epidemic 2022 coming forward, infection, test, what to do

FLUPEPIDEMI 2022. “Influenza is progressing rapidly”, warns the Minister of Health. All regions of France are in an epidemic phase (red on the map). You must be vaccinated and respect barrier movements because the flu may be more deadly this year.

[Mis à jour le 21 décembre 2022 à 11h24] The flu is progressing rapidly. And that is the health system under great tension. I am therefore very vigilant“, warns François Braun, Minister of Health in Sunday newspaper December 18. For its part, Public Health France reports in its December 21 bulletin a “continued increase in influenza indicators in all age groups and very large increase in hospitalizations in all age groupsAll regions of France are in an epidemic phase. In this viral context, France must “double your bet” with regard to vaccination, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates on 5 December 2022. The threat of a deadlier seasonal flu than previous years (she was absent in the winter of 2020-2021), and the risk of excess mortality associated with viral co-infections, is to be feared, reports the Academy of Medicine. Must therefore be careful and absolutely respect barrier movements (mask, ventilation, etc.). WHO recommends a vaccination rate of 75%. As much as “we haven’t had a strong flu epidemic for two years and that’s why our general immunity to influenza is probably diminished“, warned Professor Brigitte Autran, president of Covars, on October 4 at RMC. What is flu symptoms ? The incubation period? That duration of illness ? Is she contagious ? What is treatments (natural or medicinal) to heal quickly? When should one be vaccinated? Our special file on influenza.

Epidemic 2022: how many cases of influenza at the moment?

All indicators of influenza are on it in all age groups according to the Public Health France bulletin of December 21, 2022. The frequency of consultations for influenza syndrome per 100,000 inhabitants are 390, strongly increasing compared to the previous week (it was 265, or an increase of +57%). This upward trend was observed in all age groups and the consultation rate for influenza-like illness was the highest among 5-14 years old. Since the start of surveillance (week 40) on the French mainland, 94 serious cases of influenza was admitted to intensive care. Among them, 10 were between 0 and 4 years old, 8 between 5 and 14 years old, 36 were between 15 and 64 years old and 40 were 65 years old or older.

2022 influenza epidemic map

According to Public Health France per 21 December 2022:

  • Continued increase in influenza indicators in all age groups
  • Very strong increase in admissions in all age groups
  • All metropolitan areas in epidemic phase
  • Major circulation of A(H3N2) virus
  • Overseas: Martinique, Mayotte and Réunion: continuation of the influenza epidemic. Guyana and Guadeloupe: transition to epidemic phase in S50

Definition: what is a flu?

Influenza is one acute respiratory infectionbecause of a influenza virus, while an influenza-like illness can be caused by many other respiratory viruses such as rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, etc. Influenza virus is mainly divided into two types: A and Bwhich divides itself into two subtypes (A(H3N2) and A(H1N1) pdm09) or genera (B/Victoria and B/Yamagata). Type A influenza virus circulates in many animal species (ducks, chickens, pigs, horses, seals, etc.). Influenza virus from B type circulate mainly in humans. Viruses A and B cause seasonal epidemics in humans, but only type A viruses have been responsible for pandemics to date, emphasizes Public Health France. In autumn 2022, A(H3N2) virus Circulates mainly in France.

Chart of Influenza (Influenza) © masia8 – 123RF

What are typical flu symptoms?

Every year, influenza epidemics can affect all age groups, but the most vulnerable are those children under two years of age, adults over 65 and people with certain chronic diseases. Early symptoms of the flu include:

  • great fatigue,
  • chills even when you are not cold,
  • a dry, painful cough
  • then comes the fever, which can rise to more than 39°C,
  • pain,
  • headache…

In all cases, in case of sudden deterioration or without improvement of the condition 72 hours after the first symptomsIt is essential see a doctor.

When should you get the flu shot?

Vaccination is recommended for people at risk and healthcare professionals and is the best way to protect against influenza and its complications. Is it necessary 15 days between vaccination and the time when the body is protected against influenza. No need to wait for the first cold weather or the start of the epidemic to get vaccinated.

