インフル猛威 こまめな手洗いで感染予防を

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prevent flu by washing hands frequently, avoiding crowded places
インフル猛威 こまめな手洗いで感染予防を

Influenza is raging through the nation.

The average number of flu patients at regularly surveyed medical institutions rose to 33.28 in the reporting week from Jan. 5 to Jan. 11, topping the alert level of 30 per institute. The average number exceeded the alert level three weeks earlier than last winter.

The epidemic may spread further and the number of flu patients may exceed that of a regular year. We should take thorough preventive measures.

A flu virus is transmitted from person to person by droplets from coughing or sneezing. It multiplies in the throat and the lungs, and flu symptoms appear following a latency period of about two days. Unlike a common cold, a flu patient may abruptly run a high fever of over 38 C and suffer such symptoms as a headache and overall muscle pain.

Day-to-day precautions are most important in warding off infection.

These steps include avoiding crowded places and frequent hand-washing. We can also build up our resistance by getting enough sleep and paying attention to what we eat. A humidifier will also help us keep the mucus in our respiratory tract moist, which helps maintain our defenses.

Immunization will prevent the flu from becoming severe, the effect lasting about half a year. However, it cannot completely prevent a person from becoming infected and developing flu symptoms. We must not be overconfident.

Of the viruses detected in the patients this season, most were the type-A Hong Kong strain (H3N2). So far no virus has been found in this strain that would be resistant to an anti-influenza drug.

It is best to see a doctor immediately after experiencing such symptoms as chills. By taking prescribed drugs and getting a lot of rest, flu patients usually get well within a few days.

Elderly people and those with chronic diseases particularly need to take precautions against the flu.

Kids need special attention

The type-A Hong Kong strain has a relatively high probability of causing patients to also develop pneumonia through a bacterial infection. Special attention is also needed so that children do not develop brain disorders from this type of flu.

If a child shows signs of gasping or convulsions, it is vital to take them to the hospital immediately.

Pneumococcal vaccine is said to be effective in preventing pneumonia. Since last year, the government has been subsidizing part of the vaccination expenses for those aged 65 or older.

As many of the people who died as a result of the flu were found to have also developed pneumonia, elderly people should be encouraged to get vaccinated.

Group infections at such places as nursing care facilities have occurred this season, too, resulting in the deaths of some elderly people. They are believed to have been infected with the flu by visitors or employees at the facilities. These facilities may need to take such measures as limiting the number of visitors during an epidemic period.

Since early this year, there has been a marked increase in the number of those flu patients in their 20s to 40s, people in the prime of their working life. In the case of adult patients, they are believed to emit the virus for about five days after their symptoms appear, making it highly advisable for them to refrain from going out during this period.

Even if people may have to go out to work, they must not force themselves to do so. Such actions are likely to spread the infection.

For flu patients to get a good rest at home, it is vital for workplaces to show their understanding of employees’ physical conditions.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 19, 2015)

srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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