Flu 2019: first results and important warnings

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Flu season 2019 in facts and figures

According to Rospotrebnadzor, the incidence of influenza and SARS in Moscow is currently below the calculated epidemic thresholds in all age groups. The situation in the capital region is assessed as non-epidemic.
In general, the number of influenza cases in Russia continues to increase, with a significant proportion of influenza A viruses. Over the past three weeks, weekly epidemic thresholds for influenza and SARS have been exceeded in 13 regions of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, respiratory viruses of the non-influenza group (parainfluenza viruses, adenoviruses, RS viruses, and others) are actively spreading, but the number of cases of them continues to decline.

From the beginning of the epidemiological season until January 13, 2019, 178 cases of influenza were registered (last year – 200 people). Of these, influenza A – in 107 people, H1N1 – 39, H3N2 – 15, influenza B – 14 people.

The number of hospitalizations for influenza since the beginning of the year is down 19.5% compared to last year, at 1,702 people in the first week of 2019 and 1,686 people in the second week of 2019.

Influenza situation in other countries: deaths in Georgia and Ukraine

According to the WHO Regional Office for Europe, influenza viruses are not losing ground in the countries of the European Region, for example, influenza A (H1N1)09 and A (H3N2) viruses are circulating. In 5 countries in northern Europe (Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the United Kingdom (England and Wales) and Estonia), in 3 countries in southern Europe (Greece, Israel and Italy), and in western Europe (Portugal), the incidence of influenza-like illness exceeded the levels epidemic thresholds.

In regions closer to Russia, for example, in Georgia, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Georgia, there is also an increase in the incidence of influenza, there is an active circulation of the influenza A (H1N1) 09 virus, 162 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1) 09 have been registered , including 15 deaths associated with late seeking medical care. There is no data on whether the deceased were vaccinated against the flu.

Reference: The first findings of the A(H1N1)09 virus in Georgia in the current epidemic season were made on the 45th week of last year. In the 2015-2016 season the influenza virus of the specified subtype also dominated, when 50 deaths were recorded. At the same time, in preparation for the upcoming epidemic season of 2018-2019. In Georgia, 56,000 people have been vaccinated against influenza, which is only 1.5% of the population.

Lethal cases were also noted in Ukraine – among the 25 who died from influenza from influenza AH1N1 and the consequences of the disease – one child, the rest – at the age of 34-44 years. The data was confirmed by specialists of regional virological laboratories. None of the victims of the virus were vaccinated.

In other countries, according to the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare, the situation remains stable. Lethal cases were not registered.

How dangerous is the flu

Remember, the flu is not a “harmless” cold! This is a serious infectious disease, which, in the absence of necessary medical care, threatens with serious complications, among which pneumonia, pleural empyema, and lung abscess can occur in the respiratory system. For the cardiovascular system, there may be complications such as meningitis, encephalitis, meningoencephalitis, neuritis. Also, the urinary system (glomerulonephritis) may be “under attack”, among the consequences for the ENT organs are sinusitis, otitis media.

Therefore, at the first symptoms of the flu, you should immediately consult a doctor. A mistake for many is to delay a visit to a specialist, self-medicate, which is fraught with serious health consequences.

The flu virus is dangerous for people of all ages. However, it poses the greatest danger, in terms of the development of complications and the likelihood of death, for young children, pregnant women, people with chronic diseases of the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, metabolic disorders, as well as for people over 65 years old.

Dangerous symptoms

Influenza has a very characteristic symptomatology: an acute, violent onset of the disease, with an increase in body temperature of 39-40OC for up to 5 days, which is accompanied by chills. In the first hours after the onset of the disease, symptoms of intoxication increase, signs of toxicosis quickly appear in children: lethargy, refusal to eat or vomiting, sleep disturbance; there is also aches in the joints and muscles. In a severe form of the disease, a picture of cerebral dysfunction can be observed: blackout of consciousness, delirium, hallucinations, meningeal symptom complex. In young children, convulsions are noted against the background of hyperthermia.

If you or your loved ones fall ill, you should seek medical help in a timely manner, as well as exclude contact with persons at risk (children, persons over 65 years of age, suffering from chronic diseases). Qualified doctors will quickly and accurately establish the diagnosis, prescribe timely etiopathogenetic treatment, and also offer measures to prevent the disease and complications.

How to protect yourself

And once again I would like to remind you that influenza is a serious acute viral disease, the causative agents of which are RNA-containing viruses from the family of orthomyxoviruses. These viruses have three independent types: A, B, C. A great danger to others, especially in the first hours after infection and within 3-5 days, is a sick person who is the source of infection.

The greatest danger is from patients with an erased and subclinical form. Influenza is capable of epidemic and pandemic spread. Most often, the peak incidence of influenza occurs in winter and spring. The influenza virus is transmitted by airborne droplets, the patient releases a large amount of viruses when sneezing, coughing.

In order to protect your health as much as possible from a “meeting” with the virus, it is necessary to prevent the disease. To do this, it is desirable to be more in the fresh air, if possible, exclude visiting places with large crowds of people, observe the regime of sleep, rest and wakefulness, try not to overcool, dress according to the weather. If possible, review your diet by including in your diet foods rich in vitamins A, C, zinc and calcium – citrus fruits, kiwi, sweet peppers, dairy and sour-milk products, hard cheeses, boiled fish, beef, carrots.

Photo: Vostock Photo

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