sellest hoolimatawhen there are symptoms (fever, respiratory discomfort, cough, digestive problems, editor’s note) and there has been contact with a proven case, the child must be consulted and tested”, Indicates Professor Delacourt.

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Likewise, when the child presents symptoms suggestive and that he rubs shoulders with fragile people (or at risk of developing a serious form of Covid-19) at home, it is better to carry out a test, in order to exclude Covid-19, or on the contrary to validate the diagnosis and take the necessary barrier measures .

Can the school refuse to accept my child if he has a cold? 


In theory, the school can completely refuse to accept a child if he has symptoms that could suggest Covid-19. If this is left to the discretion of the teacher, he is likely to take no risk, especially if the child has a fever. However, the list of suggestive symptoms given by the Ministry of National Education does not include the term cold, simply the following clinical signs: ” acute respiratory infection with fever or feeling feverish, unexplained fatigue, unexplained muscle pain, unusual headache, decrease or loss of taste or smell, diarrhea “. In a document evoking ” the precautions to be taken before taking your child to school ”, the Ministry of National Education invites parents to monitor the appearance of suspicious symptoms in their child, and to take the child’s temperature before going to school. In the event of symptoms, a doctor should then be consulted so that he can decide on the necessary measures and treatments. In addition, if your child’s school is closed, and you cannot telework, you may be compensated by the partial unemployment scheme.

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