Luxembourg's Ministry of Health has confirmed that, although other viruses have been "doing the rounds" across the Grand Duchy, the first cases of influenza were detected in Luxembourg during the week of 23 December.
The Sentinel system of the LNS identified the virus and has confirmed that 6 cases have been reported in total: 2 cases of AH1 virus, 2 cases of AH3 virus and 2 cases of B virus.
The Health Department estimates that the epidemiological threshold will probably be crossed for seasonal 'flu in Luxembourg in the first half of January. The number of influenza cases and the resulting absenteeism is likely to increase sharply from the second half of January 2020 through to early February.
The 'flu virus is easily spread from person to person through microdroplets and particles secreted by infected people when they cough or sneeze. Influenza tends to spread quickly during seasonal epidemics.
The Ministry has issued a reminder to respect the rules of hygiene in order to avoid the rapid spread of the epidemic:
• wash your hands regularly with soap,
• cough or sneeze in a handkerchief or in the crook of your elbow,
• dispose of your tissue in a waste receptacle can after use,
• avoid contact with sick people, and ventilate rooms regularly.
Seasonal and viral flu is characterised by severe symptoms that suddenly occur, including:
• intense fever (around 39°C);
• intense fatigue;
• body aches (muscle and joint pain);
• sometimes a cough and nasal congestion…
In order to limit the spread of the flu, the Ministry has reiterated its call to residents, and more particularly to people over 65 years of age, pregnant women, people at risk and health professionals, to get further vaccinations before the start of the epidemic season. For the target population at risk, the influenza vaccine is paid for by the National Health Fund. It is still available in pharmacies and available on medical prescription.
The 'flu vaccine remains the best protection to avoid complications from the disease. 15 days after vaccination, the immune system is already ready to defend itself against the influenza virus. Immunity lasts for at least six months.