from Margaret DeBac
What is the flu, what are the symptoms and how do you get sick? How long is the incubation, and how long is it contagious? Questions and answers about Aussie and other viruses
1 – What is the flu ?
It is a respiratory infectious disease caused by viruses that change slightly every year, fueling annual seasonal epidemics between autumn and winter. It is one of the few infectious diseases that an individual experiences several times in the course of their existence regardless of lifestyle, age and place of residence. It manifests itself in forms of varying severity which in some cases require hospitalization and are fatal.
2 – How is it transmitted?
Mostly with droplets spread across cough and sneeze or even with direct contact by touching objects contaminated by secretions. L’incubation is generally of two days. You are contagious up to 5 days after the onset of symptoms.
3 – What will the flu epidemic be like this year?
After two years of calm in which Covid prevailed, the 2022-23 season promises to be quite intense from the point of view of viral circulation. Italy has a surveillance system made up of sentinel doctors, Influnet, who send samples isolated from their patients to reference laboratories. The epidemic curve soared decisively in mid-November. The prevailing influenza virus, of the 4 expected and contained in the vaccine, is A H3 N1, Darwin, isolated in Australia.
4 – Are children the most affected?
In the week from 20 to 27 November, the last monitored, cases of flu-like syndromes grew significantly, touching 13% of Italians affected (9.5 the previous week). Under 5 years the incidence exceeds 40%. We are at a level of circulation of medium intensity, while Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Umbria have already reached high intensity. Followed by Marche, Veneto and Bolzano. It is a growth trend higher than in past seasons, even pre-Covid.
5 – What are flu-like syndromes?
At this time of year there are several respiratory viruses in circulation, characterized by more or less the same symptoms such as adenovirus, syncytial virus (in children), rhinovirus, parainfluenza, coronavirus other than Sars-CoV-2. There are three typical symptoms of flu: sudden onset of high fever, cough and body aches. Other common symptoms include headache, chills, loss of appetite, fatigue and sore throat. Most people recover in 7-10 days. Children and over 65s are at risk of developing bacterial complications (pneumonia).
6 – Do I still have time to get vaccinated?
Yes. The vaccine is offered free of charge to people over 60, people with chronic diseases and children. The anti-influenza does not interfere with the response of other vaccines and can be injected if necessary at the same time as them, including the anti-Covid, on different areas of the body and with different syringes.
7 – Who is the vaccine recommended for?
It is recommended and offered free of charge to healthcare professionals, adults over 60, pregnant women, people with diabetes, hypertension, HIV, asthma, chronic heart or lung disease, healthy children from 6 months to 6 years. The flu shot, according to the circular from the Ministry of Health, must be guaranteed at any time of the season, even for those who show up late: it takes a couple of weeks for antibodies to develop. It is good to get advice from your doctor.
8 – How is it treated?
With antipyretic drugs, first of all, which serve to bring down the fever. Antibiotics are not indicated because influenza is a viral disease, not a bacterial one. Inappropriate use of antibiotics can be harmful. Cough suppressants and aerosols may be helpful.
9 – Why is there a risk of bacterial complications?
He answers Massimo Andreoni, professor of infectious diseases at the Tor Vergata University: «All viral respiratory diseases trigger an inflammatory process of the upper respiratory tract (pharynx, larynx) and lower (trachea, lungs, bronchi) on which bacteria find space to take root. In these cases, antibiotics should be prescribed. Complications are not uncommon in weakened and elderly people. Bacteria take advantage of an immune system that is not in perfect shape.
10 – Is it correct to talk about intestinal flu?
Andreoni: «Influenza viruses are respiratory therefore they attack the respiratory tract. Gastrointestinal problems are one of the viral or bacterial complications, therefore it is not correct to speak of intestinal flu since influenza viruses do not directly attack the intestine.
If you want to stay updated on Rome’s news, subscribe to the free newsletter “The Seven Hills of Rome” by Giuseppe Di Piazza. Arrives every Saturday in your inbox at 7am. That’s enough click here.
05 December 2022 ( edit 05 December 2022 | 11:53)
© breaking latest news