winter flu outbreak


Since the change of seasons this winter, respiratory infections in children have been a topic of concern to parents. Just recently, media reports showed that pediatric hospitals in many places are overcrowded, and the peak preparation for pediatric diagnosis and treatment has once again attracted public attention.

Recently, Wang Dayan, director of the National Influenza Center of the Institute of Viral Disease Prevention and Control of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, mentioned in an interview with CCTV: The overall influenza activity in my country is currently at a medium to low level, but it is on an upward trend. Surveillance data released by the National Influenza Center also show that influenza activity continues to rise in northern provinces this week.

Taking Beijing as an example, Beijing has entered the season of high incidence of respiratory infectious diseases, with multiple pathogens co-prevalent. At present, influenza is in an epidemic period, and the number of cases is rising rapidly. The Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention reminded citizens on November 21 to take personal protection, actively get vaccinated, and build a good immune barrier.

On November 21, a Poster News reporter visited the Children's Hospital Affiliated to the Capital Institute of Pediatrics and learned from the hospital's consultation desk that the Capital Institute of Pediatrics currently does not support offline appointment bookings, and the number of appointments this week is very tight. A sign indicating the day's medical information was set up at the guidance desk. The sign showed that the waiting list for the comprehensive internal medicine clinic was full on the morning of November 21, and 628 people were waiting for treatment in the emergency internal medicine department.

According to Tianjin Broadcasting News. Due to the recent high incidence of respiratory diseases, the total number of patients treated by Tianjin Children's Hospital/Tianjin University Children's Hospital in 24 hours is as high as 13,000, but there are only 447 internal medicine doctors on duty. There are even cases where nurses faint from overwork.

In fact, the high incidence of respiratory diseases this round is not without warning. A week ago, on November 13, the National Health Commission held a press conference to introduce the prevention and control of respiratory diseases in winter. Mi Feng, spokesperson of the National Health Commission, introduced at the meeting that as winter begins in various places, respiratory diseases have entered the epidemic. In the peak season, various respiratory diseases are intertwined and superimposed.

Surveillance data released by the National Influenza Center show that influenza activity continues to rise in northern provinces this week. In the 45th week (as of November 12), the proportion of influenza-like cases (ILI%) reported by sentinel hospitals in northern provinces was 5.0%, which was higher than the level of the previous week (4.6%) and higher than the same period from 2020 to 2022. (2.5%, 2.7% and 2.1%. Mainly subtype A (H3N2) and co-prevalent with subtype B (Victoria).

In addition to influenza, multiple pathogens often circulate simultaneously in autumn and winter. Recently, in response to the high incidence of respiratory infections in children, disease control departments in Beijing, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Hainan and other places have also issued reminders. In this case, children are more likely to cause respiratory infections after exposure to pathogens due to their unique respiratory anatomy, physiological characteristics, and immature immune systems. In addition, the crowd density in schools and kindergartens is high, and pathogens spread quickly; the incubation period of mycoplasma infection is long (usually 1-4 weeks), and there are more opportunities for cross-infection, which is also the reason why this round of respiratory infections is high among children.

In addition to the hotly discussed Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection, influenza viruses, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, etc. have also appeared one after another in the increase in patients with respiratory diseases this round. This is consistent with past fashion trends. At this stage, the more popular pathogens are mainly Mycoplasma pneumoniae, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, etc. These respiratory infections generally present symptoms of cough, sputum, runny nose, fever, and general fatigue.

When multiple pathogenic sources coexist, preventing mixed infections is the key at the moment. At present, there are many mycoplasma and bacterial infections, especially in pneumonia patients in the ward. Mixed infections often cause certain damage to the immune function, and the impact on the lungs will be greater. Generally, the infection will be deeper, the symptoms will be aggravated, the dosage of medication will be large, the course of the disease will be long, and the treatment will be more difficult.

Children, the elderly and people with underlying diseases are susceptible to respiratory diseases and are also more susceptible to mixed infections with multiple pathogens. In general, influenza vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent influenza. It can effectively reduce the risk of influenza virus infection, hospitalization, severe illness and death in autumn and winter. It is recommended that all people ≥6 months old and without vaccination contraindications actively receive influenza vaccination.

In addition, in daily life, wash hands frequently, open windows for ventilation, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and wear a mask when necessary. During respiratory disease epidemics, try to avoid going to crowded places. Get enough sleep and eat more high-quality protein and foods rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. Maintain good household hygiene and isolate yourself if a family member develops a respiratory infection.

On November 20, in response to the high incidence of respiratory infectious diseases in children in winter, the Beijing Children's Hospital official account published an article to provide medical guidance for parents of children with the disease. The article points out that at this stage, children's infections may be caused by common respiratory pathogens such as influenza viruses, adenoviruses, rhinoviruses, and parainfluenza viruses, which may vary depending on age and cause. When parents treat children with fever or fever accompanied by cough symptoms,

First of all, the age must be distinguished. If a relatively young baby, especially a baby under three months old, has obvious fever, with or without respiratory symptoms, parents are advised to take the child to the doctor in time.

If an older child, even a child over school age, develops high fever accompanied by mild respiratory symptoms but no other systemic manifestations, it is recommended that parents observe at home and use some symptomatic drugs. If the child continues to have a high fever for 3 to 5 days, or is accompanied by obvious worsening of respiratory symptoms, or even other symptoms, it is recommended that parents take the child to see a doctor in time.