The flu race doesn’t stop: according to the InfluNet surveillance network of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 943,000 Italians were affected by flu-like syndromes in the last week. In total, more than 3.5 million people have been infected since the start of the season. The incidence of the last 7 days, equal to 16 cases per thousand inhabitants, has already exceeded the peak of all previous seasons, starting from 2009. The infections continue to affect children under the age of 4 in a particularly high manner: in this age group there are 50.16 cases per thousand; in practice, 1 in 20 children was put to bed by the flu in the past week. The rates in the 5-14 year bracket were also high, equal to 29.29 per thousand; incidence equal to 13.16 cases per thousand in the 15-64 range and 6.44 cases per thousand in the over-65s. In almost all of the Centre-North the incidence of flu-like syndromes is classified as ‘very high’; in Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Abruzzo, rates of more than 20 cases per thousand inhabitants have been recorded. Virologic monitoring data is not available this week; this does not allow us to know how many of the flu-like syndromes are attributable to real flu viruses and how many, instead, to other respiratory viruses. However, last week’s monitoring had confirmed a high rate of flu virus circulation: in particular, of the 717 samples analyzed by the laboratories belonging to the InfluNet network, 275 (38.3%) had tested positive for the flu virus, in particular those of type A (species H3N2). Just 4% (29 samples) had tested positive for SarsCov2. On the other hand, the number of positive samples for respiratory syncytial virus is higher: 63 samples, equal to almost 9%. This last data could explain the high number of sick children. The pediatricians’ appeal was immediate: “If you haven’t done it yet, don’t waste time: this is the right time to vaccinate your child, even if without chronic pathologies or frailties”, said the president of the Italian Society of Pediatrics, Annamaria Staiano. “We remind you that vaccination is particularly recommended for all children aged between 6 months and 6 years, and for all subjects of all ages with chronic diseases that increase the risk of complications during the flu”, he added. .
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