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幼児のインフルエンザと様々な合併症症状の特徴について

幼児の足

幼児はインフルエンザに伴い様々な合併症を発症することがあります。例えば、幼児がインフルエンザに伴って中耳炎などを発症することがあります。幼児の場合、特に注意したいものとしては、インフルエンザ脳炎やインフルエンザ脳症があります。これらの場合には命に関わりますので、その症状を事前に知っておくことが大切です。本稿では、幼児のインフルエンザに伴う合併症の症状をまとめています。

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幼児に多いインフルエンザの合併症

幼児と祖父母

インフルエンザは毎年12月から3月ころまでが流行のピークですが、抵抗力があまり強くない幼児は、特にインフルエンザにかかりやすいということができます。インフルエンザにかかると、インフルエンザそのものの症状として高熱や筋肉の痛み、くしゃみ、喉の痛みなど様々な症状を発症します。インフルエンザの症状は風邪とよく似ていますが、高熱が非常に高いものになることが特徴的と言えます。

小さな幼児のお子さんがインフルエンザにかかってしまった場合には、医師の適切な治療を受けさせた上でじっくりと休ませてあげることが大切ですが、同時に幼児の場合合併症にも注意することが大切となります。

様々なインフルエンザの合併症

幼児がかかってしまいやすいインフルエンザの合併症とその症状としては以下のようなものを挙げることができます。特に、インフルエンザ脳症とインフルエンザ脳炎には注意が必要です。幼児の命に関わる合併症であるためです。

中耳炎

インフルエンザに伴い、ウィルスや最近などが中耳に入ってしまうことで発症するのが中耳炎です。もしかすると、保護者の方もインフルエンザに伴って中耳炎となった経験がある方もいるかもしれません。

インフルエンザに伴う幼児の中耳炎の症状の特徴としては、耳を頻繁にいじったり、逆に耳を触れられることを極端に嫌がるなどの症状を呈します。幼児は耳の不快感の症状をしっかりと言葉にすることができないので、態度で中耳炎であることを示します。その他痛みから非常に大きな声で泣く場合などもあります。

幼児はインフルエンザに伴って中耳炎になってしまうことが比較的多いということができます。幼児が耳を痛がっているような症状・態度がある場合には中耳炎の可能性を考えることが必要です。

インフルエンザ脳炎・インフルエンザ脳症

インフルエンザに伴う幼児の合併症としてもっとも注意したいものがインフルエンザ脳炎・インフルエンザ脳症です。

インフルエンザ脳炎は、インフルエンザウィルスが脳に入ってしまうことで発症するものです。一方でインフルエンザ脳症はインフルエンザに伴って免疫系が過剰に活動的になる結果、体が免疫の過剰反応に耐え切れず健康を害してしまうものです。

いずれも幼児に発症することが多く、発症するとあっという間に命が失われてしまう可能性がある病気です。インフルエンザ脳炎・脳症にかかってしまった幼児は、最悪の場合には1日程度で死亡してしまうこともあります。また、命は助かったとしても後遺症状を残すことがあります。このように、インフルエンザ脳炎・インフルエンザ脳症は非常におそろしい病気ということができます。

インフルエンザ脳炎や脳症の場合、その主要な症状としては、意識障害やけいれんが挙げられます。また、その他にも、妄想や幻覚、幻聴の症状が現れることもあります。例えば、幼児が何かに対して非常におびえていたり、動物やアニメーションのキャラクターが目の前に存在するかのような言動を取ることがあります。

幼児にインフルエンザ脳炎や脳症などが疑われる、これらの症状があらわれた場合には何をおいてもすぐに医療機関で治療を受けさせることが必要不可欠です。

その他の合併症と対応のポイント

インフルエンザに伴い、幼児がかかってしまうことがある合併症として、他には、例えば、
気管支炎や肺炎などが考えられます。幼児の場合、インフルエンザに伴い合併症があっても、言葉で自分自身の症状を適切に伝えることができないことが多いということができます。

そこで、幼児が自己の症状を伝えるための主要方法は、泣いたり不機嫌になるなどの態度が中心になります。幼児が普段とは異なる泣き方、嫌がり方などをしている場合には何らかの合併症の可能性を考えて対応をすることが大切ということができます。

まとめ:インフルエンザに伴う幼児の合併症

以上、本文で述べましたインフルエンザに伴う幼児の合併症やその症状のポイントをまとめますと以下のようになります。

  • インフルエンザに伴い、幼児は様々な合併症を引き起こすことがありえます。例えば、中耳炎や肺炎、気管支炎などの合併症が引き起こされる可能性があります。
  • インフルエンザに伴う合併症としてもっとも注意したいものとしてはインフルエンザ脳炎やインフルエンザ脳症があります。これらは幼児の命に関わる合併症です。症状としてはけいれんや意識障害のほか幻覚などを見ることがあります
  • 幼児は自己の症状を言葉で伝えることができないため泣き方や不機嫌な態度などからその原因をしっかりと見極めてあげることが大切ということができます

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