Surprise! This year, scientists have discovered that only 10 percent of flu-injections are effective because of the fast mutation of the influenza virus, making it one of the worst flu years in history!
The 2017-2018 influenza injection has been manifested to have major issues in efficiency to block the violent bacteria from impacting the body resulting in several Dallas fatalities, questions in how to deal with the issue, and a flu season that will make history.
The influenza virus has presenting symptoms of the body such as body aches, chills/heat flashes, headaches, and fever.
The 2017-2018 flu virus has also been displaying symptoms in the respiratory track such as sinus infections, coughs, migraines, ect., while still presenting the more commonly seen symptoms as those experienced in past years.
“The symptoms are still similar to any other year like body aches and respiratory issues. However, we are seeing a couple of things that are a little different to what we have seen in past years. We are seeing the virus peaking much more early on. This year is possibly worse than others because the less common flu virus H3N2 is the one that has been most commonly seen this year. This virus tends to lead to more severe seasons because this flu mutation is more violent and aggressive,” said Hilary Marston of the National Institutes of Health in Washington D.C..
The symptoms typically present themselves in a rapid manner, typically in a time frame of 2-4 hours.
The flu virus and its symptoms can vary in the amount of time they are present in the human body from 2-3 days to as long as 1-2 weeks. During this time, all the body’s systems are working to obliterate the influenza virus, resulting in a very unpleasant few days.
“The flu in general hits people in the higher risk zones such as children and elderly. In addition, pregnant women and people that have diabetes always tend to do worst from the flu,” said Catherine Paules from the National Institutes of Health.
The influenza virus is most threatening to young children, seniors, and people with medical issues. With your immune systems being old, tired, or new and fragile, you will have a difficult time fighting the virus.
In Dallas County alone, there have been 31 deaths this flu season. In the rest of the country, the number has raised to about 50,000 and counting.
“When an egg is growing during the vaccination process, the egg can mutate which could have happened this year and led to an less effective vaccine,” Said Marston.
There are many factors that contribute to the outcome of an annual flu vaccine’s efficiency such as the chemical makeup of the injection, the distribution rate, and the mutation of the influenza virus.
This year, there was a new quadrivalent flu vaccine released that was thought to be a significant match to this year’s flu virus, H3N2.
However, since an individual year’s flu virus is always different than a past, it is very hard to directly target what each virus will be like. It seems that this year’s injection was a little less direct than anticipated, based on the number of fatalities and hospitalizations.
This year, there have been between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations due to the influenza virus alone, causing several hospitals to be in over capacity.
Some hospitals in Dallas have turned away non-emergency patients due to the room needed for flu patients.
“H3N2 years are typically more severe; last year’s hospitalizations were more spread out over the season and now this years are all happening at once which is why it has been getting a lot more attention,” said Paules.
Doctors have debated several topics regarding this year’s flu season such as what could have been done differently and what is the best way to protect people from the influenza virus.
Doctors have suggested that the best way to prevent yourself from getting the flu virus is to wash your hands; don’t touch your mouth or nose; protect open wounds, and to avoid respiratory connection with others such as coughing, sneezing, ect..
Although this year’s flu vaccination was not as effective as prior years, it is still important to get the flu vaccination just for security.
“Vaccines aren’t perfect, but sometimes the virus really changes in the season and it’s still best to get the flu vaccine just in case. It is also extremely important for you to go to the doctor if you are seeing early signs of the flu, so that you can get an antiviral and not affect the people around you,” said Paules.
The influenza virus has caused fear, pain, and death in many people this year. It is very important for individuals to keep clean and to avoid physical contact with others.
Now that there are three months left of flu season, people can only do their best to stay healthy and hope for a better season next year in addition to a more effective injection.