INFLUENZA – Beware of the flu virus: the epidemic has probably peaked. The vaccine, even moderately effective, has proved its worth.
[Mis à jour le 8 février 2019 à 11h12] Influenza has settled in the country, the disease spread quickly in France earlier this year and has claimed hundreds of victims this winter. The health authorities point out that in addition to good medical care, it is quick to be vaccinated, especially if you are part of the risk part: elderly people and mainly pregnant women.
Public health France indicates that the vaccine is fully effective at 59% for the H1N1 strain of the virus, but only for 19% for the strain H3N2, especially in the elderly. Doctors must take into account the development of the disease more targeted vaccines, consistent with the exact nature of the influenza virus in a given area, which explains that the vaccine may be more or less useful from year to year. That said, the flu shot is still highly recommended, even though it is moderately effective. It can prevent serious complications in risk problems.
The Sentinelles network, a group of doctors who organize a watch in the first line in France, said in the previous bulletin that 352,000 new cases of people with influenza were discovered last week. The French public health mail indicates that about 1000 deaths of all ages are due to influenza, since the start of surveillance. It should be noted that "12,270 visits of the emergency room for influenza-like illness" were reported last week. According to the Ministry of Health, France has most likely reached the epidemic peak of the disease.
If you have flu, you will notice quickly. The symptoms of the flu usually appear abruptly, on average 48 hours after the infection, and are usually accompanied by fever. The infected patient may also suffer from severe fatigue, muscle and joint pain that is more often referred to as pain in the body, headache or dry cough. Fever, which can exceed 39 degrees in case of flu, can also cause chills. All these symptoms help to distinguish flu from flu-like, transient and less intense (see the definition of flu in the Journal des Femmes).
The flu symptoms appear very suddenly and can take on serious proportions in the case of young children or the elderly. An influenza epidemic lasts an average of nine weeks, according to Sentinel surveillance network data. But how do you distinguish a flu from a common cold? If you have muscle pain, a feeling of exhaustion, chills and fever that can sometimes reach up to 40 degrees, you have flu. In turn, a cold accompanied by a slight temperature rise, a runny nose and cough more or less fat. In other words, flu symptoms have much more impact on your body than a cold.
The incubation period for flu is about two days, says the WHO on her website. It is the time between the moment of the condition and that of the appearance of the first symptoms. The flu is contagious and can be transmitted one week after the infection. It is important to avoid contact between people who are ill and those who do not have the virus. If the patient is not at risk and no complications have been reported, the flu must pass within about a week. On the other hand, coughing can take longer.
Influenza is an infectious disease that is transmitted through the air. Therefore special attention should be paid to avoiding contact with those infected with the virus. It is found in saliva and in droplets when sneezing or coughing. The flu can also be transmitted through direct contact, especially on promiscuity. It is therefore advisable to wash your hands regularly and try to sneeze into a tissue to throw the waste in the trash can immediately. The patient is contagious in the week after infection, a period that can be extended in the case of children or immunocompromised persons.
If symptoms of the flu are noticed, it is recommended to go to the doctor who can quickly diagnose. It is also necessary to set aside because the flu is contagious, especially the first days. Then it will rest to lower the temperature. Good hydration is also the key for a quick recovery.
Once the disease has been diagnosed by the doctor, he will probably prescribe paracetamol, which can lower the fever and work against aches and pains. The doctor may also opt for treatment with antiviral medicines such as Tamiflu, especially in the case of a frail person. If the patient coughs, he is advised to take a cough syrup. The treatment takes about five days. during which the patient must rest and hydrate well. If no complications occur, it is inefficient to take antibiotics.
In addition to traditional treatments, there are also alternative remedies for influenza control, but its effectiveness is the subject of unresolved debates. Homeopathy suggests, for example, that granules be used as a preventive measure to strengthen the immune system a few weeks before the appearance of the virus. It is best to find out from a professional who will lead you to the best treatment, usually influenza or oscillococcinum. There are also natural remedies such as black elderberries that act as an antiviral and an anti-inflammatory or ginseng for prevention. The queen-of-the-neighbor, a flower to consume in infusion, makes it possible to lower the fever.
Grog is often touted as an effective recipe for grandmothers to fight flu, but it is actually quite difficult to beat. Alcohol, like coffee, must be left out to get water, tea or soup. Pressed lemon and honey, mixed with hot water, is a perfect drink for sore throat and to improve your general condition.
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