INFLUENZA 2022-2023. The flu virus is circulating weakly in France at the moment, but epidemiologists fear 'a serious risk of an epidemic', especially since our overall immunity against the flu has probably diminished. The vaccination campaign begins this Tuesday, October 18 in pharmacies.
[Updated October 17, 2022 at 12:04 p.m.] At the beginning of autumn, the flu virus is circulating but the epidemic is weak. All the regions of metropolitan France are in green on the map, according to the latest bulletin from Public Health France . However, we must start to be careful and re-respect the barrier gestures. ' We haven't had a major flu epidemic for two years and so our overall immunity to the flu has probably waned “, indicates Professor Brigitte Autran, president of Covars, on October 4 on RMC , which encourages ' enormously 'vaccination against the flu, as well as against the Covid. Similarly, Alain Fischer, professor of immunology, called on the elderly, frail and pregnant women to be vaccinated against the flu, in an interview with the Parisian end of September . The vaccination campaign against seasonal flu starts on October 18 in pharmacy. Thus, from October 18 to November 15, 2022, vaccination is reserved for people at risk : over 65, carriers of chronic diseases , pregnant women, people suffering from obesity, those around infants under 6 months at risk, health professionals... Then everyone can get vaccinated. Note that there are approx. 2 to 6 million cases of flu each year in France. Last year, the epidemic lasted 9 weeks from March to the end of April, its peak was very late and it mainly affected children under 15 years old. What are the flu symptoms ? The incubation period? The disease duration ? Is she contagious ? What are the treatments (natural or medicinal) to heal quickly? When to get vaccinated? Our special file on the flu.
Definition: what is a flu?
The flu is a acute respiratory infection , due to a virus Influenza, while an influenza-like illness can be caused by many other respiratory viruses such as rhinovirus, virus syncytial respiratory, etc. Influenza viruses basically fall into two types: A and B , dividing themselves into two subtypes (A(H3N2) et A(H1N1) pdm09) or lineages (B/Victoria and B/Yamagata) . Type A influenza viruses circulate in many animal species (ducks, chickens, pigs, horses, seals, etc.). Influenza viruses from type B circulate mainly in humans . Viruses A and B cause seasonal epidemics in humans, but only type A viruses have been responsible for pandemics to date, points out Public Health France .
Each year, flu epidemics can affect all age groups, but the most vulnerable people are the children under two years old , adults over 65 and people with certain chronic diseases . Early symptoms of the flu include:
In all cases, in case of sudden aggravation or without improvement of the state 72 hours after first symptoms , it is essential see a doctor .
Vaccination is recommended for people at risk and healthcare professionals, and is the best way to protect against influenza and its complications. It's necessary allow approximately 15 days between vaccination and when the body is protected against influenza . No need to wait for the first cold weather or the start of the epidemic to get vaccinated. The last vaccination campaign ended on February 28, 2022.
The duration of contagion can last 6 days.
A hard flu between 3 and 7 days (5 days on average).
' The incubation time (the time between the moment of illness and the appearance of symptoms) generally lasts between 24 and 48 hours, but it can extend to 72 hours , recalls Dr. Parneix. However, the patient is contagious, even before the appearance of symptoms and this, during an average period of 6 days. '
The flu is a contagious disease. The patient can transmit it ' even before the onset of symptoms and during an average period of 6 days “ recalls our interlocutor.
To be infected with the flu virus, you must be in contact with someone who already has the flu. Contamination can occur in three ways:
In case of flu-like symptoms:
Garlic, lemon, honey, thyme... Several natural solutions can help boost the immune defenses in the prevention or treatment of the flu.
According to the epidemiological update published in October 2022 by Santé Publique France, influenza viruses began to circulate in December 2021. The epidemic started in March, peaked nationally in early April and ended in late April, that is 9 weeks of epidemic . No other influenza epidemic had reached its peak as late over the period 2009-2022. A co-circulation des virus A(H3N2) et A(H1N1) was observed, with a diversity of viral strains detected. Its impact was moderate in the general population, but important in children under 15 .
To prevent your child from contracting the flu virus, it is important to teach him how to blow his nose in a single-use tissue, to cover his nose to his mouth when sneezing or coughing. In any case, consult your pediatrician so that he can examine him and administer, depending on the case, the most appropriate treatment, especially against fever.
To limit the seasonal flu epidemic, it is essential to adopt simple preventive measures on a daily basis aimed at limiting the circulation of the flu virus, particularly in communities and on public transport where it is easily transmitted. For those around people with the flu, it is recommended to follow these few hygiene rules:
Thanks to Dr. Pierre Parneix, Medical Officer of Health and Hospital Practitioner in Public Health (Bordeaux University Hospital).