Winter viruses are back, how to protect yourself?

“We are seeing an increase in the number of detections among our general practice samples,” confirms Vincent Enouf, virologist at the Institut Pasteur on RTL. Among the ailments detected: colds, angina, sinusitis or even bronchiolitis. On this last virus, moreover, four regions, including New Aquitaine, have recently entered the epidemic stage.

“We catch everything that moves”

This increase in cases is not a surprise, however. “We expected it”, explains to “Sud Ouest” Judith Loebmansour, general practitioner in Normandy and author of the book “Adventures and misadventures of a country doctor, a life of dreams”. And for good reason, for two years, people were masked, therefore more protected. Now that this is no longer the case, “we defend ourselves less well, we are no longer used to viruses and we catch anything that moves”, notes the general practitioner.

According to her, the infections are mainly viral. The professional recommends that those concerned do not hesitate to consult. “Not for a small cold of course, but in the midst of these viruses, you can have rhinos, fall on pneumonia or even scarlet fever, a bacterial angina which requires an antibiotic”, she lists.

Regarding the flu, “I don’t think we’re there yet, notes the doctor, but we think they will come sooner because people haven’t had it in recent years, it’s a plausible hypothesis”.

Moreover, while the cases of Covid-19 are on the rise again in France, it is difficult to tell the difference with these other winter viruses. According to Judith Loebmansour, there is only one way to be fixed: the PCR test. She also encourages favoring these tests, rather than antigenic tests, which are less reliable.

How to protect yourself?

To limit the risk of falling ill, there is valuable advice on which the GP insists: limit stress and nervousness. Not necessarily obvious in the current context. “It’s true that when you see everything that’s going on in the world, it’s deleterious, it creates an unbearable atmosphere. People are very stressed, angry. But it is well known, stress is bad for your health, so we stay zen”.

She particularly praises the merits of sport: “it makes you sweat, it eliminates toxins. Do not hesitate to go outside, get some fresh air”. And a balanced diet: “We hydrate ourselves well and we eat fruits and vegetables, there is nothing better”. She also advises women, children and fragile people to stock up on vitamin D with its many virtues.

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