FLU SHOT: BEST WEAPON AGAINST FLU
The experts pointed out that each patient going to the hospital with high fever lately in Turkey being diagnosed with “swine flu” was a mistake. They said that incidence and prevalence of flu increased starting from the last week of December, and those cases were due to seasonal flu, and the best way to get protected was flu shots.
Prof. Dr. Hakan Abacıoğlu, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, Izmir University of Economics, reminded that the influenza pandemic of 2009 caused many deaths worldwide, and he said, “The increase in flu cases nowadays is due to A (H1N1) pdm09 influenza virus mainly. This is the virus that caused influenza outbreak in 2009. However, it is circulating as a seasonal flu agent at the moment. The elderly, pregnant women, young children, and individuals with chronic diseases are under risk.”
Prof. Dr. Abacıoğlu stated that 82.7% of the cases, reported to World Health Organization from 76 countries between the dates of November 30-December 12, 2015, were caused by A (H1N1) pdm09 influenza virus, and infections caused by this virus should not be associated to swine flu. Prof. Dr. Abacıoğlu said, “World Health Organization states that titles such as bird flu, swine flu are used because they are the viruses that naturally affect those animals. Therefore, when we talk about swine flu, we should think about an influenza virus that infects pigs. What humans experience is a seasonal flu agent.”
‘Flu Shot is the Best Way to Get Protected’
Prof. Dr. Abacıoğlu emphasized that flu shot was the most effective way to get protected from infections caused by influenza viruses and their ill effects. He said that seasonal flu viruses in Turkey were detected in October-May, and the best time to get vaccinated was in October-November time period, however, it would be still beneficial to get vaccinated now for those who did not get vaccinated before. Prof. Dr. Abacıoğlu stated the following:
“Flu season lasts until May, so people can go get vaccinated now. It may take up to 2 weeks for it to show its effects. Not everyone getting a flu shot will have the same reactions. It is not recommended for babies under six months to get vaccinated. Therefore, parents, caregivers of very young children are recommended to get vaccinated, stay away from sick people, and wash their hands frequently. Seasonal flu may cause severe infections in certain age groups which could result in death. Among the risk groups are pregnant women, small children, old people, people with a corrupted immune system, and people with chronic diseases.”
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