How long does a flu last?

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

What is the incubation period for influenza?

The incubation period (the time between the moment of illness and the appearance of symptoms) generally lasts between 24 and 48 hours, but it can be extended to 72 hoursremember Dr. Parneix. But the patient is contagious, even before the appearance of symptoms and this, during an average period of 6 days.

Is the flu contagious?

Influenza is a contagious disease. The patient can transfer it”even before the onset of symptoms and during an average period of 6 days” recalls our interlocutor.

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

  • The first of airways : a sick person projects droplets of saliva into the air when he talks, coughs or sneezes. Millions of viruses are then in the air, ready to be inhaled and contaminate you.
  • The second, by close direct contact : a sick person shakes your hand or kisses you.
  • Finally, contamination can occur through contact with affected objects of a sick person, for example a doorknob or a telephone.
  • Cough at the bend of the elbow and cover your nose when you sneeze,
  • Wash your hands with soap regularly throughout the day, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Wipe your nose in a tissue and throw it in the bin, ideally closed with a lid,
  • Bear a surgical mask if you are sick and you have to go to a closed and public place, it prevents contaminating others.
  • that hydroalcoholic gel is also practical, but in the long run it can dry out the hands.
  • Finally, remember to air the rooms regularly, several times a day: you will thus remove stagnant viruses in the air, through sneezing and breathing.

Treatment: how to cure a flu?

For flu-like symptoms:

  • Contact the doctor quickly. He or she will be able to make the diagnosis and prescribe the most appropriate medication.
  • Take some paracetamol to reduce fever, soreness and pain.
  • That vitamin C also sometimes recommended to combat fatigue. Similarly, certain foods are especially recommended to better fight fatigue.
  • If necessary, you can supplement with one nasal decongestant and one cough suppressant for dry and persistent cough.
  • Finally, it is necessary drink plenty and rest.
NO ANTIBIOTICS!

“Influenza is caused by a virus, and antibiotics are totally ineffective in treating viral diseases, and they can impair the good bacteria that the body needs to defend itself against disease.” reminds me of Dr. Pierre Parneix.

What are the natural treatments to relieve the flu?

Garlic, lemon, honey, thyme… Several natural solutions can help boost the immune system in the prevention or treatment of influenza.

What are the numbers for the last flu epidemic (2021)?

According to the epidemiological update published in October 2022 by Santé Publique France, the influenza virus began to circulate in December 2021. The epidemic started in March, peaked nationally in early April and ended in late April, either 9 week epidemic. No other influenza epidemic had reached its level peaks so late in the period 2009-2022. ONE co-circulation of A(H3N2) and A(H1N1) viruses was observed with a diversity of viral strains detected. Its impact was moderate in the general population, but important for children under 15 years of age.

What should I do if my child gets the flu?

To prevent your child from being infected with the flu virus, it is important to teach him to blow his nose in a disposable tissue, to cover his nose to his mouth when he sneezes or coughs. In any case, contact your pediatrician so that he can examine him and administer the most appropriate treatment, depending on the case, especially for fever.

To limit the seasonal influenza epidemic, it is important to take simple preventive measures on a daily basis, aimed at limiting the circulation of the influenza virus, especially in communities and on public transport, where it can be easily transmitted. For those around people with the flu, it is recommended that respect these few hygiene rules:

  • Wash your hands regularly and systematically after every outing and every contact with the sick person.
  • Avoid close contact with the person with the flu and especially if you yourself are vulnerable or “exposed” (pregnant women, seniors, people suffering from a chronic disease or immunocompromised, small children, etc.)
  • Wash yourself on a regular basis hands with soap and water, or if you cannot do otherwise, with a hydro-alcoholic solution, especially after any contact with the patient and after each return home.
  • Do not share objects such as glasses, cutlery and of course toothbrushes.
  • Ventilate its interior every day between 10 and 15 minutes to renew the air and prevent the spread of viruses.
  • Clean nests such as doorknobs, remote controls, phone screens…

Thanks to Dr. Pierre Parneix, health worker and hospital doctor in public health (Bordeaux University Hospital).

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