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Recommendations of the Ministry of Health before the early circulation of the influenza virus

The Ministry of Health of the Nation disseminates recommendations for health teams and for the population in view of the early circulation of the influenza A virus in different jurisdictions of Argentina.

As of December 2021, a progressive increase in the number of cases of Influenza A, in particular the H3N2 subtype, has been detected, with 794 confirmed cases reported until February 10. This represents, epidemiologically, a circulation in an unusual period of the year for this respiratory virus, which is commonly expected to circulate during late autumn and during winter (mainly between the months of May and August).

Influenza viruses are the main cause of flu symptoms, which mainly affect the nose, throat, bronchial tubes and, occasionally, the lungs. The viral infection usually lasts a week and is characterized by the sudden onset of high fever, muscle aches, headache, malaise, dry cough, sore throat, and rhinitis. The virus is easily spread from person to person through droplets and small particles expelled by coughing or sneezing.

For this reason, the population is recommended to continue with the current prevention and care measures for COVID-19: maintain ventilated environments, wash hands frequently with soap and water, use a mask, and avoid going to work, educational or educational activities. public places in the presence of symptoms.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health recommends that health teams raise awareness of the clinical suspicion of influenza-like illness and implement prevention measures through vaccinations and care, especially in groups with a higher risk of developing complications, such as adults over 65 years of age, people pregnant women, children under 2 years of age, and those with risk factors.

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In this sense, the national health portfolio will begin to receive between this Friday and Monday, March 21, the first delivery of flu vaccines. The delivery of nearly 1,120,000 doses of influenza vaccines was possible after making the necessary arrangements in order to have the doses as soon as possible. After the logistics conditioning process, the vaccines will begin to be distributed to the 24 jurisdictions at the beginning of next week.

At the face-to-face meeting of the Federal Health Council (COFESA), which will be held this Friday, the guidelines and strategy of the annual flu vaccination campaign will be presented to the ministers of all jurisdictions in the country.

Influenza tends to spread rapidly in seasonal epidemics, and most people recover within a week or two without needing medical treatment. However, in young children, the elderly, and people with other serious medical conditions, the infection can lead to serious complications, leading to pneumonia and in some cases, death.

The flu vaccine is a fundamental preventive tool to reduce complications. That is why it has been included in the National Vaccination Calendar for health personnel, pregnant people at any time during pregnancy, postpartum people (until discharge from maternity, maximum 10 days, if they did not receive the vaccine during pregnancy) , the population over 65 years of age, girls and boys from 6 to 24 months of age, and those between 2 and 64 years of age who present risk factors.

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