December is the month of Christmas, snow and the rough winter wind! New studies suggest that up to 6,50,000 deaths occur annually because of respiratory diseases from seasonal influenza which might be the new pandemic.
Most of these deaths occur among people aged 75 years and above in the world’s poorest regions. Countries worldwide must strive hard to control influenza outbreaks before it turns into a pandemic, irrespective of the country being rich or poor. For this to happen, the countries must be equipped to detect, respond to outbreaks and improvise health systems to work for the betterment of the most vulnerable individuals.
Most number of deaths (due to influenza-related lower respiratory tract infections) of children aged under five years occur in developing countries. Effects of seasonal influenza epidemics in the world’s poorest countries are not yet known fully.
WHO recommends countries to prioritize influenza prevention and advises citizens to get their annual influenza vaccination done to avoid any complications from influenza infection. This vaccination is of utmost concern in the case of health workers and individuals at a greater risk of serious influenza complications and death.
Influenza Virus Infection
The influenza virus affects the nose, throat and lungs too causing mild to severe illness and can result in death rarely. Fever, sore throat, runny nose, muscle or body ache, fatigue and headache are some of the signs and symptoms of flu. Complications include ear infection, pneumonia, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as asthma, heart failure and diabetes. Read more on chronic medical conditions at www.firsteatright.com.
Seasonal influenza is nothing but an acute virus that can spread from one person to another, thereby affecting the entire world. While most infections don’t require any medical attention and the person recovers within a week, some diseases related to seasonal influenza virus that can cause death include pneumonia and bronchitis.
Treatment mostly involves antiviral drugs that can cure the illness.
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