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Dr Kay Wang

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Background: Dr Kay Wang is a GP and researcher in the Nuffield Department of Primary Health Care Sciences, University of Oxford.

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Kay is the Oxford Programme Lead of the ARCHIE programme (early Antibiotic use in 'at Risk' CHildren with InfluEnza), which is funded by an NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research. ‘At risk' children with underlying conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cerebral palsy are more prone than otherwise healthy children to becoming more unwell from influenza-related complications such as chest, ear and throat infections. The ARCHIE programme will develop a robust evidence base for treating these children with antibiotics early during an influenza-like illness. These findings will play a key role in informing antibiotic prescribing policy during influenza epidemics and pandemics.
 

Dr Wang explains what a flu-like illness is.

Dr Wang explains what a flu-like illness is.

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Flu-like illness is a collection of non-specific symptoms including; cough, fever, and muscle aches, which is often caused by the influenza or other virus.  

However, other viruses may also cause similar symptoms. We therefore often refer to people as having a ‘flu-like illness’ rather than just ‘flu’ because it is difficult to say exactly which virus is causing their symptoms.
 

Dr Wang explains which children are at risk of complications and what sort of complications they can get.

Dr Wang explains which children are at risk of complications and what sort of complications they can get.

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For most children, influenza or ‘flu-like illness’ are a relatively mild illness which gets better on its own. 

However, some children may be at greater risk of developing complications if they get flu or a flu-like illness. These include some children with: lung or breathing problems such as asthma, heart problems, problems with the immune system, as well as children with conditions such as diabetes, cerebral palsy, and Down’s syndrome.  

In addition, some children who were born prematurely, or who have previously had illnesses such as bronchiolitis or wheezing, may also be at greater risk of complications from flu or flu-like illness.
 

Dr Wang explains what antibiotics are and when they are used.

Dr Wang explains what antibiotics are and when they are used.

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Antibiotics are a type of medicine which is used to treat infections caused by bugs known as bacteria. Bacterial can cause a range of infections, including chest, ear and throat infections.  

However most children with influenza or flu-like illness will get better on their own without needing antibiotics because most flu-like illness is caused by different bugs called viruses. Viruses do not respond to treatment with antibiotics. 

However, some children, especially those who are at greater risk of complications, may be more prone to developing bacterial infections if they get influenza or flu-like illness. These children may therefore benefit from antibiotic treatment at an earlier stage.
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