The former surgeon general of the United States, Antonia Coello de Novello, reported that since the influenza season began on the island, 244 cases have been reported, of which 29 patients have been hospitalized.
He highlighted that there are four influenza viruses: two A and two B. He specified that the vast majority of cases are due to influenza B, of patients between the ages of zero to four years and over 65 years.
The towns where more cases of influenza have been registered have been Luquillo, Jayuya, Lajas, Rincón and Cataño.
“Therefore, knowing that these people have conditions such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, fat, cancer, because all these complications multiply and with Covid-19, mortality can rise from 4% – which is normal – to 14 %. Imagine if you have Covid and influenza! “, He warned.
“I am begging the people of Puerto Rico to get vaccinated against influenza. That is why Voces, the National Guard and the Department of Health are carrying out the ‘Flu’ marathon and we are visiting towns on the Island so that the central and bordering towns take advantage of and get vaccinated, ”the doctor told THE SPOKESMAN.
He recalled that the symptoms of influenza and Covid-19 are almost identical, except for the loss of smell and taste. Similar symptoms are fever, shortness of breath, headache and body pain, among others.
“When it is Covid, the symptoms get worse the first week, while with influenza it is one of those things that can give you from one day to the next. That’s why people say ‘I got the vaccine and it gave me the flu’. You could have been infected the day before you got the flu shot. You can have two cases of influenza in the same period of time; when the viruses are in the air, you can get one with influenza A and you can get another with influenza B, “he said.
Coello de Novello recalled that 20% of deaths from Covid-19 are accompanied by influenza.
“In other words, a pandemic and an epidemic have joined us at the same time. Worse still, there are cases in which I have Covid and I have dengue, therefore, there are people who are being affected by multiplicity of viruses and in that sense vaccination becomes more important, “he said.
The community vaccination series began on October 31 in Arecibo. This Saturday the “Flu” marathon will continue in the vicinity of the Pachín Vicéns Auditorium, in Ponce, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Similarly, on December 5 it will be held at the Coliseo Tomás Dones, in Fajardo; on December 6 at the Osvaldo Gil College, in Humacao; on December 12 at the Ángel O. Berríos sports complex in Caguas and will end in San Juan on December 13 at the Pedrín Zorrilla Coliseum.
The vaccination is carried out free of charge.
“People don’t have to get out of vehicles. They can bring their family, ”said Coello de Novello. You will also be vaccinated against hepatitis C.