To avoid influenza, you must first protect yourself against misconceptions about an infectious virus infection that deprives people not only of their ability to work but even their lives every day in the cold months. Uga Dumpis, chief infectious disease specialist at the Ministry of Health, explains the most common myths about influenza.
Myth # 1 "To avoid catching the flu, strong resistance is enough"
"Most people are susceptible to influenza viruses, no matter how strong or weak the general immune system is, it's important to have specific immunity to the flu virus after you have removed the flu vaccine or vaccination. flu virus, there is a high risk of developing the disease.The years when the entire new influenza virus, still called the pandemic, seems to affect many more people, "says Dumpis.
"If someone thinks – I will not be sick with the flu, because I take vitamins and an athlete, it should know – it does not work." Deaths or immature diseases are more affected by the specific immunity and genetic features of humans, and the risk of disease is increased by stress, fatigue, indigestion, unbalanced diet, excessive heating and cooling. In turn, the severity of influenza depends on several factors, including the body's response.
"There are cases where, due to strong immunity, the body is" too active "to respond to influenza viruses, and inflammatory processes cause more pronounced symptoms of influenza, which means that the disease is more severe, but usually in such cases thanks to strong immunity, the patient treats effectively "- explained Dumpis.
Myth No. 2 "Influenza vaccine can be harmful to health"
This statement has no evidence and can not be scientifically validated, on the contrary, research has proven to be a reliable and effective vaccine. Vaccination may cause transient reactions – fever, swelling and pain in the stitching area lasting up to two days.
Consequently, it can be convincingly stated that the vaccine is the safest way to prevent the spread of influenza. "It pays to both by comparing the price of the vaccine with the costs of treatment, and taking into account other personal economic losses associated with the disease, such as the use of sick leave." Every year, people who were able to protect the vaccine die in Latvia, "says Dumpis .
Myth # 3 "A vaccine in a pregnant flu is particularly dangerous"
Absolutely the opposite! Pregnant women are at high risk, and vaccinations are especially recommended for them, and the state compensates for the purchase of an influenza vaccine by 50% for pregnant women.
"Influenza is particularly dangerous for pregnant women because of the high temperature that affects the fetus, adversely affecting fetal development and threatens the benefits of pregnancy." It was shown that pregnant women can be vaccinated at any time during pregnancy, which has no negative effect. for a newborn baby.
On the contrary, the child receives the necessary proteins from the vaccinated mother. Doctors who have been resuscitated during pregnancy pregnant will never want to repeat such cases in their practice. It's awful if a pregnant woman needs an imperial cut due to resuscitation! "Dumpis speaks of influenza-induced effects.
Myth # 4 "It makes no sense to get vaccinated because you do not know what influenza virus will be this year"
Influenza viruses are very variable, which is why each year, in preparation for the new flu season, it is investigated which virus variants were the most common in the previous season in different regions of the world and what changes have occurred in the structure of these viruses. Depending on this, the World Health Organization issues recommendations for the next season's vaccine composition for the northern and southern hemisphere respectively.
Sometimes a person who has been vaccinated against influenza may continue to be infected with influenza, especially if it is an elderly person or an immunocompromised person.
Despite the fact that an influenza vaccine may not protect against disease in all cases, it reduces the need for hospitalization of the patient, with complications and deaths associated with influenza, and this is the most effective preventive measure.
Myth # 5 "Influenza can be infected only once a year"
People are more likely to be infected with the most common influenza virus or predominate in a given period and in a given territory. After an outbreak of flu, a person becomes immune to the appropriate influenza virus. Considering that the flu season lasts from November to May and many influenza viruses spread over the course of the season, influenza may come back, especially in the case of unvaccinated humans, because the vaccinated person is protected from at least three or four of the most common influenza viruses.
As a rule, the flu epidemic begins in the second half of January, when children return to schools in places where they "exchange viruses" after holidays, and the infection spreads rapidly to other populations.
Myth # 6 "A person gets infected when he shows flu symptoms for the first time"
No – a person infected with the flu virus spreads the virus for one day before it starts to feel signs of illness – fever, loss of bones, dry cough, neck pain, weakness and loss of appetite. It should be remembered that the infection is also transmitted to seemingly healthy people or people with easy symptoms because they continue to attend educational facilities, work and other public places.
The virus spreads in the form of small droplets, infected squeak, cough, and even conversation or by contact – shaking or touching household items. The infection can be very easy, for example by touching the door handle and then rubbing the nose or mouth with your unclean hands. Once it reaches the airways, the virus rapidly breaks down, and after a few days or even a few hours it will suddenly feel sick. To reduce the spread of infection, you often have to wash your hands, clean the 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 the public information campaign "Do not let flu get caught!". The aim of the campaign is to encourage influenza vaccination among the population and raise awareness of the importance of vaccinations, especially in those populations that are at high risk of complications related to influenza.