Home » Influenza: incidence still high, children are more affected. The alarm remains for the shortage of some medicines – Health and Wellness

Influenza: incidence still high, children are more affected. The alarm remains for the shortage of some medicines – Health and Wellness

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Influenza: incidence still high, children are more affected.  The alarm remains for the shortage of some medicines – Health and Wellness

ROMA. The number of cases of flu-like syndromes (ILI) in Italy is slightly decreasing. In fact, in the 50th week of 2022, the incidence is equal to 15.0 cases per thousand assisted (15.6 in the previous week) and is in the high intensity range.

The incidence in the pediatric age groups is decreasing, while it is stable in young adults and the elderly. However, children under the age of five are most affected, where the incidence is equal to 45.6 cases per thousand assisted (50.3 in the previous week).

This is the latest Influnet bulletin for the period 12-18 December in which it is underlined that the number of flu-like syndromes, in these first weeks of surveillance, is supported not only by influenza viruses but also by other respiratory viruses including the respiratory syncytial virus in very young children, and Sars-Cov- 2.

The seasonal moment is also marked by the supply problems of some medicines: “This year the flu season is particularly serious, with sharply increasing data, especially among children”, observed a few days ago Andrea Mandelli, president of Fofi (the Federation of Orders of Italian Pharmacists).

Territorial pharmacies “have no difficulty in managing the sharp increase in the number of citizens, the real problem is that there is a lack of drugs”. he added.

What is missing are “some antibiotics, even for children”, explains Mandelli.

“It is difficult to find even the most widespread anti-inflammatories, because in some cases they are also used for covid patients, as well as for the diseases for which they were already intended”.

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“Even aerosols” are in short supply.

“We are in difficulty – continues Mandelli -, but we do not feel at fault because Fofi had foreseen this critical situation and warned the system already last spring-summer. If now the drugs are not delivered to us, there is no much we can do.”

Where possible, explained the president of Fofi, pharmacists try to compensate for the lack of drugs with galenics. “Fofi has tried to lend a hand by developing, for example, the formulation of an anti-inflammatory syrup for children. However, even for galenics there are problems of assortment”.

To return to the bulletin, in five Regions (Piedmont, Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo) the incidence has exceeded the threshold of maximum intensity. Calabria and Sardinia have not activated InfluNet surveillance.

During the period considered, 1,686 clinical samples received from the various laboratories belonging to the InfluNet network were reported through the InfluNet portal and, among the 1,389 analysed, 456 (32.8%) were found to be positive for the flu virus.

In particular, 447 were of type A (370 of subtype H3N2, 22 H1N1pdm09 and 55 not yet subtyped) and 9 of type B. Furthermore, a case of co-infection with virus A(H3N2) + A(H1N1 )pdm09. Among the samples analysed, 74 (5.3%) were positive for Sars-CoV-2, while 302 were positive for other respiratory viruses, in particular: 208 (15%) RSV, 47 (3.4% ) Rhinoviruses, 17 Parainfluenza viruses, 12 Metapneumoviruses, 11 Adenoviruses, 5 Human Coronaviruses other than SARS-CoV-2 and 2 Bocaviruses.

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