If you ask the first counter person, which, in his opinion, infection kill the most people, the answers are very different. You will surely be called tuberculosis, HIV infection, dysentery, fans of the exotic can remember malaria or dengue fever … and they will all be wrong. And the correct answer is extremely simple: the main killer disease — is flu together with other viral respiratory infections (ARI).
And no wonder — try to remember at least one winter without a flu epidemic. Every year on the planet there are two such epidemics — during the cold season in the northern and southern hemispheres. But the flu is not always a week of high temperature, headaches and muscle aches, cough and general weakness. For the year half a million people, mostly children and the elderly, die from complications of the infection: pneumonia, membranes of the brain or the heart muscle.
Every few years, the spread of flu is becoming a pandemic, covering all continents and blowing millions of lives. The first extant record of an influenza pandemic is dated 1580 year, when the disease from China came through Africa to Europe, greatly reducing its population. Since then there have been dozens of pandemics, the last of which took place in 1968 in Hong Kong. The most famous and devastating "Spanish flu" of 1918-19's claimed, according to modern estimates range from 50 million to 100 million lives, and even made it to the arctic latitudes and the Pacific Islands.
The Latin name of the disease — influenza (influenza, from the Latin influere — To influence, to penetrate, to spread), because of the assumption on the astrological weather or her sources. Russian word "flu" is derived from the French grippe, which means "to grasp."
This state of affairs exists, apparently, for the whole of human history. Flu symptoms are described by Hippocrates 2,400 years ago, he continued his work Pasquier in 1403, and in the thirties and forties of the twentieth century has been installed the viral nature of the disease and a pathogen. And then it became clear why the flu infections in the lead among the sad statistics of mortality.
First, it speaks very highly contagious virus that is its ability to spread easily from person to person. Secondly, virus Influenza is constantly changing its antigenic structure. This means that the viral antigens which are recognized by the human immune system may be even times year change its properties. Because of this immunity acquired during previous epidemics, becomes ineffective.
But in dealing with the flu can be and should be, and the main way to control the infection — vaccination
When it became known viral nature of influenza pathogen was identified, attempts were made to develop an immune prevention. The first success was not long in coming — in 1944, the first vaccine, containing killed virus appeared in the laboratory of Thomas Francis ml. from the University of Michigan.
It would seem that the problem is solved — there to organize mass vaccinations, and victory over the flu provided. But it was not so easy. The vaccine works only against the variety of the virus, which it contains, but just a few years, the type of agent is changing.
To overcome this situation, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts what type of virus will cause an epidemic in the coming years. This information is used by large pharmaceutical companies to develop an effective vaccine.
But it turned out that the variability of the virus — not the only obstacle in the way of mass vaccination. In recent years people are increasingly abandoning her, no matter how illogical it may seem. The main reasons for such failures are:
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- underestimation of the dangers of the disease,
- doubts about the effectiveness of vaccination
- fear of side effects.
With the threat of influenza, we have sorted it out. The effectiveness of modern vaccines, thanks to the work of WHO and pharmaceutical companies is quite sufficient. As for side effects, to some extent the risk of their occurrence is present in the application of the vaccines — as they are biological products, they may develop allergic or other adverse reaction of the body. However, in most cases, side effects occur, or if the medicine contains attenuated live microbes, or killed, but the whole organisms.
Modern vaccines contain only highly purified antigens (agglutinin and neuraminidase), in response to that and develop antibodies. The risk of the use of such vaccines is extremely low, and the effectiveness in protecting against infection has repeatedly confirmed the large international studies.
Therefore, the seasonal (autumn) influenza vaccination officially recommended for all people who do not have contraindications: allergy to chicken protein, and allergic reactions to components of the vaccine in the past.
One of the oldest and most honored companies in the production of vaccines is Kyron, known in the past year, the concern Novartis. Made her preparations belong to the last generation of vaccines and comply with all international standards of efficiency and safety. In addition, since 1999, thanks to the innovative development of Chiron influenza vaccine companies stopped contain preservatives and mercury compounds.
Quality vaccines and the good doctor — that's the most important thing you need for a successful and safe vaccination.
Source: Novartis Vaccines