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Just How serious is the flu?
The guy sitting across you on the plane is coughing and sniffling. Next thing you know, you’re stuck in your hotel room, laid up in bed, no thanks to that awful achy-feverish feeling; in other words, you’ve caught the flu, instead of the beautiful sights of your dream holiday. A flu – or influenza to give it its official name – can ruin travel plans, causing you to have a miserable holiday. But that’s not the worst most of it. If you have asthma (even mild or controlled), flu can also have more deadly consequences.
More than just a cold
Even in people who are otherwise healthy, flu is a serious illness that can cause hospitalizations even death. Young children and the elderly and even death. Young children and the elderly are especially at risk for complications from flu : each year about 20,000 children younger than five years old are hospitalized for flu complications like pneumonia, while adults 65 years old and over are a high-risk Group as their immune defences become weaker with age and they may be more likely to have chronic medical conditions that put them at higher risk of severe influenza illness.
Just how serious is flu? Let us compare it with ebola, another viral disease : As of January 2016, there were over 28,000 ebola cases and more than 11,000 deaths reported worldwide. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S estimates that every year, about 5% – 15% of the global population become infected, with 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness and 250, 00 to 500,000 deaths.
Before we find out how we can protect ourselves from the disease, we have to know what exactly the virus is and how it spread…to be continued.
References : 1. CDC. Influenza (FLU) . People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complication. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm. Last accessed march 2017. 2. CDC. The Flu : A guide For Parents, Available at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freresources/updated/fluguideforparents.pdf. Last accessed March 2017. 3. CDC. Influenza (FLU). What should you know and Do this Flu season if you are 65 years and Older. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/ disease /65over.htm.