“We are seeing an increase in the incidence of diseases of the upper and lower respiratory tract, and in fact, lower respiratory tract infections, which in adults are mainly caused by influenza and parainfluenza viruses, are beginning to appear more often” – microbiologist Dr. Joana Ursa-Coleza from the hospital told PAP. About the district in Szczecin.
Currently, she added, influenza type A is prevalent — an epidemic that spreads easily through droplets. The infection rate is also very high in this condition, so one infected person infects several other people.
“It would be better if we followed the same rules that we applied in the case of COVID-19, so let’s stay at home during the symptomatic period, and if we go out, put a mask over our mouth and nose” – the doctor noted.
She explained that influenza is often accompanied by bacterial infections – in children mainly in the lungs and middle ear, and in adults, sinusitis and serious pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, as well as Staphylococcus aureus infection.
More often than not, children with post-flu complications will be hospitalized — due to a weakened immune system, which is what influenza wreaks most, Dr. Jursa-Coleza explained.
The doctor said, “Parents usually do not vaccinate their children against influenza, and children are more sensitive because these are the first contacts of this virus.”
She noted that the elderly, who suffer from a weakened immune system and associated diseases, can be severely affected by influenza.
“We must pay special attention to the fact that children and the elderly are vaccinated against influenza. There is still time to get vaccinated – just so as not to spoil your winter vacation, so that you can safely travel without fear of a wave of diseases that will undoubtedly come again, ”- emphasized Alem. Microbiology.
She explained that the antibodies after vaccination are formed within 10-14 days. She noted that thanks to vaccination, it is possible to avoid the severe course of the disease and even the infection itself. “People who are vaccinated get sick more often, the disease is milder and they have fewer complications,” she stressed.
When asked how to distinguish the flu from a common cold, she replies that the flu usually begins suddenly – there is a high temperature, above 38 degrees Celsius, and muscle and joint pains that “make it impossible even to get out of bed.”
Dr. Gorsa-Coleza added that, especially in the case of people from risk groups, it is worth visiting a doctor as soon as possible after the onset of flu symptoms. This will allow you to take a medicine, such as oseltamivir, which must be taken within the first 48 hours after the onset of symptoms.
She added that during illness, proven methods should not be neglected: bed rest, plenty of fluid intake, and electrolyte intake. She stressed that the recovery period after influenza is also important – the most important of which is two weeks after illness, when there is no immunity and contact with the patient may lead to another serious infection.
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