“Influenza A represents about 70% of the respiratory viruses we have”

The respiratory virus epidemic has posed significant challenges to health services for several weeks.Adolfo Baloira, a pulmonologist, admits that he is a professional who has confirmed on the ground the current sharp rebound in this type of disease.

——Are we at the peak of the epidemic?

– Yes, though The feeling is has begun to decline slightlywe peaked around last weekend and have now declined A little bit. Anyway, these are very short-term numbers and it’s hard to say exactly how we’re doing because maybe in a week or a week and a half it could increase again. Influenza A is highly contagious, highly seasonal, and may increase during the winter depending on exposure, often with little or no precautions taken, etc. That’s why we can’t sound the alarm just yet.

– Which viruses have the greatest impact on the health sector in Pontevedra?

The difference is that Influenza A, we call it H1N1. All influenza viruses are named with the letters H and N, and different variants are assigned a number. Influenza A accounts for about 70% of the total respiratory viruses we have.

– Is it possible to stop them?

It is preventable, although any respiratory virus is difficult to prevent in the first place.. You have to start there because they’re airborne, but because they’re airborne they often come in through the respiratory tract, The best prevention is to get vaccinated and use a mask that filters the entry of these viruses.. When we talk about using masks, we often forget that the people who should be using them the most are people who are already sick, because it’s not uncommon in shopping malls, in any public place where a lot of people gather, that we see people coughing, and He was not wearing a mask. Maybe you don’t know you have influenza A, but you could have influenza A, or any other respiratory virus.

–How many deaths does influenza cause?

– In Spain, someone is likely to die every year 4,000 or 5,000 peoplecases are more or less related to contracting the flu, which is why prevention is so important.

– How can we protect our environment if we suspect we have the virus?

– That person is very important, If possible, first do not go to crowded places, and if you do go, be sure to wear a mask.essentially an Ffp2 mask used to protect others in the environment.

— It’s almost Groundhog Day at this time of health collapse, so what should we do if we think we’ve been infected?

Hospital collapses are always going to happen one of these days, it’s inevitable because the average age of the population is getting older and because we’re more exposed… That’s going to be the case because the virus spreads, but what you do is, first of all, a diagnosis of influenza A, or the flu, or the classic symptoms of the flu, is not a reason to go to the emergency room. Entrance. CFor common symptoms, it is enough to take paracetamol or any anti-inflammatory drug, and know that for a few days, a person will feel a little uncomfortable, with coughing, general malaise, muscle aches, etc., but it is not serious in itself. If it’s someone with multiple illnesses, especially respiratory disease, heart disease, severe diabetes, taking insulin, etc., if they’re a fragile patient, maybe in that case it would be worthwhile for them to at least go to a PAC, But don’t abuse this.

In Spain there are probably 4,000 or 5,000 deaths every year, more or less related to influenza, which is why prevention is so important.

– Because for these viruses, there isn’t much medicine to offer other than symptom relief

– Yes, it’s very important to know: Just like with COVID-19, we have some treatments that have limited efficacy, and actually for these viruses we have two drugs, specifically for influenza, but they haven’t shown significant efficacy yet.. Maybe they’ll reduce symptoms a little bit, but they’re relatively effective and they’re viruses that we have very little resistance to in terms of treatment. We only do maintenance therapy, generally to prevent the possibility of pneumonia because they are viruses that usually damage the bronchi very much and promote the emergence of bacteria, and that’s what we give, but really nothing more. That’s why what’s really important is prevention.

When we were talking about coronavirus, there were 150 to 300 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week, and now we are talking about influenza A, there were more than 1,600 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week, which is a higher number

–Does the flu vaccine work?

——Although it is not as effective as the new crown vaccine, it still has a certain effect. Most importantly, prevention is important, especially now when we have such high rates of illness. When we were talking about coronavirus, there were 150 to 300 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week, and now we are talking about influenza A, which was more than 1,600 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week, is a higher number. It is a seasonal epidemic, cases rise very quickly, and because it spreads so quickly, it often tends to be self-limiting. But in these moments of very high morbidity, in addition to the collapse of hospitals, health centers, etc., they increase mortality.

– He insists that we must first try to complete the continuing care points…

There are many types of patients in hospital emergency rooms, and there are many people who are in frail health, making it easier for them to spread diseases and causing more serious infections.. Then there is the collapse, where a person may have to wait for hours to be cared for; due to aspects such as health staff and the number of patients arriving, it is difficult to select the seriously ill patients who need treatment more quickly, and the quality of care for all patients is slightly decline. so, If a person does not have a fragile condition or symptoms such as respiratory distress, there is no clear incentive to go to the emergency room in the first place.let alone a trip to the hospital emergency room.

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