MILAN – In an exclusive interview with Lombardia News, Professor Gian Vincenzo Zuccotti, director of Pediatrics at the Buzzi Hospital in Milan and dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the State University of Milan, introduced by the Councilor for Welfare, Guido Bertolaso, takes stock of the numerous cases of flu that are forcing many people to bed, especially the elderly, frail and children, and once again underlines the importance of the flu vaccination which, since last November 26, the Lombardy Region has been offering free to all Lombard citizens.
“We want to involve our most important professionals – explained Bertolaso – those doctors who with their passion and professionalism have become the most authoritative of all. By addressing them and making them talk, we want to reiterate the concept that it is important to get vaccinated. By vaccinating ourselves, we protect ourselves, our loved ones and all those close to us ”.
Bertolaso then explained that this is the first in a series of insights dedicated to health that Lombardia Notizie will broadcast, involving the most experts of the various topics that will be addressed from time to time.
FLU, WHAT’S GOING ON
“This year, unlike last year – explains Zuccotti – we are witnessing many cases. We expected it because Australia had ‘warned’ us because it had arrived there earlier, reaching pre-pandemic levels. The same thing is happening with us. Many type ‘A’ and type ‘B’ viruses are circulating and – among children – also many syncytial viruses which often also require hospitalization with the administration of oxygen”.
Hence, therefore, some important suggestions and recommendations for mothers and families. “Complications – explained Zuccotti – can exist even if they are rare. The fever can remain high for more than 48 hours; if it persists, it is advisable to consult a pediatrician.
The syncytial virus, however, is different. When a baby of a few months begins to refuse food and has an accelerated respiratory rate, perhaps with prominent abdominal breathing and indentations, it is urgent to go to the emergency room immediately”. The best way to prevent complications of this type remains vaccination, which is highly recommended even for children, even more so because administration takes place with a simple nasal spray.
“It is absolutely recommended – continued the professor – and for this very reason we carried out a targeted campaign in schools to verify if the school setting was the most suitable for reaching as many children and young people as possible. The vaccine has already been tested for some years also in various European countries (in the United Kingdom in particular), it has been used for more than 10 years. It is safe and can be done by practically anyone except in specific cases that paediatricians are well aware of”.
“I therefore renew the invitation – continued Zuccotti – to do so even if the season has already begun. The flu virus, as mentioned, is not only of one type therefore, thanks to the vaccine, we could prevent children who have already caught the flu from getting infected even with the form they didn’t. So I feel like insisting a lot with families to remind them of the importance of this form of prevention, starting with those who have chronic diseases that risk developing severe complications when they contract the flu. Even on healthy children, however, it remains a strong recommendation”.