In early autumn, on the background of increase in the incidence of acute respiratory viral infections, there surfaces the issue of flu epidemics, which claims lives of dozens of Ukrainians every year. The Ministry of Health has released this year’s forecast, according to which flu incidence rate will increase by 14%. Besides, Ukrainians are going to face a new strain of dangerous virus “Michigan”, which showed up in 2015 in the northern hemisphere.
What to expect in the epidemic season 2017-2018?
According to Tetyana Dukhnovskaya, an employee of the Ministry of Health and one of the authors of the epidemic forecast, strain A/Michigan/45/2015 will not cause a sharp rise in the incidence rate, because it has similar characteristics with the California strain. The Californian flu is known to Ukrainians as “swine flu”, “pandemic influenza”: after epidemics of the previous seasons, 56% of Ukrainians have immunity to it. All those who had Californian flu H1N1 will be immune to the Michigan strain.
The culmination of the flu incidence usually coincides with the second half of January – beginning of February. But for two consecutive years already, there has been a tendency to a shift of the epidemic season two weeks ahead. The WHO European Office is still trying to find out the causes of this phenomenon. Last year, the beginning of the season captured the first weeks of December. This year, the increase in the incidence of flu, in particular, is expected not earlier than December.
How to protect yourself from the infection?
An effective way to secure yourself against the flu is a timely vaccination. It is worth remembering that immunity is fully formed only 14 days after administration of the vaccine. Therefore, the best way is get flu vaccination in September, October, or in early November.
The flu virus is transmitted by contact with a diseased person when he or she is talking, coughing, sneezing. The following recommendations will help prevent infections:
- avoid congregate settings;
- do not touch your face if you haven’t washed your hands;
- avoid kissing, hugging, handshaking;
- be sure to eat properly, have enough sleep and avoid stress;
- air rooms where you stay during the day and night;
- observe the rules of personal hygiene.
As the epidemic season is looming, it is necessary to strengthen your immunity and to carry out preventive measures. Medicated prophylaxis involves taking vitamins and immunostimulants either orally or by inhalation.
Adapted from TCH.ua: https://tsn.ua/interview/.