Influenza, Pregliasco: “We are halfway through the epidemic, we will reach 15 million cases”

“Peak passed but viruses will keep us company until at least mid-February”

The peak of the flu has passed” in the last week of 2023, “but flu season is far from over. Viruses will keep us company until at least mid-February“. And if so far flu-like syndromes have affected over 6.7 million Italians, of which over 1 million from 1 to 7 January 2024, before ‘archiving’ what many have defined as “the worst flu of the last 15 years” we will have to expect “more or less as many infections as those recorded so far”. On balance, therefore, “we will reach a total of 14-15 million cases“. Thus Fabrizio Pregliasco, virologist at the State University of Milan and medical director of the Irccs Galeazzi-Sant’Ambrogio hospital in the Lombardy capital, takes stock of the future trend of the flu epidemic and other respiratory infections for Adnkronos Salute , after yesterday the RespiVirNet bulletin of the Higher Institute of Health put in black and white the fact that the peak incidence has been overcome.

“The significant reduction in the incidence in the younger age group, which is the one that contributes mostly to the number of flu-like cases in absolute terms – confirms Pregliasco – makes us think, barring any delays in reporting, that actually the peak has been reached. However, we must consider that the epidemic draws a ‘bell-shaped’ curve, so in fact when we are at the peak we are only halfway done and therefore we will have a curve that will go down, but with a quantity of cases however high in the near future.” In short, “it’s not over”, warns the expert, and the recommendation for vaccination is “right, albeit late”.