Guide to the most common winter illnesses

Guide to the most common winter illnesses

Winter is coming and with it respiratory infections. These are very common infections that especially children suffer at this time of year. They are produced by viruses.

The viral infection causes inflammation of the airways, which can spread from the nose to the bronchial tubes (inside the lungs) and is the cause of the well-known and bothersome symptoms of mucus and cough.

The following are the most common respiratory infections in children:

Upper respiratory tract infection

This is the most common infection, also known as constipation. The main symptoms are:

• Mucus from the nose, which may be clear at first and then turn whitish or even yellowish. This evolution is expected and does not involve complications. This symptom is very annoying for young children as they tend to breathe through their noses and when this is difficult it causes discomfort or discomfort and interferes with eating, which can be more difficult. The mucus from the nose can persist for about seven days.

• A cough, dry or productive, that can last up to two weeks. When a cough is accompanied by aphonia or a hiss (stridor) at the moment of inhalation (inhalation), we speak of laryngitis.

• Fever is not always present, more often in young children. This can last between three and four days.


Influenza is also an infection caused by a virus (Influenzae). It causes symptoms similar to constipation, cough, and mucus, but usually has a high fever that can last about five days and is often accompanied by widespread pain (myalgia). In babies, this can only occur with a fever. One of the most effective protective measures against influenza is to avoid contact with a possible patient who has a fever and respiratory symptoms. Other recommended measures are hand washing and vaccination, especially if the child is at risk.


Bronchiolitis is another common winter infection. Initially, it causes coughing and mucus, and after two or three days there is difficulty in breathing and often also in feeding.

Babies do not feed for long or from a bottle. When the baby breathes faster than usual, ribs appear, and the abdomen is sagging, we must suspect that she has difficulty breathing and urgently consult a pediatrician. How are respiratory infections