“Many world are not aware that the flu is much more serious 보다 a typical cold,” states Dr Téa E. Collins, clinical Advisor to the civilization Medical association on worldwide health issues and member of the Influenza Hub editorial board.

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“If you’re an older person, in particular, the flu could impact you badly – however it can be prevented. We’re in the 21st century now, and we no longer have the flu pandemics the took so many lives in the 19th and also 20th centuries. Yet, civilization still acquire the flu since they don’t know exactly how to avoid it.”

Practice the an easy hygiene habits that will help you to safeguard yourself from the flu – particularly during the flu season.

Preventing is key

Before us look at some simple steps you deserve to take to assist prevent yourself from catching the flu, let’s explore why avoidance is so important, especially when we’re no as young as we used to be. After ~ all, the flu isn’t something us just record once in our life time – or also once a year.

We need to take measures to safeguard ourselves every flu season, throughout the season, together Dr Collins explains: “We obtain the flu multiple time – not just every year however throughout the year. There are various strains of the virus, and also we never ever know exactly how each strain will mutate and what will be circulating every season.”

The flu changes constantly

Let’s take a closer look at what Dr Collins means when she states there are multiple strains of the flu and also that this strains mutate

There are three types of flu viruses: types A, B, and C (1). Kind A viruses are separated into two various subtypes (2) and then the A subtypes and B viruses are divided into various strains. Form A and also B flu viruses cause outbreaks and also epidemics in humans (2).

There’s a mix of different flu virus strains circulating among humans (3). These various strains have the right to each spontaneously mutate, which method there’s a gradual adjust in the flu viruses circulating over the course of the flu season and from one season come the following (3).

These alters fool ours immune system (4). Remember how we defined in an earlier post that our immune device remembers a flu virus that has previously attacked it and can answer immediately? as soon as a mutated flu virus tries to epidemic us, our defence mechanism doesn’t recognise it and also so can not respond with such haste.

You might be more at risk

So, we’ve watched how and also why various strains that the flu virus exist at any one time, and also that these various strains space continually changing. The severity of the flu differs in between strains and also depends not just on the virus chin but also on a host of other factors – consisting of the infected person (3).

While serious flu and also complications deserve to potentially occur in anyone, hospitalisations are an ext common if you are of pensionable age (3). You have actually a better risk of emerging severe complications, such as pneumonia, since your immune solution may also be less effective – especially if you have an underlying an illness that reduces her resistance come infection.

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Preventing the flu

Dr Collins reveals some straightforward steps you can take to assist you avoid catching the different strains that the ever-changing flu virus: “We need to prevent the flu because treating the flu is almost impossible,” she explains. “Prevention includes typical hygiene practices and also vaccine schedules; basic things choose hand washing, covering our mouths and cleaning the door knobs – and making certain you go and also seek aid if you have a heat that persists.”

If you room of pensionable, the flu could affect you badly. The much more than just a typical cold. Practice the an easy hygiene actions that will assist you to protect yourself native the flu – an especially during the flu season.

Sources:(1) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/(2) http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/communicable-diseases/influenza/data-and-statistics/virology-of-human-influenza(3) https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/seasonal-influenza/facts/factsheet(4) https://wiki.ecdc.europa.eu/fem/w/wiki/how-pathogens-try-to-trick-our-defenses