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Seasonal flu, contagions slow down but the incidence of syncytial virus is growing

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The situation regarding the spread of the seasonal flu virus is improving. In our country, after a racing start, the season seems to stabilize. InfluNet, which has epidemiological surveillance duties for the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, recorded just over 280,000 new cases of flu-like syndromes last week, with an incidence comparable to that of last week.

There was also a slight decline in new cases in children under the age of 4, who, however, remain the most affected group. The total cases have now reached 1 million and 325 thousand.

The 47th week monitoring

The data coming from the monitoring of the 47th week of 2021 confirm the trends that emerged in the previous weeks. Against an average incidence of 4.76 cases per thousand assisted, children between 0 and 4 years remain the most affected, with an incidence equal to 21.05 cases per thousand, in the age group 5-14 years. incidence drops to 5.68 cases per thousand, in those 15-64 years it reaches 4.02 per thousand, while among the over 65s there are 2.29 cases per thousand assisted.

The incidence of the syncytial virus

The Istituto Superiore di Sanità underlines that most of the reported cases of flu-like syndrome are attributable to other respiratory viruses other than influenza, including above all the respiratory syncytial virus in children under one year of age. Aspect confirmed by virological surveillance: of the 589 clinical samples of suspected influenza analyzed by the various laboratories belonging to the InfluNet network, only 5 (0.8%) were positive for influenza, all of type A.

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The comparison with the 2019-20 season

Despite the progressive flattening of the curve, the incidence remains almost double compared to that recorded in the 2019-2020 season, when, in the same week of the year, the incidence was equal to 2.38 cases per thousand. On a regional scale, Piedmont and Lombardy continue to have the highest incidence rates, above 6 cases per thousand. Four Regions (Val d’Aosta, Campania, Calabria, Sardinia) have not yet activated InfluNet surveillance.

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