The epidemic of influenza and ARVI in Russia will end in April

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According to estimates of the Ministry of Health, the Russians say goodbye to the epidemic of acute respiratory viral infections and the flu in the first half of April. This was reported by Minister Veronika Skvortsova in an interview on a state television channel on February 10.

Morbidity map
Prevention and treatment

According to experts, at the end of the month the epidemic will reach a peak, the incidence will gradually decline. The average duration of the epidemic does not exceed 94–100 days: by the beginning of March, the problem will reach its apogee, after which the epidemic threshold will begin to fall.

The head of the ministry recalled that due to timely vaccination, the overall incidence of influenza in recent years has fallen twelve times. Since the middle of the last decade, the percentage of people vaccinated has increased 2.6 times, as a result, the mortality rate due to the disease has decreased twenty times.

In 2018, before the start of the season, over 70.3 million people were vaccinated in the country. When creating vaccines produced domestically, current strains of influenza were taken into account, therefore, the average incidence threshold in 2019 will not be exceeded.

Skvortsova recalled that in February the epidemiological threshold was exceeded several times in five federal districts: the Far East, Siberia, the Urals, the North-West and the North Caucasus. The epidemic in these territories covers more than 50% of the administrative units. In another two districts (Central and Volga), the disease covers less than half of all territories, which indicates the regional spread of the virus. Minimum outbreaks registered in the Southern Federal District.

General morbidity map by country

The maximum incidence of influenza in the current year was recorded in Yakutia, Buryatia, Khakassia, the Sverdlovsk region and the Altai Territory.

At risk are preschoolers and adolescents, in which the highest percentage of cases falls. The rapid spread of the virus among these categories is facilitated by co-existence in collectives of educational institutions. In order to protect children and reduce the incidence threshold, quarantine or unscheduled holidays were introduced in many localities in institutions.

In the Transbaikal Territory, 93% of the cases were infected with the swine flu virus. According to experts, the border areas are most susceptible to the spread of the virus.

The most common influenza strains of the season: A (H1N1) pdm09 and A (H3N2). Viruses are well studied by both Russian doctors and scientists from laboratories in the USA, Canada and Europe, so the situation with the incidence is controlled and a particularly difficult development of the situation is not expected.

Prevention and treatment of influenza and ARVI

Doctors remind that the best protection against influenza is timely vaccination. It is best to vaccinate two to three weeks before the expected outbreak – in the second half of November – the first half of December. If vaccination failed in time, less effective preventive measures are needed.

It is necessary to reduce the time spent in places with a mass congestion of people, and if necessary wear a special mask. It is necessary to exclude communication with people who have obvious signs of the disease. After each visit to public places and transport, hands should be washed using disinfectants, wet cleaning and periodic airing should be carried out in the premises.

It is advisable to include fresh vegetables and fruits in the daily diet, and to increase the protective properties of the body – products containing vitamins C and B groups: cowberries, cranberries, various citrus fruits. Do not forget about onions and garlic – their antiviral properties have long been known.

If you did not manage to avoid the virus, you should not carry the disease on your feet: the decision is fraught with longer treatment and complications (otitis, encephalitis, pneumonia). At the first identified symptoms, you should stay at home and, if possible, stick to bed rest.

Self-treatment for the flu is not allowed: if the body temperature rises to 38 degrees, an urgent need to consult a doctor. Strictly adhere to the recommendations of the attending doctor, drink plenty of fluids and do not strain the cardiovascular system too much. Wear a protective mask when caring for a patient.

More accurate and complete information about the epidemiological situation in the country and methods of dealing with influenza and ARVI can be obtained on the special “hotline” of Rospotrebnadzor. The lines operate in each region of the country, contact phone numbers for consultations can be found on the websites of regional divisions of the federal service.

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