The Congonhas Municipal Health Department is aware of the increase in the number of people who have sought advice in an emergency care unit (UPA) with influenza. From 22 to 27 December (6 days), there were 1,573 consultations, most of which had mild, flu-like symptoms. Under normal flow, UPA attends to 160 patients/day, which would, under normal conditions, give an approximate total of 960 patients for the same period.
Users are still recommended to search for primary health care units closest to their places of residence. They serve on demand, with no scheduling required, for these situations. A person should go to the UPA only in emergency and emergency situations, which is the purpose of this health equipment. The numbers above reveal much higher flows than normal, causing delays in care, inconveniencing patients and overloading servers.
But even in these cases, the health recommendations are the same, that is, the person should isolate from masses, wash their hands constantly or sterilize with 70% alcohol and use a face mask that covers the mouth and nose properly. When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose, preventing the spray from coming too far to the front. These are simple measures that reduce transmission of influenza viruses and Covid-19.
Epidemiological alert: anticipate influenza seasons
The Municipal Health Service of Congonhas, through Primary Care, alerts to the forecast scenario of influenza seasonality, which is characterized by acute respiratory infection due to influenza virus. It has high transmissibility and global distribution, being responsible for high rates of hospitalization.
As of November 2021, there has been an increase in the number of cases and outbreaks of influenza-like syndrome in some states, where an influenza-like syndrome epidemic caused by influenza A/H3N2 virus has already been described. The most common symptoms are fever, sore throat, cough, excessive runny nose, headache, body aches and severe malaise. Vomiting and diarrhea may occur.
The H3N2 virus is more common in the elderly and children. This is exactly why these audiences are considered a priority in the influenza vaccination campaign. People with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and people with chronic diseases should also be on the lookout for prevention.
Annual influenza vaccination is the main measure used to prevent disease. The moment we are living in is an additional temporal event of H3N2 influenza. This unusual phenomenon may be related to the lower vaccine coverage against influenza, the easing of restrictions and the preventive measures adopted against Covid-19.
Vaccination campaigns against the emerging corona virus have been focused. We ran anti-flu campaigns, but adherence to the flu vaccine was low. When the adhesion is low, there is also a lower level of protection.
For treatment, it is recommended that the patient rest, take in plenty of fluids with a balanced and light diet. Your doctor may also recommend antiviral medications and other medications that relieve symptoms of pain and discomfort. Severe cases of the disease may require hospitalization.
In Minas Gerais, at the moment, there has been an increase in cases of influenza syndrome caused by influenza A / H3N2, totaling 67 cases as of December 17. However, given the case evidence, we can conclude that there is a continuous transmission of influenza in most cities of Minas Gerais.
The Municipal Health Department has already received test results from the laboratories of the Foundation Ezequiel Dias (Funed) confirming eight positive cases of H3N2 in Congonhas, leaving the municipality’s alert to community transmission of the new variant.
Congonhas Family Health Strategy Units (ESF) have already received an influenza virus update to provide qualified care, accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment for the entire population. These units are also available upon request, i.e. without a specific time. Therefore, the Department of Health advises that, for greater convenience, the user/patient should search for the reference health unit.
The Municipal Health Department reiterates the necessity of adopting disease prevention measures by the population in order to prevent the spread of the virus. The use of masks, hand hygiene, and social distancing, especially the mask, are measures to prevent the spread of the respiratory virus. Vaccination is also recommended and residents can seek immunization at health centers in the area.
Text and photo of Daniel Balze – SECOM – Congonhas City Council
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