To avoid influenza, you must first protect yourself from misconceptions about this contagious infection of the virus, which every day in people in the cold months deprives people not only of their ability to work, but also of their ability to work. life. Uga Dumpis, chief infectious disease specialist at the Ministry of Health, explains the most common myths about influenza.
Myth No 1 "In order not to become infected with a flu, strong immunity is sufficient"
"Most people are susceptible to influenza virus, no matter how strong or weak the overall immunity is." "It is important to have specific immunity against the influenza virus in question after the outbreak of influenza or after vaccination." If a person meets a new type of influenza virus, there is a high risk of developing a disease. The years when a new influenza virus, still called a pandemic, seems to affect many more people, "says Dumpis.
"If anyone believes – I will not get flu, because I'm taking vitamins and an athlete, then she should know – it does not work." Non-immature deaths or disorders are more affected by specific immunity and human genetic features, and the risk of disease is increased by stress, fatigue, indigestion, unbalanced diet, overheating and cooling. In turn, the severity of influenza is determined by several factors, including the body's response.
"There are cases where, because of strong immunity, the body is" too active "to respond to influenza viruses and inflammatory processes produce more pronounced symptoms of influenza, which means that the disease is more severe. cases, due to strong immunity, the patient heals successfully, "explains Dumpis.
Myth No 2 "The flu vaccine may 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. Vaccination can cause transient reactions – fever, swelling and pain at the site of a suture lasting up to two days.
Consequently, it can be convincingly conveyed that the vaccine is the safest way to prevent the spread of influenza. "It is paid both by comparing the price of the vaccine with the cost of treatment and by taking into account other personal economic losses associated with the illness, such as the use of a sick leave page. Every year, people die in Latvia who have managed to protect vaccine, "says Dumpis.
Myth no 3 "The pregnant influenza vaccine is particularly dangerous"
Absolutely the opposite! Pregnant women are at high risk and vaccination is specifically recommended for them, and the state compensates for the cost of acquiring a flu shot by 50% for pregnant women.
"Influenza is particularly dangerous for pregnant women because of the high temperature that affects the fetus, which adversely affects the development of the fetus and jeopardizes the benefits of pregnancy. It has been shown that pregnant women can be vaccinated during any pregnancy and this does not affect negative way the newborn.
On the contrary, the baby receives the necessary protein from the vaccinated mother. Doctors who have been treated with a department for the resuscitation of a pregnant woman infected with influenza would not want to re-establish such cases in their practice. It's terrible if a pregnant woman needs a caesarean because of a flu shot! "Says Dumps about influenza-induced effects.
The myth does not "It does not make sense to be vaccinated because it is not known what a flu virus will be this year"
Influenza viruses are very variable, therefore, every year in preparation for the new flu season it is examined which viral variants were the most common in the previous season in different regions of the world and what changes occurred in the structure of these viruses. Accordingly, the World Health Organization makes recommendations for the vaccine composition for the next season for Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Sometimes a person who has been vaccinated against influenza can still be infected with influenza, especially if he is an elderly person or a person with immunity.
Despite the fact that the flu vaccine can not protect against illness, it in all cases reduces the need for hospitalization for a patient, with flu-related complications and deaths, and this is the most effective preventive measure.
Myth no 5 "Influence can be infected only once a year"
People are more susceptible to being infected with the most commonly encountered or dominant influenza virus in the period and territory concerned. Following a flu vaccine, a person becomes immune to the relevant influenza virus. Since the influenza season lasts between November and May, and during the season a range of different influenza viruses have spread, there may be a recurrence of influenza, especially for an unvaccinated person, since the vaccinated person is at least protected 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 "change viruses" after holidays and infection spreads rapidly to other populations.
Myth No 6 "A person becomes infectious after first showing flu symptoms"
No – a person infected with the flu spreads the virus the day before he begins to feel the signs of fever – fever, bone loss, dry cough, sore throat, weakness and loss of appetite. It should be noted that the infection is also distributed to apparently healthy people or those with mild symptoms as they continue to attend educational institutions, workplaces and other public places.
The virus spreads like small droplets, infected crunching, coughing and even speaking, or by contact – shaking or touching household objects. The infection can be very mild, for example, by touching the door handle and rubbing the nose or mouth with the unclean hands. When it reaches the airway, the virus breaks fast, and after a few days or even a few hours, a person suddenly feels bad. To reduce the spread of infection, it is often necessary to wash your hands, clean rooms 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 Center for Disease Prevention and Control in the public awareness campaign "Do not allow the flu to catch!". The purpose of the campaign is to encourage people to vaccinate against influenza and to increase the awareness of the importance of vaccination, especially in those populations at high risk of influenza-related complications.