Mon, Feb 20, 2017 | updated 04:20 PM IST

Immunodeficiency in kids is alarming: Study

Updated: Sep 26, 2016 14:27 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept. 26 (ANI): In India, due to air pollution, unhygienic conditions, sedentary life style and genetic disorders, immunodeficiency has touched an alarming situation.

According to experts, there is no authentic data on incident of this, but alarming situation and severity of the problem can be judged from the fact that an urban kid falls sick every month on average.

According to Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, four out of 10 Indian children don't receive full immunization during infancy thus making them vulnerable to immunodeficiency.

Hence, experts warn that asthma -like symptoms in kids should not be ignored. They even suggest going for immediate tests for an immunodeficiency.

Children who get frequent infections, such as ear infections, sinusitis or pneumonia, may have a more severe condition called immunodeficiency, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).To check this deadly disease, it is suggested that India needs to careful and should also emphasize on new born screening.

"Patients who have immunodeficiency have infections that usually do not go away without using antibiotics and often recur within one or two weeks after antibiotic treatment is completed. These patients frequently need many courses of antibiotics each year to stay healthy. There are several forms of immunodeficiency and while some are very severe and life-threatening, many are milder but still important enough to cause recurrent or severe infections," said, Dr. Vivek Jain, Additional Director and Head of Neonatology at Apollo Hospital.

According to experts, majority of urban kids do not receive RDA of key nutrients - Vitamin AC Iron.

"Immunodeficiency can be rectified with proper dose of key nutrients. Healthy food habit and safe drinking water help to a large extent," said Dr Jain, adding that even FSSAI has concluded that 65-90 percent of the milk could be adulterated, so we need to extra cautious on intake of key nutrients.

Speaking on the same, Dr Avneet Kaur, Sr. Consultant Neonatology Dept, Apollo Cradle Hospital said, "There have been dramatic medical advances in the 40 years. Timely and adequate attention with proper treatment and following RDA of key nutrients, the disease can be rectified. With these interventions a kid like Nitin can have a good shot at living a long, healthy, normal life."

"It is recurrence of infections that indicate an immune deficiency. The difference is that their infections occur more frequently, and are often more severe, and therefore have risks of severe complications," Dr. Kaur added.

Allergist/immunologists often use the frequency of the use of antibiotics to mark the frequency of significant infections.

Experts hence shared general guidelines for determining if a patient may be experiencing too many infections and those are:

1. Eight or more new infections within one year. The need for more than four courses of antibiotic treatment per year in children or more than two times per year in adults.

2. The occurrence of more than four new ear infections in one year after four years of age.

3. The development of pneumonia twice over any time.

4. The occurrence of more than three episodes of bacterial sinusitis in one year or the occurrence of chronic sinusitis.

5. Failure of an infant to gain weight or grow normally.

6. Any unusually severe infection or infections caused by bacteria that do not usually cause problems in most people at the patient's age.

Experts say that if there is a family history of immunodeficiency, early diagnosis would help to treat the patient timely. According to them, if your child has any of these conditions, consult with an allergist/immunologist for more information on recurrent infections, immunodeficiency, proper diagnosis and treatments.

"Food low in nutrients and high on refined carbohydrates and sugars alters gut flora leading to dysbiosis, malabsorptionand poor immune function" informed Ishi Khosla, Clinical Nutritionist and Founder of The weightmonitor.com, Celiac society of India and Whole Foods

The Indian healthcare sector has geared up to face such challenges; however, onus lies on parents to act timely to avoid severe complications which Immunodeficiency may cause to their loved ones. (ANI)

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