To avoid influenza, you must first protect yourself from misconceptions about this contagious viral infection, which in people everyday in the cold months deprives people not only of their ability to work but also of life. Uga Dumpis, chief infectious disease specialist at the Department of Health, explains the most common myths about flu.
Myth No 1 "For a lack of influenza infection, strong immunity is sufficient"
"Most people are sensitive to influenza viruses, no matter how strong or weak is general immunity." "It is important to have specific immunity against the influenza virus in question after the flu has been removed or after vaccination." If one meets a new type of influenza virus, there is a high risk The disease, when a completely new influenza virus, still called a pandemic, seems to be affecting many more people, "says Dumpis.
"If anyone thinks – I will not be influenced by the flu because I'm taking vitamins and athletes, then she should know – it does not work." Deaths or unhealthy diseases are more affected by specific immunity and human genetic features, and the risk of disease is increased by stress, fatigue, digestive disturbance, unbalanced diet, overheating and cooling. At the same time, the severity of influenza is determined by several factors, including body response.
"There are cases where the body is" too active "to respond to influenza viruses because of strong immunity and inflammatory processes cause more severe symptoms of influenza, which means that the disease is more severe, but in these cases, due to strong immunity, the patient successfully heals, explains Dumpis.
Myth no 2 "The flu vaccine can be harmful to health"
Such a statement has no evidence and can not be scientifically substantiated; on the contrary, studies have proved to be a reliable and effective vaccine. Vaccinations may cause transient reactions – fever, swelling and pain in the stitch site, which lasts up to two days.
As a result, it can be convincingly stated that the vaccine is the safest way to prevent the spread of influenza. "It pays off both by comparing the cost of the vaccine and the cost of treatment, taking into account other personal economic losses associated with the disease, such as sickness law. Every year, people in Latvia who have been able to protect the vaccine die," says Dumpis.
Myth No 3 "Pregnancy Vaccine is Especially Dangerous"
Really the opposite! Pregnant women are at high risk and vaccination is particularly recommended and the state compensates for the cost of buying the flu vaccine by 50% for pregnant women.
"Influenza is especially dangerous for pregnant women because of the high temperature that affects the fetus, which negatively affects the development of the fetus and threatens the benefits of pregnancy. It has been shown that pregnant women can be vaccinated at any time of pregnancy, which does not affect the newborn.
On the contrary, the baby receives the necessary proteins from the vaccinated mother. Doctors who have been treated with a pregnancy-borne illness would never participate in such cases in their practice. It is terrible when a pregnant woman needs a caesarean section because of a flu for resuscitation! "He says Dumps about influenza-induced effects.
Myth no 4 "No sense to vaccinate because it is not known what this year will be a flu virus"
Influenza viruses are very variable, so every year during the preparation of a new influenza season it is investigated which viral variants were the most common in the past season in different regions of the world and what changes occurred in the structure of these viruses. Depending on this, the World Health Organization makes recommendations for the composition of the vaccine for the following periods for the northern and southern hemispheres.
Sometimes, a person who has been vaccinated against influenza can still be infected with influenza, especially if he or she is an elderly person or a person with impaired immunity.
Despite the fact that influenza vaccine does not have to protect itself from illness in all cases, it reduces the need for hospitalization for the patient, complications and deaths associated with influenza, which is the most effective precautionary measure.
Myth not 5 "Influenza can only be infected once a year"
People are more likely to be infected with the most common influenza virus or dominant in a given period and territory. After an influenza attack, one becomes immune to the appropriate influenza virus. Because the flu season lasts from November to May, and during the season, a number of different influenza viruses are spreading, there may be a relapse of influenza, especially in an unvaccinated person, because the vaccinated person is protected against at least three or four most common flu viruses.
Influenza epidemics usually begins in the second half of January, when children return to schools in places where they "swap viruses" and infections are rapidly spreading to other populations.
Myth No 6 "A person is infected after first showing flu symptoms"
No – a virus infected with the virus spreads the virus one day before it begins to feel the symptoms of a disease – fever, bone loss, dry cough, neck pain, weakness and loss of appetite. It should be remembered that the infection is also distributed to healthy people or those who have easy symptoms because they continue to attend educational institutions, work and other public places.
The virus spreads in the form of small droplets, infected whisk, cough and even talking or contact – trembling or touching home objects. Infection can be very easy, for example by touching the door handle and then wiping your nose or mouth with dirty hands. When it enters the airway, the virus quickly collapses and after a few days or even several hours, one suddenly feels ill. In order to reduce the spread of infection, it is often necessary to wash hands, clean rooms and, if possible, avoid visiting public places, especially during an influenza epidemic.
The material was prepared by the Ministry of Health and the Center for Disease Prevention and Control in a campaign to inform the public "Do not let the flu catch!". The aim of the campaign is to encourage vaccination against influenza and raise awareness of the importance of vaccination, especially in those populations where there is a high risk of influenza-related complications.