Flu: map France 2023, symptoms, duration of contagion

Flu: map France 2023, symptoms, duration of contagion

The flu is here! First symptoms, test, vaccine, incubation time, contagion, medication… Know everything to get out of it quickly!

France is facing a strong epidemic of flu during’winter 2022-2023. this disease is very contagious It affects approximately 2 to 6 million French people each year and would cause on average 10,000 deaths a year according to Public Health France. Influenza differs from the “flu” syndrome or state that can be caused by many other respiratory viruses such as rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus… which are the Flu symptoms ? The incubation period? He disease duration ? It’s her contagious ? which are the deals (natural or medicinal) to heal quickly? When to get vaccinated? Our special file on the flu.

What is the flu?

The flu is a acute respiratory infectionof viral origin, that is, due to a Flu virus. It is an infectious disease, which manifests itself with fever, cough, pain, headaches, chills… Influenza is subject to seasonal epidemics, generally observed during the fall and winter. It differs from a flu syndrome that can be caused by many other respiratory viruses such as rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus… Most of the time it is mild, but the flu can be serious in frail people.

What virus causes the flu?

Influenza viruses are mainly divided into two types: a and bdividing into two subtypes (A(H3N2) and 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 virus type B circular mainly in humans. Viruses A and B cause seasonal epidemics in humans, but only type A viruses have been responsible for pandemics to date, underlines Public Health France. In fall 2022, the A(H3N2) virus It circulates mainly in France.

Flu (influenza) diagram © masia8 – 123RF

What are typical flu symptoms?

Every year, influenza epidemics can affect all age groups, but the most vulnerable people are children under two years, adults over 65 Y people with certain chronic diseases. Early symptoms of the flu include:

  • great tiredness,
  • chills even when you are not cold,
  • a dry, painful cough
  • then comes the fever that can rise to more than 39°c,
  • pains,
  • Headaches…

In all cases, in case of sudden aggravation or without improvement of the state 72 hours after the first symptomsis essential see a doctor.

Usually, during a flu, the cough is dry and painful Sometimes this dry cough it turns into a wet cough. The cough can last up to 3 weeks or even longer. It is worrisome if it is accompanied by persistent fever, shortness of breath, change in skin color, or in the case of children, pauses in breathing and choking.

When to get a flu shot?

Vaccination is recommended for people at risk and healthcare professionals, and it is the best way to protect yourself against the flu and its complications. Must allow approximately 15 days between vaccination and when the body is protected against the flu. It is not necessary to wait for the first cold or the beginning of the epidemic to get vaccinated.

How long does a flu last?

a hard flu between 3 and 7 days (5 days on average).

What is the incubation time for the flu?

The incubation time (the time between the time of illness and the onset of symptoms) usually lasts between 24 and 48 hours, but can be extended to 72 hoursrecalls Dr. Parneix. However, the patient is contagious, even before the onset of symptoms and this, during an average period of 6 days.

Are you contagious when you have the flu? During how much time ?

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:

  • by air : a sick person projects droplets of saliva into the air, when speaking, coughing or sneezing. Then there are millions of viruses in the air, ready to be inhaled and contaminate you.
  • By 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 into a tissue and then throw it away, ideally closed with a lid,
  • Carry a surgical mask If you are sick and have to go to a closed and public place, this avoids contaminating others.
  • the hydroalcoholic gel It’s also practical, but in the long run it can dry out your hands.
  • Finally, remember to ventilate the rooms regularly, several times a day: this way you will eliminate stagnant viruses in the air, sneezing and breathing.

There is a rapid diagnostic orientation test (FLAT) flu, achievable in pharmacyin a doctor’s office or in a medical laboratory to test for influenza A or B viruses (the most common types of viruses during seasonal epidemics). It is possible without a prescription and consists of a sample taken from the nose and must be done within 24-48 hours after the first symptoms appear suggestive of flu (sudden fever above 39°C, headache, body aches, sore throat, cough, extreme fatigue). Attention, “she sensitivity is low in adults, You can win less than 60% between 70 to 90% in children“You want to indicate the HAS. Also, at the end of December 2022, laboratories (AAZ, Roche or Toda Pharma) developed multiplex combined antigen tests to detect flu and Covid at the same time. In 15-30 minutes, the patient gets the result. Various types of samples can be used to carry out these tests, the most common is the nasopharyngeal swab. These tests are available without a prescription at some pharmacies.

What are the treatments to treat the flu?

In case of flu symptoms:

  • Consult the doctor quickly. He or she will be able to make the diagnosis and prescribe the most appropriate medications.
  • take some paracetamol to reduce fever, aches and pains.
  • He vitamin C it is also sometimes recommended to combat fatigue. Similarly, certain foods are especially recommended to better combat fatigue.
  • If necessary, you can complete with a nasal decongestant and a cough suppressant for 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 harm the good bacteria the body needs to defend itself against disease.” replies Dr. Pierre Parneix.

What are the natural treatments for the flu?

Garlic, lemon, honey, thyme… Several natural solutions can help boost immune defenses in the prevention or treatment of flu.

flu in children

To prevent your child from contracting the flu virus, it is important to teach him to blow his nose with a single-use tissue, to cover his nose with his mouth when sneezing or coughing. In any case, consult your pediatrician so that he can be examined and administered, depending on the case, the most appropriate treatment, especially against fever.

To limit the seasonal flu epidemic, it is essential to take simple daily preventive measures to limit the circulation of the flu virus, especially in communities and on public transportation, where it is easily transmitted. For those who are around people with the flu, it is recommended respect these few hygiene rules:

► Wash your hands regularly and systematically after each outing and each contact with the patient.

► Avoid close contact with the person with the flu, and particularly if you are vulnerable or “at risk” yourself (pregnant women, the elderly, people with a chronic illness or immunocompromised, young children, etc.)

► Wash regularly hands with soap and water, or if it cannot be otherwise, with a hydroalcoholic solution, especially after any contact with the patient and after each return home.

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

► Ventilate your interior every day between 10 and 15 minutes to renew the air and prevent the proliferation of viruses.

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

Thanks to Dr. Pierre Parneix, doctor in charge of health and hospital doctor in public health (University Hospital of Bordeaux).

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