“We have observed occurrences above expectations”, says secretary

At this time of year, there is an increase in the circulation of viruses that cause acute respiratory infections, especially in children and adolescents. To contain the flu cases in this public, the Secretary of State for Health (Sesa) published this Wednesday (4) the Technical Note No.

“This year we are in a different situation regarding respiratory infections. We have observed a higher than expected number of occurrences. In addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, we had the H3N2 epidemic, with the increase in Influenza cases before the period that normally occurs. Therefore, our care is that respiratory syndromes do not get worse, and for that some care is essential “, warned the state secretary of Health, César Neves.

flu vaccine
Influenza vaccine (Photo: Publicity/AEN)

The Technical Note guides parents and guardians of children and adolescents for prevention and care in common living and hygiene environments, in addition to alerting to the signs of the disease. Prepared by the Health Care and Surveillance team, the document also advises on procedures to be carried out.

Maintain social distance and avoid agglomerations; leave well-ventilated environments, with open windows and doors; keep hands clean by washing or using 70% alcohol gel; frequently sanitize children’s toys; not sharing personal objects (cutlery, towels, plates, cups and bottles); and using masks are among the main guidelines.

“We are working to guide parents and guardians, as well as health professionals throughout the care network, so that they are able to take care of our children and adolescents during this winter period,” said Sesa’s director of Health Care and Surveillance, Maria Goretti David Lopes.

Virus

Sars-CoV-2, Syncytial, Rhinovirus and Influenza are some of the respiratory viruses circulating in the state. According to the Influenza Epidemiological Surveillance Information System (Sivep), more than 1,677 children aged zero to 4 years have been hospitalized from January to April this year with Influenza. The number is 3.6 times higher than that recorded in 2019, which accounted for 467 hospitalizations for children in this age group. In 2020, the number remained the same as in 2019 and, in 2021, it reached 1,218.

Infection

Infections of the upper airways (nose, throat, ears and sinuses) or lower (bronchi and lung – pneumonia and viral bronchiolitis) manifest with symptoms such as nasal discharge, nasal obstruction, cough, wheezing, sore throat, headache, changes in taste and smell, and may or may not have associated fever. There may also be vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Sesa also released Technical Note No. 7/2022 with guidelines to be adopted by health establishments when assisting cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

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