Australian flu: watch out for symptoms and respiratory complications

The new variant is now close to the “peak”. Dr. Roberto Prota explains what complications it can lead to: pay particular attention to pneumonia

Francesco Palma

Like every winter, it’s time to deal with the flu. In this case, the so-called is holding the court Australian flu, which takes its name from the first country in which it manifested itself. After all, the “classic” symptoms of flu are now well known: fever, sore throat, cough, body aches, but which are the heaviest ones? What can be the complications of the Australian flu?

Australian flu: complications

He explained it to Gazette Active the Doctor Roberto Prota, head of Pneumology at the Mauriziano hospital in Turin: “This year it arrived a little earlier, and we are now close to the peak. Generally the heaviest symptoms can affect the nose, throat, trachea and bronchi, with the risk of sinusitis, otitis, tracheitis and bronchitis. Occasionally, these situations can also lead to pneumonia: this complication can mainly affect children and frail people “.

Doctor, are there any differences between this Australian flu and previous forms of flu?

“In reality, from the point of view of symptoms, they are similar. This variant is a little more contagious, predominantly in children, than other viruses it can be infectious as early as 36-72 hours before symptoms appear and it can last longer, even up to the tenth day a subject can infect someone else. Even the fever can last a little longerappearing quickly and abruptly. For the rest, the infection is transmitted, as we know, via droplets, therefore by air, like all other flu: the perception of the flu forms, to which we were no longer used, has changed above all else”.

What are the main complications of this flu variant?

“Viral pneumonias or bronchiolar forms can be quite challenging, as they can lead to organ suffering sometimes causing the need for respiratory support and therefore hospitalization, with oxygen therapy and – in fortunately rarer cases – the mechanical ventilation. You need to be very careful if you already suffer from other respiratory pathologies, since the influencing form can “undermine” the patient’s balance and lead him to a worsening of gaseous exchanges and in some cases to hospitalization. Because of this vaccination is imperative for those suffering from chronic conditionsnot only respiratory but also cardiovascular. In the last two years we have perceived the presence of flu viruses less, thanks to the masks that have protected us, while this year we are once again exposed to these viral forms”.

What should be done in case of infection?

“As regards the use of drugs, there are antivirals which, however, should only be used in selected cases, just as cortisone should only be taken in case of real need. Usually you need to use antipyretics and anti-inflammatories, while No antibiotics should be taken at all unless bacterial infections occur. As for the power supply, priority to light and warm mealsand above all we must face the dehydration linked to fever, which can last up to 3-4 days. Clearly there is a need to carefully monitor the children, who can develop as mentioned bronchiolar forms that are crowding the pediatric wards of hospitals. As far as adults are concerned, the vaccine remains the best prevention solution, there is no discussion about this ”.

What are the differences between viral pneumonia and that caused by Covid?

“There covid pneumonia evolves through various phases, it is characterized by a first viral form for 4-5 days which is followed by a strongly inflammatory form, called “inflammatory storm”which determines a whole series of radiological lesions. Viral pneumonia is typically interstitialtherefore concerns the scaffolding of the lung, and is not necessarily accompanied by the inflammatory storm that instead characterizes Covid “.

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Australian flu: watch out for symptoms and respiratory complications

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