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How the Flu is Killing So Many People

February 02
13:43 2018

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A week ago, we shared what to do if you suspect that you have the flu. The best recommendation is to see your doctor as soon as possible or if it gets too bad too quickly, go directly to the emergency room of your nearest hospital.

Health experts are reporting that this flu season is already the worst in over a decade. The number of hospitalizations has already skyrocketed as are the number of reported cases. It has reached the epidemic stage in every state except Hawaii. The number of deaths attributed to the flu this season have already exceeded what has been seen in recent years. Over 30 children have died from the flu, some of whom were healthy before contracting the flu. The flu is not discriminatory as a number of adults have also died from the virulent strains, and like some children, some of the adult victims were healthy and fit but died within days of showing symptoms.

One of the problems is that flu vaccine is reported to only be about 10% to 30% effective in fighting this year’s strains. That’s because it takes nearly a year to develop each vaccine and mass produce it, so health officials have to guess which strain to select and then to make the vaccine. During that time, other strains can rise up, as they have this flu season and then the strain they did chose may have mutated enough to make the vaccine, rendering the vaccine less effective. This year’s vaccine actually does cover several strains, it doesn’t cover them all nor does it cover some of the more virulent mutations of the various strains.

So, the big question being asked is how does the flu kill and kill so quickly?

Health experts say the flu can kill several different ways.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a Senior Scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore says that one of the ways the flu kills this year is that in invades the lungs and causes severe inflammation. The inflammation becomes too overwhelming in the lungs, the lungs cannot absorb enough oxygen and the person dies of respiratory failure.

Another cause of death by the flu is an indirect one. The flu can weaken a person enough to make them more susceptible to other health conditions or illnesses. A number of people that have died from the flu this season died from pneumonia which turned out to be caused by a secondary bacterial infection. Bacterial pneumonia with the flu is considered to be very serious and everyone that suspects they may have pneumonia with flu needs to go to the nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible.

Some cases of death from flu have resulted from multiple organ failure. The organs begin shutting down due to the viral infection that spreads through the body.

Another form of death by the flu is when it causes inflammation of the brain, heart of muscle tissues. This leads to a body-wide inflammatory response known as sepsis, which is a life-threatening condition.

There have also been a few reports of people with the flu dying of sudden heart failure.

The predominant strain of the flu circulating this year is H3N2 and it tends to produce more severe symptoms than most of the other strains.

This year’s flu is nothing to sneeze at and no matter how healthy you or your loved one is, immediate medical treatment is warranted.

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