The region hit hard by the flu

HEALTH. For more than a week, the flu virus has been hitting Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec hard, especially young people.

“Usually, influenza targets older people, but right now the virus seems to be particularly affecting younger populations and children. Emergency department visits among the youngest have jumped, especially compared to the same period in previous years,” notes Dr. Caroline Marcoux-Huard, Public Health Physician at the CIUSSS de la Mauriciee-et-du-Centre- of Quebec.

This significant influenza activity, combined with other circulating respiratory viruses, comes at a time when there is a shortage of medicines for children that contain acetaminophen and are normally used to reduce fever. Dr. Marcoux-Huard invites parents to get information from their pharmacist, who can offer them various options.

“You have to be more creative in the way you find resources. On the website You are sick of the CIUSSS (ciusssmcq.ca/conseils-sante/vous-etes-malade/), there are thematic sheets giving advice on how to treat yourself at home. It can also come to guide the parent whose child has a fever and it specifies when to consult, explains Dr. Marcoux-Huard. Pharmacists are also a great help. They can discuss with the parents to find the best solution. It can go so far as to offer a drug for adults with a dosage adapted for children. »

It is also encouraged to call 8-1-1 to be referred to the right resource.

Free flu shot

With the holidays approaching, the Public Health Medical Officer reminds us that vaccination against the flu is a way to protect against influenza. Moreover, the flu vaccination is free for everyone this year.

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“Vaccination is all the more important for people who have a chronic disease or who have asthma, diabetes or who have a disease that weakens their immune system. These people are at greater risk of complications if they contract the flu,” she points out.

In the case of toddlers six months and under who cannot receive the vaccine, it is recommended that people in the same household get vaccinated.

Obviously, Public Health recommends respecting basic hygiene measures and respiratory etiquette, such as coughing into your elbow. For gatherings that will be held during the Holidays, Dr. Marcoux-Huard encourages people to open a window to promote better ventilation, or even to encourage outdoor activities if the weather allows it.

“The idea is not to ban gatherings, but to avoid spreading the flu virus, we could, for example, put a brake on pecks on the cheeks and kisses. We can also keep a small distance of a meter or two with other people, ”she specifies.

Currently, Public Health is noticing a slowdown in the transmission of COVID-19. “We seem to have reached a plateau of infections. Sometimes there is some competition between viruses. COVID-19 has not particularly flared up, as seen in other waves. For now, this is not our main concern,” concludes Dr. Marcoux-Huard.

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