MILAN – The big chill is here and, like every year, Italians are ready to combat drops in temperature by zipping up their jackets and pulling the duvet right up to their necks. Flu is round the corner and almost 100,000 Italians have already come down with it. This was revealed by the Influnet network, which is coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS - Italian Institute of Health) in partnership with Genova’s Inter-University Centre for Influenza Research (CIRI-IT) and with the support of the Ministry for Health.
Children are most affected
Following the hottest summer on record, we are still dealing with a mixture of sunny daytimes and damp and decidedly cooler evenings that can be the final blow. According to the first figures for November, it is children who are the most affected, specifically those under the age of 4, with more than 2.24 cases of flu per 1000 recorded. It is expected that the peak of the flu season will come in January, with 1 million cases of the estimated 5 million people affected in total over the course of the whole season. According to Influnet, during the 44th week of 2015 the total incidence rate was 0.70 cases per 1000. As usual, the highest rate is within the 0-4 age range, with 2.24 cases per 1000 recorded. Virus activity is at a basic level and the incidence rate is below the threshold for an epidemic in all regions. However, figures are steadily rising, with the number of estimated cases increasing from 23,600 in the first week of monitoring to 42,300 in the last week of monitoring.
Natural flu remedies
What are the natural methods for fighting the seasonal flu virus, without having to resort to the traditional medicines or vaccine? A good way to avoid coming into contact with the virus is definitely to wash your hands regularly: after taking public transportation, touching tap handles and shaking hands with other people. You should also always keep the air clean by regularly airing out the spaces in which you spend time, drink lots of water, avoid fluctuations in temperature, drink herbal teas and hot teas regularly and, finally, take small amounts of propolis, a natural remedy for inflammation and flu, on a regular basis. During the coldest months of the year, your diet must provide water, salts, carbohydrates and protein, in particular. Load up on vitamins and minerals with apples, citrus fruits and kiwi fruit. Cold-induced illnesses deplete the vitamins and minerals found in fruit juice or kiwi and apple smoothies, which help to replace lost fluids and provide vitamin C.
by editorial staff