In the past century there have been 19 different strains of influenza identified.
There’ve been 7 in the past 7 years!
Figures would indicate that the flu is on the rise.
H5N1 ("Bird flu") is out and about again in Japan and South China, and H1N1 ("Swine Flu") has proven deadly in India, prompting concerns that it could also have a substantial impact in Australia as well this season.
And “Man Flu” is definitely a thing.
Recent research carried out at UK’s Durham University found that men do indeed suffer differently to their female counterparts – the area of the brain that regulates temperature: the preoptic nucleus is larger in men than women, which can spike bigger increases in temps and make them feel worse.
Across the Central Coast in the past decade, more men than women have presented at hospital for flu-like symptoms. Sadly, more men have also succumbed to it.
With flu cases already soaring past the same time last year, it’s time to think about getting protection. And according to NSW Health, Influenza A(H3N2) is the one to watch out for so far this season.
There are 4 strains in this year’s vaccine: 2 x Influenza A viruses, and 2 x Influenza B viruses.
Traditionally, children are more easily affected by the ‘B’ strain, but adults – particularly the older ones – are harder hit by the ‘A’ strain of the virus, like H3N2.
Other strains, like H1N1, are still around, and apparently affecting younger adults. There’s also the new H7N9 virus that’s been doing the rounds in our northern neighbours in Asia.
Typical symptoms include:
- Muscle aches and pains
In kids it can also include:
100% coverage is never guaranteed, but if you are in the high risk category, it’s safer to get the shot than not.
Those with pre-existing conditions like heart or lung disease, kidney issues, diabetes, pregnant women and those living with autoimmune diseases, or taking immunosuppressant medication, should have a chat with their GP about getting vaccinated.
Definitely anyone with asthma or respiratory conditions should see their doctor about the shot.
And the old ‘herd mentality’ is the best approach – if those around the high risk group also get the flu shot, the chances of getting the flu are lower.
And to see how to survive Manflu…from a female perspective, check this out [via gohen.com]: