Influenza: assessment of the epidemic, symptoms, duration, contagion

Influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by a virus that circulates mainly in winter and spring. What assessment for the epidemic in 2022? What are the symptoms of flu? how long do they last How is the virus transmitted? When are you contagious? Tips to protect yourself.

The flu is a acute respiratory infectionBecause of a influenza virus. It returns every winter and continues in spring, flatten his patients with more severe cases every year leads to death. What are the flu symptoms ? Incubation period? That duration of illness ? Is she contagious ? What are the treatments (natural or medicinal) to heal quickly? When to vaccinate? Our special folder for the flu.

Numbers: Which balance sheet for 2022?

Public Health France prepares a first assessment of the influenza epidemic as of June 1, 2022. The influenza epidemic is ongoing 9 weeks. However, the duration of the epidemic differed by region, varying from 7 weeks (Grand Est and Hauts-de-France) to 20 weeks in Occitania. The peak of the epidemic was late and occurred Early April. Intensity levels were moderate in community medicine and in the hospital.

  • co-circulation A(H3N2) and A(H1N1) viruses
  • Greater impact in children, high intensity at epidemic peak
  • Vaccination coverage higher than 2019-20 but lower than 2020-21
  • Circulation of influenza viruses for an exceptionally long period (from mid-December to mid-May), characterized by a late resurgence of the epidemic
  • During the epidemic period from early March to early May (S09 to S17):

Nearly a million consultations for flu syndrome (Sentinels Network)

− Percentage of flu-like illnesses in the consultations at SOS Médecins de 5.4% to 19.4% at the peak of the epidemic

Nearly 57,000 visits to the ER for flu or flu-like illnesses, 61% of which affected children under the age of 15

Approximately 7,000 hospitalizations after visiting the emergency department, of which 30% for children under 15 years of age

594 (0.4%) deaths: 14 were under 15 years old, 73 were between 15 and 64 years old and 507 were 65 years or older.

Weekly evolution of regional alert levels, S48-2021 to S20-2022 © mikumistock – stock.adobe.com

Definition: What is flu?

The flu is a acute respiratory infectionBecause of a influenza virus, while flu-like illness can be caused by many other respiratory viruses such as rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, etc. Influenza viruses are mainly divided into two types: A and Bwhich are divided into two subtypes (A(H3N2) and A(H1N1) pdm09) or lines (B/Victoria and B/Yamagata). Type A influenza viruses circulate in many animal species (ducks, chickens, pigs, horses, seals, etc.). flu viruses out B type circulate mainly in humans. However, viruses A and B cause seasonal epidemics in humans only type A viruses were responsible for pandemics until today, underlines Public Health France.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Each year, flu epidemics can affect all age groups, but those most at risk are those children under the age of two, Adults over 65 and People with certain chronic diseases. Early symptoms of the flu include:

  • great tiredness,
  • chills even if you’re not cold
  • a dry, painful cough
  • then comes the fever, which can rise to over 39°C,
  • Pains,
  • Headache…

In all cases with sudden aggravation or no improvement of the condition 72 hours after the first symptomsIt’s essential see a doctor.

When do you get the flu shot?

Vaccination is recommended for people at risk and healthcare professionals and is the best protection against influenza and its complications. It is necessary about 15 days elapse between vaccination and the time when the body is protected against the flu. You don’t have to wait for the first cold or the onset of the epidemic to get vaccinated. The last vaccination campaign ended on February 28, 2022.

The duration of infection can be 6 days.

How long does the flu last?

A bad flu between 3 and 7 days (5 days on average).

What is the incubation period?

The incubation period (the time between the time you get the disease and the onset of symptoms) usually lasts between 24 and 48 hours, but can be extended to 72 hoursremembers dr. Parneix. However, the patient is contagious, both before and during the onset of symptoms an average duration of 6 days.

Is the flu contagious?

The flu is a contagious disease. The patient can pass it on”also before the onset of symptoms and during an average duration of 6 days“ our interlocutor remembers.

To catch the flu virus, you must be in contact with someone who already has the flu. Contamination can occur in three ways:

  • The first of airway : A sick person projects droplets of saliva into the air when speaking, coughing, or sneezing. Millions of viruses are then found in the air, ready to be breathed in and contaminate you.
  • The second, through close direct contact : A sick person shakes your hand or kisses you.
  • Finally, contamination can take place through the Contact with touched objects by a sick person, for example a doorknob or a telephone.
  • Cough into the crook of your elbow and cover your nose when sneezing,
  • Wash your hands with soap regularly throughout the day, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Blow your nose in a tissue and then throw it in the trash, ideally closed with a lid,
  • Wear a surgical mask If you are sick and have to go to a closed and public place, this will prevent you from infecting others.
  • the hydroalcoholic gel is also practical, but can dry out your hands in the long run.
  • Finally, remember to regularly air the rooms several times a day: this is how to eliminate stagnant viruses in the air by sneezing and breathing.

What are the treatments for the flu?

If you have flu-like symptoms:

  • See the doctor quickly. He or she can make the diagnosis and prescribe the most appropriate medication.
  • Take something paracetamol to reduce fever, aches and pains.
  • That vitamin C is also sometimes recommended to combat fatigue. Likewise, certain foods are particularly recommended to better combat fatigue.
  • If necessary, you can end with a nasal decongestant and a cough medicine with a dry and persistent cough.
  • Finally it is necessary drink a lot and rest.
NO ANTIBIOTICS!

“The flu is caused by a virus and antibiotics are completely ineffective at treating viral diseases, plus they could damage the good bacteria the body needs to fight off disease.” remembers dr. Pierre Parnix.

What are the natural treatments for the flu?

Garlic, lemon, honey, thyme… Several natural solutions can help boost immunity when preventing or treating the flu.

What should I do if my child gets the flu?

To prevent your child from catching the flu virus, it is important to teach them how to blow their nose with a disposable handkerchief and cover their nose to their mouth when sneezing or coughing. In any case, consult your pediatrician so that he can examine him and administer the most appropriate treatment depending on the case, especially against fever.

In order to contain the seasonal influenza epidemic, it is important to take simple preventive measures every day to limit the spread of the influenza virus, especially in communities and public transport where it can be easily transmitted. It is recommended for people around people with flu Observe these few hygiene rules:

  • Wash your hands regularly and systematically after every trip and every contact with the sick person.
  • Avoid close contact with the person who has the flu, especially if you are susceptible or “at risk” (pregnant women, the elderly, the chronically ill or immunocompromised, young children, etc.)
  • wash yourself regularly Hands with soap and water or, if you cannot help it, with a hydroalcoholic solution, especially after each contact with the patient and after each return home.
  • Do not share items such as glasses, cutlery and of course toothbrushes.
  • Ventilate the interior for between 10 and 15 minutes a day to refresh the air and prevent the spread of viruses.
  • Clean germ nests like doorknobs, remote controls, phone screens…

Many thanks to dr. Pierre Parneix, Public Health Officer and Hospital Practitioner (Bordeaux University Hospital).

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