The Most Common Acute Respiratory Infections


Sergey Sargsyan – head of the Institute of Child and Adolescent Health (ICAH), Arabki MC represents the details of activities carried out in the center and touches upon the respiratory problems, that are common among children.

About ICAH: Field of Activity and Main Objectives

In order to ensure the best result, the ICAH closely collaborates with all stakeholders involved in the sphere of child healthcare: healthcare specialists, regional and urban state agencies, national and international experts, representatives of public health, public institutions, NGOs and international organizations.

We attend seminars abroad, as well as organize seminars on pediatric topics on our own.

Generally, the most important characteristic of child and adolescent health is the mortality rate. It is a complex indicator, that depends not only on the healthcare system, the work of doctors, but also on the socio-economic situation of the country, poverty rate and on many other issues.

Child mortality rate has decreased in Armenia and it is now approaching the rate of developed countries. Mortality rate that is conditioned by pneumonia and other acute respiratory diseases, acute diarrhea has decreased particularly.

When comparing the resources invested in the healthcare system, we notice, that the index of our country is nearly the same as of those countries, where the health expenditures are 3-5 times higher. For example, in one the neighboring countries of Armenia – Georgia, the expenditures of healthcare system are twice more, but the mortality rate is the same as in our country.

The Most Common Acute Respiratory Infections

When the child turns 1 year, and in many cases the protective value of breast milk is diminishing, the child begins to communicate actively and the risk of getting acute respiratory infections increases.

This is a contagious lesion in any part of the respiratory tract. The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined, that acute are considered to be those infections, which last up to 30 days. There are chronic types of lesions, although this lesions are not considered to be acute, they can disturb the patient.

Parents are familiar with acute respiratory infections and they are always interested in the type of it – it is infection, flu or just a common cold? It should be noted, that there is no cold without any reason. In most cases, the cause of a cold is an infection, but in some cases, allergic phenomena are perceived as a cold.

What is cause of a viral infection ?

Basically infections are of viral origin. There are different kinds of viruses. Of course, the most common virus is the flu of A, B1 type.

Children and Viruses. Which are the Most Common Viruses?

Common viruses include Human parainfluenza viruse and “Respiratory” virus. The latter contributes to the development of acute bronchitis.

Rhinovirus is one of the most common viruses, that has the inclination of causing acute bronchitis.

Adenovirus infection, for example, has many “masks”: it has 43 identified types and is considered to be a severe infection. Adenovirus is characterized by different symptoms – respiratory problems, digestive disorders.

Human metapneumovirus was discovered 15 years ago, and is considered to be respiratory pathology.

How often do children get infections and why?

Very often parents mention that the child gets sick frequently. According to WHO’s in-depth and large-scale research, the average rate of child sickness at an early age is 3-5 times per year for children living in rural areas and 5-8 times for children living in urban areas. Moreover, the bigger the city, the more active the infections are. This rate is nearly the same in almost all countries.

What is the Reason for Acute Respiratory Infection Complications?

There are various factors that cause respiratory diseases. For example, cigarette smoke damages the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, which in its turn creates favorable conditions for the development of viruses. Smoke promotes the production of mucous of low resistance, reduces the membrane stability against viruses. Air pollution is another factor of the development of infection.

If the PM10 level is high, it directly affects the respiratory tract. This rate is high in Yerevan. Endogenous factors, such as the nourishment of a child also plays an important role in enhancing the immune system of a child.

Sign for Emergency in Case of Acute Respiratory Infections

It’s a fact, that among respiratory problems pneumonia is considered to be the most serious illness. No other disease is as harmful as pneumonia.

Tachypnea, weakness, sleepiness, and stabile high temperature: these are signs in case of which parents must immediately call for the doctor.

Because the vast majority of these diseases are viral, the use of antibiotics is not required. Fortunately, the number of people, who give their babies antibiotics in such cases is not that high. There are precise indications on when and what to give.

In case of viral disease our strong advice is to feed and give medicine only by doctor’s indications. Do your best to prevent the outspread of infection.