There are almost half a million Italians already affected by the seasonal flu , which had, as expected, an aggressive debut: the incidence at this point of the season, equal to 2.38 cases per thousand, is in fact higher than all the incidences of the last 15 years, except the 2009-2010 season, that of influenza A.
According to data from the latest InfluNet surveillance bulletin of the National Institute of Health, 143,000 Italians were released from fever and joint pain in the last week, bringing the total from the beginning of the epidemic to 482,000 patients. In all Italian regions the level of incidence is below the baseline threshold except in Piedmont, Lombardy and Abruzzo.
In the age group 0-4 years the incidence is equal to 5.08 cases per thousand assisted, in the age group 5-14 years to 2.11 in the range 15-64 years to 2.35 and among the individuals of age 65 years or more at 1.36 cases per thousand assisted.
“The number of flu cases, while remaining at basic levels, is higher than that of all previous seasons, excluding the 2009-2010 pandemic season”. “At the moment it is not predictable if this trend will continue, in which case we could have a more aggressive influence than the previous season, or if instead it will normalize to more usual values in the coming weeks,” says the expert.
“You will probably enter full activity in the next 2-3 weeks. It is difficult to predict – explains Maga – when there will be an epidemic peak, which could arrive as early as the first weeks of January”.
Last season the peak was recorded between the end of January and the beginning of February. “The advice is still to get vaccinated, also because the first data from the USA indicate an important presence of type B influenza viruses, together with the classic A / H1N1 and A / H3N2”.
“All the currently circulating strains – concludes Maga – are in any case covered by vaccines, in particular quadrivalent ones. The recommendation for vaccination is particularly important for people over 65, children (over 6 months), pregnant women , health professionals and essential services, as well as people suffering from chronic cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases , which can be aggravated, even with fatal results, by a flu infection “.