Winter virus is back, how do you protect yourself?

“We are seeing an increase in the number of detections among our samples in general practice,” confirms Vincent Enouf, virologist at the Institut Pasteur on RTL. Among the disorders detected: colds, angina, sinusitis or even bronchiolitis. Moreover, on this last virus, four regions, including New Aquitaine, have recently entered the epidemic.

“We capture everything that moves”

However, this increase in cases is not a surprise. “We expected it”, explains “Sud Ouest” Judith Loebmansour, general practitioner in Normandy and author of the book “Adventures and misadventures of a country doctor, a life of dreams”. And with good reason, for two years people were masked, therefore more protected. Now that this is no longer the case, “we defend ourselves less well, we are no longer used to viruses and we catch everything that moves”, notes the practitioner.

According to her, the infections are mainly viral. The specialist recommends that those concerned do not hesitate to consult. “Not for a little cold of course, but in the midst of these viruses you can have rhinosinusitis, catch pneumonia or even scarlet fever, a bacterial angina which requires an antibiotic”, she lists.

Regarding the flu: “I don’t think we’re there yet, the doctor notes, but we think they’re coming sooner because people haven’t had it in recent years, that’s a plausible hypothesis”.

Moreover, while the cases of Covid-19 are again increasing in France, it is difficult to tell the difference between these other winter viruses. According to Judith Loebmansour, there is only one way to be fixed: the PCR test. She also encourages preferring these tests over antigenic tests, which are less reliable.

How to protect yourself?

To limit the risk of getting sick, there is valuable advice that the general practitioner insists on: Limit stress and nervousness. Not necessarily obvious in the current context. “It’s true that when you see everything that’s going on in the world, it’s harmful, it creates an unbearable atmosphere. People are very stressed, angry. But it’s well known, stress is bad for your health, so we stay zen”.

She especially praises the benefits of sport: “it makes you sweat, it removes toxins. Don’t hesitate to go outside, get some fresh air”. And a balanced diet: “We hydrate well and we eat fruit and vegetables that are nothing better”. She also advises women, children and fragile people to fill up on vitamin D with its many virtues.

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