Bolzano – In the past two years, breathing masks protected us, but the flu is now coming back in full force. Children are especially affected. Although vaccination would help, many families are still reluctant.
A true flu epidemic usually does not occur before Christmas. This year it seems to be different. The fact that we almost never wear a mask when there are crowds of people, such as on city streets or in a supermarket, seems to have an effect.
Those affected suffer from coughs, colds and sore throats. To rule out corona infection, many are getting tested to be on the safe side. But the spread of the virus seems to be relatively stable at the moment.
But even when it comes to flu-like infections, South Tyroleans are still reluctant to get vaccinated. “The medical society has calculated that Lana needs 240 doses. I vaccinated 140 patients. That’s more than half,” said Domenico Bossio, a family doctor in Lana, with satisfaction.
Doctors always recommend vaccination against influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia. Similar to Corona, this especially affects fragile patients, such as the elderly or the chronically ill.
Pediatrician Emanuela Pedevilla confirms that the flu syndrome is especially aggressive in children this time. “Many paediatricians are seeing a sharp increase in visits and consultations,” he explains, according to a report in the Italian daily Alto Adige.
The disease is characterized by a high fever during the first three to four days with peaks of up to 40 degrees. Children also suffer from colds and coughs. According to the ministerial circular, vaccination is recommended for children between the ages of six months and six years.
In kindergartens, nurseries and schools, flu syndromes often multiply. Children also transmit the disease back home to the family, and grandparents can become infected as well. “There are families who are locked up at home for three weeks – a real mini-lockdown,” explains Pedevilla.
Since caring for sick children is not always easy, especially for working parents, higher vaccination coverage would certainly be beneficial. “Many parents are well informed, sensitive to the topic and have their children vaccinated,” explains Pedevilla. Nevertheless, it is necessary to increase vaccination coverage in the coming years, while vaccination is also suitable for children older than six years.