Before the onset of monsoons, protect your family with flu vaccination. The expected announcement of the monsoon evokes the relief images of the scorching heat of summer, the pouring rain and the sound of clouds, the rebirth of the natural beauty of trees and plants. However, the monsoon in its wake presents each of us with the challenge of braving the elements of weather and fighting waterborne and foodborne illnesses, including seasonal infection like influenza or the Indian flu.
Influenza can lead to significant absenteeism from schools or offices, and people with comorbidities such as diabetes or asthma are at risk of influenza-related complications and mortality. Mortality is highest among infants and the elderly.
Available statistics and estimates of some ten million patients each year in India give rise to the daunting tasks of administering proper treatment, including flu vaccination ahead of doctors and administrators.
In the last two years, estimates of the load during the season were low due to Covid-19 restrictions such as wearing masks, social distancing, staying indoors, maintaining hygiene, and viral interference.
According to medical experts, the presentation of the flu varies and can include symptoms such as fever, sore throat, myalgias, frontal or retro-orbital headaches, runny nose, weakness, severe fatigue, cough and other respiratory symptoms, tachycardia, and redness. and teary eyes.
Cough and other respiratory symptoms may be minimal but often progress as the infection progresses. In children, diarrhea may be a feature.
Dr. Nirmal Jain, MBBS/MD- Pediatrics, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Guwahati stated:
“Recently, many children have been exposed to the external environment and have begun to spend time outdoors. Because children have stayed indoors, there could be a resurgence of infectious diseases.
With the start of the monsoon season, children are more susceptible to respiratory diseases. Babies under the age of five are especially vulnerable to the flu.
Those with comorbid conditions such as asthma, heart disease, and people over the age of 65 are also severely affected. Influenza vaccination is considered a necessity to prevent the spread of the disease within the family and the community.
Coinfection between influenza and covid has also been observed. Children under 12 years of age do not have access to the Covid vaccine, so it is essential to get vaccinated against the flu.
This will minimize the chances of co-infection. Diagnostic screening is necessary to differentiate between covid and influenza in children and recommend the appropriate vaccine. Regular handwashing and regular face coverings help prevent the spread of infection.