Attention! The Flu is Coming

Attention! The Flu is Coming
Fecha de publicación: 
3 December 2022
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Although it can appear at any time, every year, around this time is when we get the most of those annoying respiratory conditions. They have their differences, but, flu, cold, influenza, cold, whatever you want to call it, depending on its viral load and our response, it can bedridden us for several days.

The good news is always that most people with colds recover without much difficulty after 3-4 days. However, it’s not nonsense. It must be taken into account that a flu can be the window for serious health problems such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or it can also make an existing disease worsen.

It’s a seasonal virus and the symptoms are specific, but they can vary from person to person, the most common are fever, chills, sore throat, and headache, accompanied by muscle aches, fatigue, and the most annoying thing can be cough and nasal congestion.

This looming combination of temperature changes due to cold air, and humidity, favors the proliferation of viruses in the environment that can lodge in our bodies with low defenses and create a little chaos that can get complicated, especially for certain age groups such as young children or elderly, and also for pregnant women or sectors of individuals with chronic conditions such as asthma, and heart, kidney, and liver diseases, among many others that weaken our system.

Once winter has arrived, the appearance of respiratory diseases is almost inevitable. Why at this time? In the cold months we spend more time indoors, where we share air and microbes with others. Also, experts have shown that temperature is an essential factor for the reproduction of viruses, and that, in addition, the human body loses efficiency to fight back external factors due to the weakening of our natural protection against infections.

Let's think about Covid-19, at the time it emerged and how it spread rapidly. Let’s also remember how experts from all over the world had to marathon study such new disease and in record time find solutions.

Also, because the flu is a highly contagious disease and can affect a large number of people in a short time, the scientific community devotes attention to it and constantly creates vaccines, which, although they have not been definitive, improve our response to the disease. The thing is that there are many viruses and they change quickly, so every year they have to make a new drug because immunity doesn't last long.

These days, the work of researchers on a candidate for a universal vaccine with the same messenger RNA technology used with those produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is in the news. Until now, tests carried out on animals by a team from the University of Pennsylvania in the United States show high levels of protection against several virus subtypes at the same time.

The expert explanation is very complicated. The important thing is that given the problem of not knowing which variant will circulate and, due to its mutating capacity, the success of this possible immunization is that they achieved a multiple formulation in the same drug that was first tested separately to ensure its efficacy.

The results of the study are preliminary, but very encouraging and were recently published in the journal Science. In short, it will probably happen like with Covid-19, that protection is achieved against the toughest version of the flu virus: with pandemic potential. However, so far it’s only a preclinical, experimental trial, and to be sure it would have to be tested on volunteers.

Until then, with the experience of Covid-19, in the face of a constipated person or the slightest sign of contagion, it’s best to wear a protective mask to stop the chain, and increase social distance. We’ve proven that it works. We can help ourselves with concoctions, medicines to alleviate symptoms, and vaccines to prevent or mitigate, but the human body will be in charge of getting rid of the virus with the production of specific antibodies.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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