Close to 80 thousand people in the United Statess died of flu in the past winter, a number of larger than deaths from firearms, traffic accidents or overdoses of opioids.
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According to national figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza usually costs the lifespan of 12 thousand people in low seasons, while in the heavier, these numbers can add up 56 thousand dead.
However, American health authorities they had never seen such high numbers like that of last season, reaching its maximum record since this count began in 1976.
What was the cause of the lethality of the earlier virus? And how can you better protect yourself against the dreaded influenza virus?
As you should know, influenza is a respiratory disease that is easily transmitted and much more dangerous than a cold. Symptoms are fever, cough, headache, pain in muscles and joints and stuffy nose.
There are four types of influenza viruses, classified under A, B, C and D, and seasonal influenza is caused by the first two (A and B). Every year, however, generates several outbreaks and last winter saw the return of tension H3N2, a subtype of influenza A also known as the Australian flu.
H3N2 is a very dangerous flu because it is difficult to prevent and can be fatal in vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly. Most of the deaths attributed to influenza last season were caused by this H3 virus.
The H3N2 strain is so deadly that a vaccine can hardly reduce the risk of flu 33%, in contrast to 54% of effectiveness when there is an outbreak of type B influenza, or the 61% in the seasons of the H1N1 virus.
However, doctors recommend that the population should be vaccinated in any case. Although the flu vaccine is not perfect, it is better to be a bit protected than not protected at all. Moreover, they not only help to prevent the disease, they also help you not to spread more people and spread among the vulnerable population.
This winter, specialists estimate that we will see the milder subtypes of influenza. In any case, go to the Family Medical Unit (UMF) that corresponds to you and ask for the vaccine. Do not forget to take the necessary precautions, such as washing your hands regularly, covering your mouth with your forearm if you cough and stay home when you are sick.
With information from Vox.