With the fall in autumn temperatures, the first characteristic symptoms of this seasonal disease have already appeared. In offices, at school, at work, on the street and on public transport, it's all about coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose. It is projected that the next flu season, according to estimates, could hit about 6 million people in Italy, and from now on they will see fewer viruses more scientific than in other years. That is why it is important to prepare for winter by protecting yourself with the flu vaccine.
These days, the Vaccine Campaign has begun at BT ASL, promoted by the Pu Regiona region and the National Health Service. According to data released by the Flu Observatory, two new variants of the A, H3N2 / Brisbane and H1N1 / Kansas viruses are in circulation. In particular, H1N1 in the pediatric age group and H3N2 in the elderly population may develop particularly challenging forms of influenza for the body with poor immune defenses and cause a higher risk of complications. Other viruses in circulation are B / Colorado and B / Phuket, already known to researchers because they have spread in previous seasons.
This is also the period of fake news on this issue, we have been consulting on this until then. Ianankarlo Canone, an ASL BT vaccine officer, said: "Very often we tend to combine classical impact with para-influencing formszali typical of this period. True influenza differs from all other forms of para-influenza with the presence of three features: abrupt febrile growth (above 38 ° C), presence of muscle and / or articular pain, presence of respiratory symptom such as cough, nasal congestion, pain in the throat, runny nose. If these three symptoms occur at the same time, you can talk about the flu. If no complications are added, the flu usually engages the body for 5 to 7 days. If instead (except for some variations in children and the elderly), then there is no mention of actual influenza, but of forms of para-influenza (such as cold). In fact, in addition to actual influenza viruses, there are over 260 types of influenza-like viruses that are known to cause less intensity of symptoms. These are treated in the same way as influenza viruses, ie. self-treatment and if the condition does not improve after three days, visit a family doctor. These are called "acute respiratory infections" and are less intense. They add to the forms of gastrointestinal viruses. Whether it's flu or flu-like pathologies, the goal of self-treatment is to relieve symptoms and keep them under control, without resetting them, monitoring the progress of the disease and not suffering from those collateral effects that are more obvious if you exceed the quantities provided in the leaflet posology.
Flu vaccination no that is compulsory, but It is recommended for anyone suffering from chronic disease, regardless of age and over 65 years. In other cases, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor to evaluate case-by-case administration. Those with chronic conditions must limit the risk of complications. In the winter, this risk is greater, and vaccination against influenza is a protection for the health of these patients. In particular, in asthmatics, influenza is often the cause of severe exacerbations of symptoms, making it necessary to increase therapy and often to go to the emergency room to aggravate respiratory tract inflammation. This is why vaccination is recommended for patients with asthmatic conditions, which should be done by the end of November, at a time when there are no febrile or inflammatory symptoms of the respiratory tract.
Except for children who are first vaccinated (up to 9 years of age with a second reinforcement dose), for the rest of the population only one dose of vaccine is able to guarantee adequate immunization throughout the season.
The vaccine is also recommended for healthy people who can transmit the infection to people they come in contact with and are at high risk of complications. Some categories of workers providing public services need to be vaccinated, to which we must add i blood donors and pregnant women especially if they are born in the winter months. Influenza is not a trivial illness for either the mother or the young child. Agreed in pregnancy, it can lead to serious respiratory complications and even fatality, especially during the second and third trimesters and in the first month after birth. But the flu is also the only prevention tool for protecting newborns in the first six months of life, when the risk of serious complications in the event of illness is greater. And by vaccinating mothers, there is a passage of precious antibodies across the placenta.
They're there, though some subjects who should not undergo influenza vaccinationunless otherwise indicated by your own physician who is evaluating the individual case:
- children under the age of six months, as there are no clinical safety studies demonstrating vaccine safety in this population;
- subjects who have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to the vaccine or one of its components;
- people who have acute illness. In these subjects vaccination must be delayed and can be administered after recovery;
- people who have experienced a particular neurological disease (Gillain-Barré syndrome) within six weeks of the previous vaccination.
It may be useful to boost your immune response by taking supplements that contain B vitamins, vitamins, metals such as zinc or herbal preparations such as echinacea and acerola. All of these substances, in different ways, enhance defense, favoring antibody production and lymphocyte activity. Healthy eating, however, carries a good amount of valuable trace elements, but supplements can also be helpful and the pharmacist can recommend the most suitable for everyone. In addition, the introduction of probiotics may be useful, as they favor the well-being of the intestinal flora and therefore enhance immune defense: when the intestinal flora is healthy, the immune system can concentrate on combating respiratory infections and influenza viruses; when, on the other hand, the intestinal flora is weak, the immune system must be divided into several fronts, reducing its effectiveness against viruses. Even more effective if the immune response is enhanced by vitamins and minerals.
It is important to note that not all of these parallel measures should be considered as an alternative to the vaccine, which is why it remains the first and most important defense.
But let's not forget about good behavioral habits, how to avoid overcrowding during the flu as much as possible, stay home when you are sick, cover your mouth and nose if you sneeze or cough. And above all wash your hands properly, every time you use the toilet, every meal and before managing food in general, before you touch a child, a wound, after being in overcrowded places like public transport, the supermarket, the gym, after contact with the sick people. But even after coughing or sneezing. In the event of an infection, the remainder remains a basic weapon to help the body defeat viruses. Self-medication is useful for relieving symptoms, while antibiotic use alone is to be avoided. "