Flu: why protect yourself?

Flu: why protect yourself?

Too often considered a mild infection, the flu can nevertheless have serious consequences such as hospitalizations or even death in fragile people. It also weighs heavily on our health system, which has already been strained in recent years, but also in recent weeks with the bronchiolitis epidemic and the persistence of the circulation of SARS-CoV-2. So many arguments in favor of vaccinating people at risk.

Where is the flu epidemic?

According to the latest data from Public Health France, 9 regions are in the epidemic phase: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Brittany, Centre-Val de Loire, Grand Est, Île-de-France, Hauts-de-France , Normandy and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. In addition, 4 other regions are said to be in the pre-epidemic phase: Corsica, New Aquitaine, Occitanie and Pays de la Loire.

The incidence rate of consultations for flu-like illness is established at 201 per 100,000 inhabitants, an increase of 39% compared to the previous week. The positivity rate was 25.9% in outpatient medicine (+8 points) and 3.9% in hospitals (+0.9 point). There is also a sharp increase in the number of emergency visits (3,352 against 1,729) last week. In total since the beginning of October, 32 serious cases of influenza have been admitted to intensive care.

What predictions?

According to Dr Anne Mosnier, general practitioner and epidemiologist in Paris, “flu is always very unpredictable, we never really know what to expect. That said, we have some clues suggesting that the virus should circulate more this year than the previous two. The surveillance data disseminated by Public Health France already shows a significant level of circulation, with several metropolitan regions in a pre-epidemic situation, and regions in epidemic since the week of November 20. We also have the example of the southern hemisphere, where the flu circulates during our spring and summer. Australia experienced a real flu epidemic, certainly quite classic but very early. Today, it is impossible to say what the intensity of the flu epidemic will be in France, but we can already say, without too much risk of being wrong, that the flu will circulate.

People at risk of severe or complicated flu to mobilize

The populations most at risk of complications and targeted by the flu vaccination campaign are people aged 65 and over, people under 65 with certain chronic diseases, pregnant women and patients with obesity. But, to protect the most fragile, it is also recommended to vaccinate the entourage of infants under 6 months at risk of serious flu and that of immunocompromised people, without forgetting health and travel professionals. Vaccination is also recommended for people staying in communities in medical and social establishments.

The interest of vaccination against influenza in people who are targeted by the recommendations is to reduce the risk of developing a severe form of influenza, of decompensating their chronic illnesses, of losing their autonomy, and to older people to reduce the risk of premature death from this flu“, explains Dr. Anne Mosnier. “For the pregnant woman, the objective is to reduce the risk of respiratory complications for the mother and to protect her infant when he is about to be born. “.

Today the vaccination course is simple. “Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, midwives can vaccinate. You no longer have to go through a medical prescription “, specifies Dr. Anne Mosnier. “Moreover, if you are at risk and you have not received your voucher from Medicare, you can ask these professionals to reissue it. “Our specialist finally reminds us that”Getting vaccinated also means taking care of others.

Barrier gestures in retreat

We are a little worried this year because of the relaxation of barrier gestures. After having made a lot of effort over the past two years by wearing the mask, washing our hands regularly, ventilating our living spaces, these rules are no longer observed this year. However, the relaxation of barrier gestures can contribute to a wider spread of the virus“, says Anne Mosnier. “I therefore insist on the importance of vaccinating people at risk of severe or complicated flu but also, for everyone, of making efforts to ensure compliance with barrier gestures that protect against all winter respiratory viruses. With the aim of also limiting the impact on hospital services which are out of breath, which complicates care.

Let’s be all the more vigilant as the end-of-year holidays approach, a period at risk for the spread of winter viruses. Because of family gatherings where several generations are mixed, especially the most fragile.

Is there still time to get vaccinated?

According to Dr. Anne Mosnier, “the flu is here and we can’t wait any longer: but there is still time to get vaccinated, especially since the flu epidemic has not yet started everywhere “.

From vaccination to protection: It takes a fortnight for vaccinated people to be protected by the antibodies produced by the vaccine.

Which professional is authorized to vaccinate you?

The health professionals authorized to vaccinate against influenza are doctors, nurses, pharmacists and midwives. Contact your healthcare professional who can advise you.

#Flu #protect

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