The American Society of Infectious Diseases is issuing new influenza guidelines, especially to prevent complications in people at risk.
In France, the flu vaccine is already out of stock in some pharmacies. Governments strongly advise people at risk, that is, pregnant women, the elderly or frail (obese, asthmatic) and children to be vaccinated to prevent the epidemic from spreading. But also, to prevent these people from dying. The American Society of Infectious Diseases publishes new guidelines to protect patients in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Vaccination is not enough
"The annual flu shot is the best way to prevent the disease, but its effectiveness is not 100%." High-risk people should be encouraged to seek immediate medical attention if they develop flu-like symptoms during the flu season. season, "says Timothy M. Uyeki, one of the doctors who developed these guidelines. For example, the American Society of Infectious Diseases recommends people at risk to use molecular tests to diagnose the flu.
They can diagnose the disease in 15 to 60 minutes. Others are faster but less reliable according to some doctors. Also, it is usually advisable to prescribe antiviral treatment within two days of the onset of flu symptoms. But in the case of people at risk, the American Society of Infectious Diseases proposes to prescribe this treatment, also more than two days after the onset of symptoms.
Do not waste time to avoid infection
Fever, cough, muscle aches and sore throats are signs of the flu. When a so-called "high-risk" person is hospitalized for these symptoms, doctors recommend that he be given immediate antiviral treatment. And this, even before having the results of the test! "High-risk people hospitalized with flu complications are at increased risk for serious bacterial infections and infectious diseases, and doctors' expertise is essential to ensure they receive the best care," said Andrew T Pavia, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City).
Last year, the influenza epidemic caused 49 million cases in the United States, including 960,000 hospitalizations and 79,000 deaths. In France, it was early and exceptionally long, according to the latest weekly epidemiological bulletin. 75,500 emergency room visits were identified and 13,000 deaths.