Map France 2023, symptoms, duration of contagion

The flu is here! First symptoms, test, vaccination, incubation period, contagion, medication… Know everything to get out quickly!

France is facing a strong epidemic flu during’Winter 2022-2023. This disease is very contagious. It affects around 2 to 6 million French people every year and would lead to it on average 10,000 deaths a year after Public Health France. Influenza is distinct from the “influenza” syndrome or condition caused by many other respiratory viruses such as rhinovirus, syncytial virus breathing… What are the flu symptoms ? Incubation period? the duration of illness ? Is she contagious ? What are the treatments (natural or medicinal) to heal quickly? When to vaccinate? Our special folder for the flu.

What is the flu?

The flu is a acute respiratory infectionof viral origin, i.e. due to a influenza virus. It is a contagious and contagious disease that is manifested by a FeverCough, pain, headache, chills… Influenza is subject to seasonal epidemics that are commonly observed in autumn and winter. It differs from flu syndrome which can be caused by many other respiratory viruses like rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, etc. The flu is usually mild but can be severe in frail individuals.

What virus causes the flu?

Influenza viruses are mainly divided into two types: A and Bwhich are divided into two subtypes (A(H3N2) and A(H1N1) pdm09) or lines (B/Victoria and B/Yamagata). Type A influenza viruses circulate in many animal species (ducks, chickens, pigs, horses, seals, etc.). flu viruses out B type circulate mainly in humans. However, viruses A and B cause seasonal epidemics in humans only type A viruses were responsible for pandemics to date, points out Public Health France. In autumn 2022, the A(H3N2) virus spread mainly in France.

Chart of the Flu (Influenza) © masia8 – 123RF

What are the typical flu symptoms?

Each year, flu epidemics can affect all age groups, but those most at risk are those children under the age of two, Adults over 65 and people with certain chronic illness. Early symptoms of the flu include:

  • great tiredness,
  • chills even if you’re not cold
  • a dry cough and painful
  • then comes the fever, which can rise to over 39°C,
  • Pains,
  • Headache…

In all cases with sudden aggravation or no improvement of the condition 72 hours after the first symptomsIt’s essential see a doctor.

Usually during a flu that to cough is dry and painful. Sometimes this dry cough turns into a wet cough. The cough can last up to 3 weeks or even longer. It is of concern when accompanied by a persistent fever, difficulty breathing, changes in skin color, or, in children, pauses in breathing and retching.

When do you get the flu shot?

Vaccination is recommended for people at risk and healthcare professionals and is the best protection against influenza and its complications. It is necessary about 15 days elapse between vaccination and when the body is protected against the flu. You don’t have to wait for the first cold or the onset of the epidemic to get vaccinated.

How long does the flu last?

A bad flu between 3 and 7 days (5 days on average).

What is the incubation period for the flu?

The incubation period (the time between the time you get the disease and the onset of symptoms) usually lasts between 24 and 48 hours, but can be extended to 72 hoursremembers dr. Parneix. However, the patient is contagious, both before and during the onset of symptoms an average duration of 6 days.

Are you contagious if you have the flu? For how long ?

The flu is a contagious disease. The patient can pass it on”also before the onset of symptoms and during an average duration of 6 days“ our interlocutor remembers.

To catch the flu virus, you must be in contact with someone who already has the flu. Contamination can occur in three ways:

  • By plane : A sick person projects droplets of saliva into the air when speaking, coughing, or sneezing. Millions of viruses are then found in the air, ready to be inhaled and contaminate you.
  • Through close direct contact : A sick person shakes your hand or kisses you.
  • Speak Contact with touched objects by a sick person, for example a doorknob or a telephone.
  • Cough into the crook of your elbow and cover your nose when sneezing,
  • Wash your hands with soap regularly throughout the day, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Blow your nose in a tissue and then throw it in the trash, ideally closed with a lid,
  • Wear a surgical mask If you are sick and have to go to a closed and public place, this will prevent you from infecting others.
  • the hydroalcoholic gel is also practical, but can dry out your hands in the long run.
  • Finally, remember to regularly air the rooms several times a day: this is how to eliminate stagnant viruses in the air by sneezing and breathing.

There is a rapid diagnostic orientation test (TROD) flu, reachable in the pharmacyin a doctor’s office or in a medical laboratory to test for influenza A or B viruses (the most common virus types during seasonal epidemics). It is possible without a prescription and consists of a sample taken from the nose and must be performed inside 24-48 hours after the first symptoms appear Indication of flu (sudden fever over 39 °C, headache, body aches, sore throat, cough, extreme tiredness). warning,”she Sensitivity is low in adults, can hit less than 60% between 70 and 90% in children“Would like to point out that the HAS also developed laboratories (AAZ, Roche or Toda Pharma) at the end of December 2022 combined multiplex antigen tests Detect flu and covid at the same time. In 15-30 minutes the patient will get the result. Different types of samples can be used to perform these tests, the most common is the nasopharynx swab. These tests are available over the counter in some pharmacies.

What are the treatments used to treat the flu?

If you have flu-like symptoms:

  • See the doctor quickly. He or she can make the diagnosis and prescribe the most appropriate medication.
  • Take something paracetamol to reduce fever, aches and pains.
  • the vitamin C is also sometimes recommended to combat fatigue. Likewise, certain foods are particularly recommended to better combat fatigue.
  • If necessary, you can end with a nasal decongestant and a cough medicine with a dry and persistent cough.
  • Finally it is necessary drink a lot and rest.

Should I take antibiotics to treat the flu?

“The flu is caused by a virus and antibiotics are completely ineffective to treat viral diseases, they could also damage the good bacteria that the body needs to fight disease.” replies dr. Pierre Parnix.

What are the natural treatments for the flu?

Garlic, lemon, honey, thyme… Several natural solutions can help boost immunity when preventing or treating the flu.

flu in children

To prevent your child from catching the flu virus, it is important to teach them how to blow their nose with a disposable handkerchief and cover their nose to their mouth when sneezing or coughing. In any case, consult your pediatrician so that he can examine him and administer the most appropriate treatment depending on the case, especially against fever.

In order to contain the seasonal influenza epidemic, it is imperative to take simple preventive measures every day to limit the spread of the influenza virus, especially in communities and public transport where it is easily transmitted. It is recommended for people around people with flu Observe these few hygiene rules:

► Wash your hands regularly and systematically after every trip and every contact with the sick person.

► Avoid close contact with the person who has the flu and especially if you are susceptible or “at risk” yourself (pregnant women, the elderly, the chronically ill or immunocompromised, small children, etc.)

► Wash regularly Hands with soap and water or, if you cannot help it, with a hydroalcoholic solution, especially after each contact with the patient and after each return home.

► Do not share items such as glasses, cutlery and of course toothbrushes.

► Ventilate the interior for between 10 and 15 minutes a day to refresh the air and prevent the spread of viruses.

► Clean nests of germs such as doorknobs, remote controls, phone screens…

Many thanks to dr. Pierre Parneix, Public Health Officer and Hospital Doctor (Bordeaux University Hospital).

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