Influenza as it develops in the coming weeks

L’influence This year he hit hard. We have heard this repeated several times in this case Flu season, which has now reached the turning point. Yes, because reading the monitoring data from flu-like syndromes spread through RespiVirNetthe surveillance managed by the Higher Institute of Health, we have now reached the infamous summit and cases will decrease. Don’t disappear. And even if the season is far from over, it is possible to start initial (cautious) assessments.

A flu season with a “normal” course

Helping us is ​Fabio Midullaformer President of SIMRI (Italian Society of Respiratory Diseases in Children), Professor of Pediatrics at Sapienza and Head of the Emergency Department of Umberto I and with whom we spoke about it latest data that come from the monitoring system. The first piece of information that pops up is that flu season is here normalizing, compared to previous years, notes Midulla. Not so much in terms of the incidence – which was even higher this year than in previous years – but rather in terms of the development of the observed cases: “In recent years we have been watching gods, so to speak early peaksassociated with reopenings after the lockdown, with an increase in incidence in the autumn”. The observed superimposition behavior probably also contributed to this Respiratory syncytial virus, he explained in recent days Rino Agostiniani, Vice President of the Italian Society of Pediatrics (Sip).

The current season’s trend in terms of material is like this more normal compared to previous years although it stands out in the data from RespiVirNet A remarkable increase cases, which in the last week of 2023 reached levels never reached in previous seasons, the Higher Institute of Health explained. 18 cases per thousand people served per week were reached and exceeded, only to decline with the start of the new year, particularly in cases of influencemost common, while the reported cases of Sars-CoV2 and RSV remained essentially unchanged (total cases of flu-like syndromes According to the latest updates, they are 16.5 per thousand. Once the peak is passed, the trend continues, even if the ISS itself has intervened to clarify how intensive does not mean abnormal.

Which viruses affect whom?

On the other hand, perhaps we have all experienced how common it was to have sick friends or relatives during the Christmas holidays. Many are struggling with Covid: “We are dealing with it now a new respiratory virus that is always present during surveillance, Sars-CoV2, which joins all other viruses that have been known for some time – from rhinoviruses to already known coronaviruses to adenoviruses, influenza viruses or metapneumoviruses – corresponds to around 20% of the in last few weeks, Midulla goes forward. In fact, the arrival of Covid has increased the number of infected people – especially among adults over 45 years of age Respiratory viruses, Midulla goes forward. In fact, they remain widespread in children, especially in terms of complications (e.g. bronchiolitis leading to respiratory failure). respiratory syncytial virus, especially in children under two years old, and the flu. Influenza is the predominant respiratory virus in young adults.

When asked whether it still makes sense today Be vaccinated Midulla answers without hesitation: Yes, because crossing the summit does not mean that the season has ended and renews the invitation to be vaccinated against both influenza and coronavirus in the categories for which they are recommended (in general Children under six and frail children). Recommendation, which again comes from the institutions: “Both epidemiological and microbiological data appear to suggest that we are past the peak, although continued spread is also very likely in the coming weeks, facilitated by the reopening of schools.” – has explained Anna Teresa PalamaraHead of the Infectious Diseases Department of the ISS – We therefore continue to recommend vaccinations for those most at risk, which are still useful given that the end of the season is still several weeks away, and a healthy caution in behavior. The recommendation remains valid Do not take antibiotics as they are useless for viral infectionsunless your doctor recommends it, and only go to the emergency room if absolutely necessary..

And co-infections?

Different viruses have different prevalences in different population groups. Is it possible for multiple viruses to be present in the same person at the same time? With what effects? In particular, how should the simultaneous presence of an infection be interpreted? coronavirus and flu, the so-called Flurona? According to Midulla, this is not a phenomenon that could significantly influence the severity of the symptoms, or the clinical significance is not yet fully understood, he admits: “This happens primarily thanks to modern technologies Molecular biologyto identify different parts of viruses. The actual clinical significance of these co-infections is still debated: some papers suggest that the symptoms are more severe, others that they may even be milder or normal. Without thinking about it, even in the case of Coinfectionssome viruses are likely to have a greater burden than others, as might happen in the presence of rhinoviruses or RSV.”.

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