It is mainly children who take it, but other categories also risk serious damage to their health: who should get vaccinated and which medicines to take
In a few months all over the world it will be three years after the outbreak of the pandemic of Covid-1which between February and March 2020 overwhelmed countries on every continent, leading to one general upheaval of daily habits of all of us. There are gestures, thoughts and words, previously considered in common use, that we have abandoned. Conversely, new sociological trends and behaviors have become part of our cultural heritage, changing the way we act and think that we put into practice every day.
In our country, one of the most curious analyzes that certify this trend is the one that shows what are the most searches made by Italians on the web over the twelve months. In 2020 the most typed term was obviously coronaviruswhile the following year users asked Google what it was Astrazeneca and how to do one quick swab. In 2020, due to the outbreak of the conflict between Kiev and Moscow, the trend underwent a new evolution and the most sought-after word obviously became Ukraine.
Seasonal flu, Italy in the crosshairs of the virus: what it is and who gets infected
In a framework such as the one just described, a theme that in the last two years had completely disappeared from the interest of citizens is that which concerns the seasonal flu. Just to review some clinical concepts, we are talking about respiratory infectious disease caused by viruses that change constantly every year, even if minimally. This viral attitude fuels the proliferation of several annual epidemics which, on a regular basis, spread in the period between November and February.
Influenza remains today one of the few infectious diseases that an individual experiences several times in the course of its existence, starting as a child and continuing throughout adulthood. In fact, it is a phenomenon that goes beyond the lifestyles that everyone assumes routinely, just as the place of residence and the predisposition to contract certain pathologies do not influence.
Seasonal flu, how many deaths it causes each year and what happened during the pandemic
The influence acts with completely autonomous times and ways, appearing every year in different formsfrom the lightest to the heaviest, up to potentially lethal variants which normally, only in Italy, cause the death of hundreds of people. This is confirmed by the widespread lack of homogeneity of the data over time: if in 2009 the victims had been 615the following year they had dropped to 219to then go back to 675 in 2015. On average, in the decade preceding the Covid-19 health emergency, deaths every twelve months were around 460 (data released by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità).
“During the past two years we had completely forgotten about the flu. The obligation to wear a mask and respect for the distance between individuals they had eradicated any seasonal form throughout our country”. With these words the virologist Robert Burioni described the anomaly that occurred during the pandemic two-year period, recalling that “in Italy, in the winter seasons of 2020 and 2021, no no sick or deceased patients due to a flu variant.
Seasonal flu, because this year is different from previous ones
Due to the almost total decadence of every safety measure adopted to combat the coronavirus, the upcoming winter promises to be quite intense from the point of view of viral circulation. To monitor the general trend are the sentinel doctors scattered in every corner of the country: their task is to store isolated samples by their patients and by send them to the reference laboratories for carrying out an etiological analysis by scientists.
Again according to what Professor Burioni said, this year we are witnessing a two big news compared to the period before the pandemic:
- the flu peak came earlier than usual, reaching its peak between the end of November and the beginning of Decemberwhile in previous years the peak of diffusion was reached on average in mid-January;
- a much higher number of are manifesting infections among children compared to what was recorded in the recent past, a positive aspect given that young people tend to develop antibodies faster necessary for healing.
Seasonal flu, peak infections: which regions are most affected
Indeed, the two considerations are confirmed by the numbers. In the week between 20 and 27 September – the latest monitored by the ISS – cases of flu syndromes in Italy have grown significantly compared to the previous seven days, passing dal 9% al 13% of the Italians who have been affected. In particular, under 5 years of age the incidence rises steeply to 40% of children.
On a general level, by observing the trend found in our country and comparing it with that of other European countries, it is possible to state that the level of flu circulation has reached an average intensity, even if there are areas in which the virus is affecting citizens in a much more massive way. Specifically, regions such as Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Umbria have already achieved a high intensity. Closely followed by the Veneto, the Marches and the autonomous province of Bolzano.
Seasonal flu, how to cure yourself and who should get the vaccine
Given the trend of the viral phenomenon, the most frequent question asked by citizens concerns the possibility of getting vaccinated. In this regard, it should be remembered that the flu shot it is recommended (and for this reason its administration is offered free of charge by the State) to the following categories of citizens:
- healthcare workers;
- adults in the over 60 age group;
- pregnant woman;
- healthy children from 6 months to 6 years;
- patients with chronic heart or lung disease;
- people suffering from diabetes;
- individuals with hypertension;
- HIV-positive individuals;
- asthmatic patients.
For those who are also struggling with the Covid vaccineexperts explain how there is no interference between the two types, which can also be injected simultaneously. The only recommendation that the ISS wanted to give to doctors is that of differentiate parts of the body of the patient in which to make the two punctures, in addition to the indication of always change the syringe between injections.
Finally, the chapter that concerns the cures. Since it is not a bacterial flu, antibiotics should not be takenwhich in some cases can even be harmful. To counteract the classic symptoms such as fever, cough, joint pain, sore throat and respiratory tract problems, it is possible to take i antipyretic drugs (which lower body temperature) together with cough suppressants and at aerosol inhalations.