Swine flu can cause pneumonia and affect almost every vital system in the body. Its symptoms are very similar to those of COVID-19, but the treatment of these two diseases is different. To accurately determine the cause of the ailment, you need to take tests for all known SARS, experts told Izvestia. On November 18, Rospotrebnadzor warned of the danger of the spread of “swine flu” in Russia. The flu vaccine protects the body by 90%, but you need to be immunized as soon as possible – the virus epidemic has already begun in the southern hemisphere and may reach our country by December.
old new virus
In Russia, the epidemic process for influenza, SARS and COVID-19 has intensified. In particular, the activity of the A (H1N1) virus, better known as swine flu, is on the rise. This was stated in Rospotrebnadzor.
The virus that caused the pandemic in 2009 is still circulatingsaid Natalia Pshenichnaya, deputy director for clinical and analytical work of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor, in an interview with Izvestia.
Photo: RIA Novosti / Alexei Sukhorukov
— It leads to damage to the lower respiratory tract, causing viral pneumonia, like covid. At the same time, the coronavirus is now milder, and cases of viral pneumonia occur less frequently. But with swine flu, this risk is still serious. At the same time, the symptoms of influenza, in particular swine flu, and covid may be similar. But the treatment must be different. That’s why it is extremely important to make the correct diagnosis in timesaid the specialist.
The difference between the symptoms of covid and influenza, including swine flu, is very vague. The flu comes with a high temperature, and COVID-19 is now getting sick more mildly. But in some patients, the opposite picture is observed: with covid, the temperature rises to 39 degrees and severe intoxication, and they tolerate the flu more easily. Other respiratory infections give a similar clinical picture. That is, there are no clear symptoms that could differentiate influenza and COVID-19. In order to make a diagnosis and start the right treatment, laboratory diagnostics is necessary, Natalya Pshenichnaya noted.
— Therapy for flu and covid is different. Therefore, self-medication can be risky. You can treat a completely different disease that requires different drugsshe emphasized.
According to the expert, there are medicines that cope equally well with all acute respiratory viral infections, but they can be prescribed only for mild cases of the disease. If we talk about patients with concomitant diseases, the elderly and young children, then an individual approach and differentiated therapy for influenza and covid is needed. In addition, antiviral drugs work when given in the early days of illness. Therefore, if the flu is treated only on the fourth or fifth day of illness, then the drugs will not have the desired effect.
Inoculation against disease
Earlier, Rospotrebnadzor reported that the variants of A(H3N2) and B strains identified this year differ from those that circulated in the previous epidemiological season. And the “swine flu” strain that showed significant pandemic potential in 2009 still poses a significant threat to human health.
— In the event of complications, almost all vital systems can be affected – the central nervous, respiratory and cardiovascularnoted there.
Under these conditions, influenza vaccination is extremely important, the department emphasized.
According to Natalia Pshenichnaya, This year’s vaccine takes into account all flu strains currently circulating. Including the pig.
– Its efficiency is over 90%. And Now more than ever it is important to get a flu shot. And as soon as possible, because the flu has already begun its march not only across the planet, but also across Russia, and it takes two to three weeks to develop immunity, she stressed.
Photo: Izvestia/Alexey Maishev
Now the flu has become a more unpleasant respiratory disease than covid, because most of the population has a fairly fresh immunity to coronavirus, Andrey Pozdnyakov, infectious disease specialist, chief physician of the clinical diagnostic laboratory of Invitro-Siberia LLC, believes.
— On the example of the southern hemisphere, we already see that the influenza outbreak is quite active, it can even be called an epidemic. Therefore, vaccination, of course, will help. But she has no more than two weeks left, because it takes time for the vaccine to work.he noted.
Usually, the flu comes in late December, but sometimes the outbreak starts earlier, the specialist added.
The main problem of “swine flu” is its high contagiousness., added Maxim Maskin, chief physician of Hemotest LLC. Like any other respiratory virus, it is transmitted by airborne droplets. A contact route of transmission is also possible – in case of contact with contaminated surfaces where fine particles are located. after sneezing and coughing.
Therefore, with symptoms of infection it is necessary to be tested immediately for several of the most common acute respiratory viral infections, influenza A and B viruses and coronavirus.
— It is important to know what kind of virus the patient has contracted in order to choose the right treatment and quarantine measures. It must be understood that the treatment will be different everywhere, the consequences too, – noted the doctor of clinical laboratory diagnostics Anna Safonova.
To prevent swine flu, you need to follow the general rules of protection against respiratory infections.: use masks, avoid crowded places with increased epidemiological tension and get vaccinated on time.