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風邪をひいた女性
風邪をひいた女性

インフルエンザは熱の症状のコントロールが重要

風邪をひいた女性

インフルエンザに感染した場合に発症する症状の大きな特徴に熱が高温になるという事がありますが、この熱の症状について皆さんは正確な知識をお持ちでしょうか?

そもそも、インフルエンザで発症する熱はどのようなことで起きているのでしょうか。また、その熱に対処するにはどのようなことが重要ポイントになってくるのでしょうか。

今回は、インフルエンザの症状の一つ、発熱について紹介していくことにしましょう。

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インフルエンザで熱の症状が発症する理由

まずは、インフルエンザにかかった場合になぜ熱の症状を発症するのか、そのメカニズムから見ていきましょう。

熱は免疫力の賜物

熱をはかる女性

元々人の体には免疫能力が備わっています。インフルエンザウィルスが体内に侵入して増殖を始めると、当然人体の免疫能力が発揮され始め、インフルエンザウィルスを体外に排出しようとします。

このウィルスを排出しようという動きはインフルエンザウィルスの弱点を攻撃していくという原理のもとに働きます。

インフルエンザウィルスは低温低湿を好み、高温多湿に弱いのがインフルエンザの型に関わらず共通の特徴です。そのため、体内では熱を上げることによって排出作用をより効果的にしようという働きが生まれるのです。また、インフルエンザウィルスの感染力は非常に高く、この増殖をいち早く抑制するためには急激に体温を上昇させなければなりません。そのために体内では急激な発熱をするという変化が起こるわけです。

また、ウィルスや老廃物、ウィルスが輩出した毒素などを体内から排除するためには多くの水分が必要となり、そのためには多大なエネルギーを消費します。このエネルギーを確保するためにもやはりたくさんの熱が必要となります。

これらが、インフルエンザにかかると急に高熱になる要因となっているという事をまず覚えておきましょう。

熱を下げ過ぎてはいけない理由

上記の発熱の要因から、インフルエンザの治療には体温の上昇が必要不可欠だという事がわかります。

インフルエンザウィルスが体内に残っている場合、発熱を抑えてしまうという事はウィルスの増殖を助長してしまうという事になります。つまり、ある程度ウィルスが死滅するまでは高熱を発し続ける必要があるという事になります。

症状だけを考えると、つい高熱は体に良くない・すぐ下げなければいけないという風に考えがちですが、実はそうではないという事がわかります。

せっかく免疫力を発揮するために高熱を発しているのに、その熱を下げ過ぎてしまうとウィルスが体のいたるところで増殖するようになり、その結果重大な感染症や合併症などの2次的な病状を発症することになってしまいかねません。

高熱になりすぎると危険な理由

ともあれ、体温があまりにも高熱になってしまうとまた別の懸念が生まれてきます。

人の細胞は42.5℃以上になると徐々に細胞に障害がみられるようになります。これ以上の温度が数時間続くと、障害を持った細胞は元に戻ることができなくなってしまいます。これを細胞の不可逆現象といいます。

この不可逆現象が脳や臓器などに起きてしまうと、重大な病状へと発展してしまいます。乳幼児は特に熱に対する耐性が備わりきっていないため、あまりの高熱による合併症や感染症で亡くなってしまう赤ちゃんがいるという事も毎年報告されています。

体内免疫力を発揮するには熱を下げ過ぎてはいけない事と同時に、高温になりすぎないようにコントロールする必要があるという事が重要です。

インフルエンザで解熱剤を使用する際の注意点

では、インフルエンザで上手に解熱剤を使用するにはどのような注意点が必要なのでしょうか?ここからは解熱剤に関する注意点や疑問点を明らかにしていきましょう。

市販薬の使用について

通常の感冒症、つまり風邪の場合には市販の解熱剤が何種類もあり、その効果も安全性とともに認められていますが、インフルエンザの場合は先述での説明通り熱のコントロールが大変重要になってきます。

市販薬の中には様々な成分を使っているものがありますが、その中でも非ステロイド系の抗炎症解熱剤を使用することは大変危険だとされています。主に乳幼児に使用すると脳炎や脳症への合併症へ発展する危険性が高いとされ、子供への使用は禁止されています。大人の場合でも過去脳症での死亡が確認されているケースがあり、インフルエンザには大変危険な成分だと言えます。

そのほかにも解熱の効果が認められない物や合併症を引き起こす可能性があるものなど数えきれないほどあります。これらの薬を使うには、よほどその成分に関する知識がないと判断することはまず無理でしょう。

これらのことを踏まえると、インフルエンザの症状に正確に対処するためには、専門である医者や薬剤師に任せるのが適切だという事がよくわかります。

処方される解熱剤について

病院で診察した際に処方される薬には、抗ウィルス剤と解熱鎮痛剤があります。抗ウィルス剤にはタミフルやリレンザ、イナビルなどがありますが、解熱鎮痛剤にはアセトアミノフェンを配合した薬が殆どです。

このアセトアミノフェンという成分は強い解熱作用はありませんが、発熱を和らげるという作用があり、あまりの高熱にならないようにする場合やどうしても熱の症状がつらいときに処方されることが多い薬です。

特に小児科へ診察に行くと、ほぼこのアセトアミノフェンが処方されます。それほど、他の解熱剤と比べて安全性が認められているという事です。
ただし、市販薬でもアセトアミノフェンが配合されているものがありますが、市販薬で注意しなければならないのは他の成分でインフルエンザに危険なものが含まれている可能性があるという事です。アセトアミノフェンを主成分としていれば問題ないと勘違いして、医者に診てもらわずに自己判断でこのような解熱剤を用いることは大変危険です。

また、以前にインフルエンザにかかった時に処方された薬を使う事も絶対にやめておきましょう。前回と今回のインフルエンザでは型や種類が違う場合があります。たとえ同じでもきちんと診察を受けたうえで処方される薬を使うようにしましょう。

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まとめ:熱の症状をコントロールすることが大切

インフルエンザによって引き起こされる熱の症状にはちゃんと必要なわけがあり、その熱をちゃんとした方法でコントロールすることによって、重大な2次障害につながらないようにすることができるという事がお分かりいただけたと思います。

自己判断せずに、ちゃんと医師の進打を受けたうえで処方薬を使い、熱のコントロールをすることで症状から回復されるようにしていきましょう。

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Check Also

考える

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  インフルエンザと症状のよく …

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