Note of the Editor about the Influenza:

The entire country has known recently a period of deep freeze and with it bring the possibility of common cold or influenza.

The virus of influenza is the least respected and when one exhibits fever, body aches, cold symptoms or even a stomach bug, we believe that this is the “Flu”.

Influenza is due to a specific respiratory virus with multiple strains accounting for more than 35000 deaths a year and more than 100000 admissions in our hospitals in the USA..

Influenza virus can result in illness ranging from mild to severe with life threatening complications.  Generally more prevalent during the cold weather, especially as seen this past week. November to March represent the period when cases of Influenza will be discovered the most.

Many types have been described A, B, C.

Types A and B cause epidemics every year and getting a Flu shot can prevent illness or slow the symptoms. The type C is generally less virulent causing milder respiratory illness but no epidemics.

Receiving yearly the Flu vaccine during the fall, is definitively the best way to avoid being sick. Although it is believed that small changes in the virus itself are noted in the so called “Antigenic Drift” producing new viral strains that may or may not be recognized by the body immune system to produce antibodies. So this is the reason why the Flu vaccine can be given more than one time preferably every year prior to the Flu season.

The vaccine contains 3 strains: two influenza A and one influenza B.

I invite you to take the vaccination at least this year because the Influenza will hit us without any pity.

If you experience extreme tiredness, fever with headache, dry cough, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, Nausea, vomiting or even diarrhea in children or adults, even confusion, chances that you suffer from the flu are very High. Once diagnosed with it, you may have to be treated with antiviral drugs like ( Amantidine, Zanamavir, Rimantadine, Oseltmavir) for a period of 5 days but must be started  on the second day of the illness.

Maxime Coles  MD

PS: we recommend you to review the new data with the CDC and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


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