What Should We Know About the Flu?
Flu is the influenza caused by the flu virus. As we know, the common cold can be prevented by daily good habits. People usually recover very quickly from the common cold, unless you are immunocompromised. But the flu is different. Once it spreads and becomes prevalent, it will be very harmful, lead to an outbreak, from which the whole society might be paralyzed. Compared with common cold, it causes more severe symptoms, sometimes resulting in serious complications, such as bronchitis, even pneumonia, especially in the elderly, patients with chronic disease, and children, which may lead to difficulty breathing or even hypoxia. there is no specific effective antiviral medications. and there is no special effect at present. Another hazard of the flu is to aggravate the original chronic diseases, including heart disease, pneumonia, kidney disease and diabetes, leading to organ failure.
According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza viruses can spread up to about 6 feet (1.83 meters) away from the droplets of coughing, sneezing, or talking. Sometimes the flu spreads by touching the contaminated surface, and then touching the eyes, nose or mouth. The infected person begins to spread the virus one day before symptoms develop, and up to 5 to 7 days after being sick. Children and some people with weakened immune systems may pass the virus for longer than 7 days.
Since the flu virus can spread to the entire population, the general principle of the World Health Organization (WHO) is to encourage everyone to get a flu shot. Flu vaccine is currently the most recognized effective measure to prevent influenza in the world. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine every year, unless otherwise circumstances. Although the flu vaccine does not completely prevent the flu and many people may still get the flu after vaccination, the flu vaccine can reduce the severity of the disease, reduce the mortality rate, and prevent transmission to others. This phenomenon is called “community immunity” or “herd immunity”. When enough people are vaccinated against flu or other certain disease, the flu virus or other germs can’t travel as easily from person to person, and the entire community is less likely to get the disease. Even people who can’t get vaccinated, like those immunocompromised people with cancer, HIV/AIDS, will have some protection from getting sick. and if a person does get sick, there’s less change of an outbreak because it’s harder for the disease to spread. So, the more people are immune to the flu, the fewer people will become ill, and the overall health of the population will increase.
The following is some important information about inactivated flu vaccine from the US CDC:PDF files Website links as below:https://www.cdc.gov/flu/