Influenza Vaccine and Flu Season

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Influenza or The Flu is a serious disease. Each year in the United States, on average: 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu; More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and; About 36,000 people die from flu. So what should be done to fight this terrible disease? What are the symptoms? How should we protect ourselves? What should be known about this disease? The following information gives an in-depth analysis about the flu, where it comes from, who is at risk, and how it can be prevented. Influenza is a moderately sever, highly contagious respiratory infection that affects many people at once. Healthy people can contract the disease and pass it along to others, days before they themselves develop symptoms and up to five days after becoming sick. The virus enters the body and the person may not even know they have the flu until about one to four days after getting it when the symptoms start. This means that someone who is believed to be healthy can pass on the flu to someone else before knowing that they are sick as well. Transmission of the flu is usually through direct contact from person to person, such as by shaking hands. Also when an infected person coughs or sneezes, small droplets are formed and sent into the air, infecting anyone that maybe in its path. There are two main types of the Influenza virus: types and B. Each of which includes several subtypes or strains. This basically means that there are different versions of the virus. Although these strains are different from the original virus, they still contain the main characteristics of the original. Influenza A viruses are divided into subtypes based on two proteins on the surface of the virus: the hemagglutinin (H) and the neuraminidase (N). There are 16 different hemagglutinin subtypes and 9 different neuraminidase subtypes. The type A Influenza virus is usually responsible for the annual outbreaks that occur in the late fall and early winter seasons. While everyone...
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