H1N1, Flu and Pneumonia First Signs and Symptoms and Vaccines
Cold and Flu Season
Cold and Flu season is fast approaching. And with the cold and flu season comes vaccines. Everywhere you go you will hear or see something about being vaccinated, on the news you will hear of complications that caused a death, your doctor will ask if you or your children are vaccinated? It is important to know why these vaccines are recommended , who has the highest risks and if you should receive them.
H3N2 and H1N1
H3N2 strain is hitting hard. The good news is that the flu shot has this strain included. There are three strains of virus in the vaccine: an H1N1 strain and an H3N2 strain of influenza A virus, and an influenza B virus.
Symptoms of H3N2 are very similar to the flu. (see below)
H1N1 and H3N2 Flu: also known as the “Swine Flu” is a variant of influenza. It first became known in 2009 and soon became a worldwide pandemic. It is referred to as the swine flu just because it was found that the same influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs (swine) were also found in this influenza. Many people still believe that pigs started this influenza, but that is a myth as it has no direct connection to pigs.
Flu or Influenza: is a contagious, respiratory illness. It is caused by the influenza virus. The flu is everywhere. It is on surfaces and in the air. These droplets in the air then enter you by nose or mouth and unfortunately, you become infected.
Pneumonia: is an infection of one or both lungs. It is caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. This can be contracted by breathing in small droplets that have the organisms that cause pneumonia in them. These droplets enter the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. One can also obtain pneumonia when bacteria or virus unintentionally enters the lung.
Who Is at Risk For the Flu?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends annual influenza vaccination for the following groups:
- All persons who want to reduce the risk of becoming ill with influenza
- All children from 6 months through 18 years of age
- Anyone 6 months of age and older with certain chronic medical conditions such as: diabetes, asthma, heart disease or a compromised immune system)
- Pregnant women
- People who live with, care for or come into close contact with persons at risk
- People 50 years of age and older
- Health care professionals
- Residents and employees of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities
Is It a Cold or More?
Symptoms of H1N1 and H3N2
The symptoms of H1N1 and H3N2 are very close to the symptoms of the flu.
- Fever over 100` F
- Sore throat
So how do you know when it's the Flu or the Swine Flu? Unfortunately, by looking at you and your symptoms, it is unclear. That is why it is so important to CALL your doctor. And do remember that the virus is very contagious, so if you are experiencing symptoms, stay home and out of public places and wash your hands frequently.
How Do Vaccines Work?
Vaccines are made from the same “germs” that cause the illness or disease. The “germs” in vaccines are either killed or weakened so they won’t make you sick. Vaccines containing these weakened or killed germs are introduced into your body. Your immune system reacts to the vaccine and it makes antibodies. Antibodies destroy the germs. Therefore, your body now knows how to destroy the invading germs. The antibodies stay in your body, giving you immunity. The antibodies protect you.
With Vaccines, your body doesn’t need to experience the sickness to build a tolerance. The vaccine does that for you.
The influenza outbreaks usually start with our children. Unfortunate but true. Our children pass it to each other and eventually to the adults and so on. Vaccination of our children are vital to control the spread.
The influenza vaccine is effective only for the current season, so it is important to get vaccinated every year.
The Influenza vaccination is safe and effective method of protecting you and the ones you love.