To avoid flu, you must first protect yourself from this misunderstanding of infectious viral infections, which in humans every day in the cold months prevents people from not only their ability to work, but even life. Uga Dumpis, Head of the Infectious Disease Specialist at the Ministry of Health, explains the most common myths about flu.
Myth is not 1 "In order not to get infected with flu, strong immunity is enough"
"Most people are susceptible to influenza viruses no matter how strong or weak general immunity is. It is important to have special immunity to the influenza virus in question after a flu shot has been removed or after vaccination. If someone discovers a new type of influenza virus, there is a high risk of disease. "a year when a new flu virus, still called a pandemic, seems to affect more people," Dumpis said.
"If someone thinks – I'm not going to get the flu, because I take vitamins and a sportsman, then he must know – it doesn't work." Death or immature disease is more affected by specific immunity and human genetic characteristics, and the risk of disease increases due to stress, fatigue, indigestion, imbalanced diets, overheating and cooling. In turn, the severity of the flu is determined by several factors, including the body's response.
"There are cases where, because of strong immunity, these organisms are" too active "to respond to the influenza virus and the inflammatory process produces more obvious flu symptoms, which means that the disease is more severe. But usually in this case, thanks to strong immunity, the patient managed to heal, "explained Dumpis.
Myth is not 2 "Influenza vaccine can be harmful to health"
Such statements have no evidence and cannot be scientifically proven, on the contrary, research has proven to be a reliable and effective vaccine. Vaccination can cause transient reactions – fever, swelling and pain in the puncture site that lasts up to two days.
As a result, it can be said convincingly that vaccines are the safest way to prevent the spread of influenza. "Paying well by comparing vaccine prices with medical expenses and taking into account other personal economic losses associated with the disease, such as the use of sick leave pages. Every year people die in Latvia who are able to protect vaccines," Dumpis said.
Myth no 3 "Pregnant flu vaccine is very dangerous"
Absolutely the opposite! Pregnant women are at high risk, and vaccination is highly recommended for them, and the state compensates for the cost of purchasing a 50% influenza vaccine for pregnant women.
"Influenza is very dangerous for pregnant women because of the high temperature that affects the fetus, affects fetal development and endangers the benefits of pregnancy. It has been proven that pregnant women can be vaccinated during each pregnancy period and this does not affect newborns.
Conversely, babies receive the protein needed from vaccinated mothers. Doctors who have been treated with the rehabilitation department of pregnant women infected with influenza will never want to rediscover such cases in their practice. It's terrible if a pregnant woman needs a caesarean section because of flu due to reanimation! "Says Dumpis from the effects caused by flu.
Myth is not 4 "It makes no sense to get vaccinated, because there is no known flu virus that will happen this year"
Influenza viruses vary widely, therefore every year, in preparation for the new flu season, viral variants are examined which are the most common in the previous season in various regions of the world and what changes occur in the structure of this virus. Depending on this, the World Health Organization makes recommendations for the composition of vaccines for the following season for the northern and southern hemispheres, respectively.
Sometimes someone who has been vaccinated against influenza may still be infected with the flu, especially if it is an elderly person or someone with impaired immunity.
Despite the fact that the flu vaccine cannot protect itself from disease in all cases, it reduces the need for hospitalization for patients, with flu-related complications and death, and this is the most effective preventative measure.
Myth is not 5 "Influenza can only be infected once a year"
People are more likely to be infected with influenza viruses that appear most often, or are dominant in the period and region in question. After a flu attack, a person becomes immune to the relevant influenza virus. Given that flu season runs from November to May and during the seasons a number of different influenza viruses spread, there may be a recurrence of flu, especially for unvaccinated humans, because vaccinated people are protected from at least three or four of the most common influenza viruses.
As a rule, the flu epidemic starts in the second half of January, when children return to school in places where they "exchange viruses" after the holidays, and infections spread rapidly to other populations.
Myth is not 6 "Someone becomes an infection after he first manifests the flu"
No – people infected with influenza spread the virus one day before he began to feel signs of illness – fever, bone loss, dry cough, neck pain, weakness and loss of appetite. Keep in mind that infections are also distributed to people who appear healthy or those who have easy symptoms because they continue to attend educational institutions, workplaces and other public places.
Viruses spread in the form of small droplets, infected screaming, coughing and even talking, or by contact – shaking or touching household items. Infection can be very easy, for example by touching the door handle and then rubbing your nose or mouth with your unclean hand. When it reaches the airways, the virus breaks up quickly, and after a few days or even a few hours, someone suddenly feels sick. To reduce the spread of infection, it is often necessary to wash hands, clean the room and, as far as possible, avoid visiting public places, especially during the flu epidemic.
The material was prepared by the Ministry of Health and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control in a public awareness campaign "Don't let the flu catch yourself!". The aim of this campaign is to encourage flu vaccination from the population and to increase awareness of the importance of vaccination, especially in populations at high risk of influenza-related complications.