The Ministry of Health of the Nation detected since December of last year a progressive increase in cases of Influenza A with 794 confirmed cases as of February 10, which represents “a circulation in an unusual period of the year for this respiratory virus” by which recommended that the population “continue with the prevention and care measures in force for covid-19,” the health portfolio reported on Wednesday.
The presence of the virus that causes Influenza A “is in particular the H3N2 subtype” which epidemiologically represents “a circulation in an unusual period of the year for this respiratory virus, which is commonly expected to circulate during late autumn and during the winter (mainly between the months of May and August),” assured the health portfolio.
From December 2021 to February 10, 794 cases of influenza were confirmed by this family of viruses that are the main responsible for flu-like symptoms, which mainly affects the nose, throat, bronchial tubes and, occasionally, the lungs.
The Ministry indicated that the viral infection generally lasts a week and is characterized by the sudden onset of high fever, muscle aches, headache, malaise, dry cough, sore throat and rhinitis.
The virus is easily spread from person to person through droplets and small particles expelled by coughing or sneezing.
In this sense, the Ministry of Health recommended that the population “continue with the prevention and care measures in force for covid-19, such as maintaining ventilated environments, washing hands frequently with soap and water, use of a chinstrap, and avoiding going to work, educational activities or public places in the presence of symptoms.
Health teams were instructed to raise awareness of the clinical suspicion of influenza-like illness and implement preventive measures through vaccinations and care, especially in groups at higher risk of developing complications.
In this sense, the national health portfolio announced that it will begin to receive between Friday and next Monday, the first delivery of flu vaccines.
About 1,120,000 doses will arrive, which will begin to be distributed to the 24 jurisdictions early next week.
At the face-to-face meeting of the Federal Health Council (COFESA), which will be held this Friday, the guidelines and strategy of the annual flu vaccination campaign will be presented.
Influenza tends to spread rapidly in seasonal epidemics, and most people recover within a week or two without needing medical treatment.
However, in young children, the elderly, and people with other serious medical conditions, the infection can lead to serious complications, leading to pneumonia and in some cases, death.
The flu vaccine “is a fundamental preventive tool to reduce complications,” indicated the portfolio, which was included “in the National Vaccination Calendar for health personnel, pregnant people at any time during pregnancy, postpartum people (until discharge from the maternity, maximum 10 days, if you did not receive the vaccine during pregnancy)”
Also for the population over 65 years of age, girls and boys from 6 to 24 months of age, and those between 2 and 64 years of age who present risk factors.
Mobility of the population and relaxation of covid measures among the causes of the increase in Influenza
The unusual increase in cases of influenza A for this time of year in the country is due to the start of the influenza season in the northern hemisphere and the increased mobility of the population and the relaxation of measures in response to the pandemic ” The Ministry of Health highlighted today and detailed that the largest number of cases was first in children under five years of age and then in the age group between 25 and 34 years.
According to the health portfolio, the provinces in which the highest number of samples with a positive result for influenza have been registered so far are: province of Buenos Aires, Salta, City of Buenos Aires, Tucumán, Santa Fe and Córdoba.
He specified that in 2020, during the pandemic, there was a “marked decrease in the detection of respiratory viruses that increased again in 2021”, although the curve of positive cases for influenza and other respiratory viruses “is lower than for previous years”.
But in the first eight weeks of that year, unlike previous years, “a marked predominance is observed in the circulation of influenza viruses compared to the rest of the respiratory viruses.”