DF records an increase in cases of Influenza A and the H3N2 variant

DF records an increase in cases of Influenza A and the H3N2 variant
DF records an increase in cases of Influenza A and the H3N2 variant

posted on 01/01/2022 06:00 / updated on 01/01/2022 07:34

Specialists point out that vaccination reduces the risk – (credit: Material given to the Post)

In addition to the pandemic caused by the coronavirus, other viruses are of concern, Influenza A and its H3N2 subtype had an increase in cases in the federal capital. According to the Health Department of the Federal District (SES-DF), so far, eight cases of Influenza A have been confirmed. Of this total, three patients have the variant. The numbers are more worrying when added to those of the private health network in the capital. In total, there are 336 cases of respiratory disease, 95 of which were identified as H3N2.

Despite the outbreak of contagion, infectologist Ana Helena Germoglio believes that there is no reason to panic. The H3N2 variant is controllable and does not have a high fatality rate, especially when compared to the coronavirus. “This variant probably came from Australia, where it was first identified. It can be controlled by simply wearing a mask, hand washing and avoiding sharing glasses and cutlery. It’s much easier to control than covid- 19”, highlighted the doctor.

According to SES-DF, Influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by viruses A, B, C and D. Virus A, which includes H3N2, is associated with epidemics and pandemics, has a seasonal behavior and presents an increase in the number of cases between the cooler seasons, such as June and July. “She arrived at a time when it is not normal to have viral circulation and she was not part of the vaccination schedule. What we can say is that we were taken by surprise,” said Ana Helena.

The illness usually starts with a high fever, followed by muscle pain, sore throat, headache, runny nose, and cough. Fever is the most important symptom and lasts around three days. “It’s a disease that causes a lot of discomfort and leaves the person much more prostrate. And at this time when there are many people partying, many people will get sick,” warned the infectious disease.

The infectologist took the opportunity to emphasize the need for care for some specific groups, such as people such as the elderly, pregnant women and postpartum women.

In Brazil, the vaccine against Influenza A does not have specific immunization to fight the subtype that is in circulation, however, experts point out that vaccination can reduce the risk of contracting the H3N2 strain. According to data released by SES-DF, the capital has a stock of approximately 30 thousand doses of the immunizing agent.

The Ministry of Health pointed out that each year the flu vaccine is produced to fight the main strains that circulated in the previous year. In 2021, the strains contained in the vaccine are: Influenza A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1) pdm09; Influenza A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2); Influenza B/Washington/02/2019 (B/Victoria strain).

Testing for Influenza can be performed by rapid testing or by PCR. It is performed in hospitalized patients with SARS and in other patients according to previously established clinical criteria.

In a note, the SES-DF said that, according to the protocol for monitoring cases of respiratory viruses, “it is only mandatory to notify cases in which there was a need for hospitalization or samples collected in the sentinel units”. Thus, the eight current cases of Influenza A in the DF are cases that are registered in the system that meet these criteria. “However, with the increase in care for patients with virus symptoms, those units that are not sentinel and that treated patients who did not need hospitalization, but who collected samples, reported cases that were positive for Influenza to the Department of Health. A”, completed the statement.

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