The flu waves in the country are slowly growing, according to the latest data from health authorities. For the past 50th week (10.12 – 16.12.2018), the total morbidity from influenza and acute respiratory diseases in our country reached 130.63 per 10,000 people, or exactly 4982 cases, compared to 116.68 per 10,000 for the previous 49th week. The samples tested at the National Influenza and Parasite Reference Laboratory at the National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases confirm that two influenza virus strains are currently circulating in the country: A (H1N1) pdm09 and A (H3N2).
A total of 4982 cases of acute contagious diseases in Bulgaria are registered mainly in Silistra, Stara Zagora, Sofia city, Bourgas and Vidin. From the Ministry of Health expect the increase in the incidence of influenza infection with the arrival of Christmas-New Year holidays, pupils’ vacation and the crowding of many people indoors. The forecast is at the end of January and the beginning of February 2019 in some areas to be reached and epidemic values.
“Your flu has typical symptoms – the disease begins abruptly, with severe malaise, no strength, runny nose, cough, headache, muscle aches. The incubation period is about 2-3 days and can last up to one week. Depending on age and general condition, the flu is different. In the vast majority of people, the disease lasts for 5-6 days and they recover without any complications, “explains Professor Mira Kozhuharova, an epidemiologist at Bulgaria ON AIR, adding that the dirty air does not facilitate the spread of viruses, but it helps for a heavier course of the disease, especially for people who have chronic diseases.
Data from the Regional Regional Health Inspection (RHI) also show a slight increase in infectious diseases. In Sofia, 2,302 cases of acute respiratory infections and influenza with morbidity of 173.68% were reported. Of these, 453 are children from 0 to 4 years of age, 475 children from 5 to 14 years of age, 697 of those aged 15-29, 549 of those in the 30-64 age group, and 146 of the 65+ .
Inspectors also counted 260 other respiratory infections – 221 cases of varicella, 38 cases of scarlet fever and 1 case of pertussis and 58 intestinal infections – 46 cases of enterocolitis, 9 cases of rotavirus enteritis, 2 cases of colitis and 1 case of shigelosis. The number of viral hepatitis in the capital is 16-14 cases of viral hepatitis type A and 2 cases of viral hepatitis – undetermined.
The most vulnerable groups of influenza viruses this year are pregnant women, children up to two years, people with chronic illnesses, elderly people over 65, and people of working age who are in contact with many people.
To prevent new or seasonal flu contamination, it is important to avoid contact with sick people and to maintain good personal hygiene. The recommendations of the Ministry of Health are:
- Often washing hands with water and soap;
- Use of disinfecting disposable wipes on a spirit base;
- Closure of the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing;
- Wearing a face mask;
- Avoid rubbing your eyes with dirty hands;
- Frequent ventilation of indoor air;
- Regular disinfection of surfaces in enclosed premises;
- Washing and disinfecting toys for young children.