Katia Arce Ricue, a pediatrician at Ramiro Priale de Essalud Hospital, said the low temperature this season has led to an increase in cases of asthma as well as respiratory infections and pneumonia among children. Significantly, according to the epidemiological report of Diaresa Junin, 1,200 cases of asthma have been reported in children below the age of 5 years so far this year.
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In addition, there have been about 50 thousand 383 cases of acute respiratory infections in children under 5 years of age and 282 cases of severe pneumonia in the Junin region so far this year.
“In Esslud, out of 2,000 emergency services per month, they increased to 7,000 and 80% are respiratory illnesses, first pneumonia, bronchitis, then asthma in children,” said pediatrician Katia Arce Rique.
Asthma can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, cough or wheezing. In some cases, the symptoms can be severe.
Although the climate in Huancayo is dry, cases of asthma are also frequent, but this requires a clinical diagnosis in children under 5 years of age. However it is also important to have X-rays, blood tests and spirometry done by a pulmonologist.
The doctor said that there are many cases of bronchiolitis in children below the age of 2 years, which are mistaken for asthma. Therefore a proper diagnosis must be made.
Also, asthma has a genetic component and if a family member has the disease. Children also have a tendency to suffer from it.
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The expert recommended taking care of the kids and said not to take them out too early and not keep them open till late at night.
He said that children should stay warm, but parents should avoid wearing woolen clothes, as it is an allergen that affects children. It is best to wear cotton clothes, he said.
Another important task is for parents to take their children to health centers to complete their vaccinations.
With regard to babies, he called on mothers to make breastfeeding a priority, as it is a means of protection against diseases.
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Corticosteroids used to treat asthma now go directly to the lungs and do not affect other organs. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as dexamethasone, prednisone, and inhalers are also used.
At El Carmen Hospital, deputy director Mary Carlos noted that there has been a 15% increase in acute respiratory infections.
They noted that the holiday period and exposure of children also contribute to the increase in acute respiratory illnesses.