Remember the history where the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than in World War I. Around 20 million to 40 million people had died due to the influenza pandemic. It has been marked as the most disastrous epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Death had piled up and not much thing can be done to save the victims.
The H3N2 virus, which is also referred to as “Australian flu” or “Aussie flu”, has spread across the UK and Ireland in recent weeks. H3N2 Viruses can infect birds and mammals. In birds, humans, and pigs, the virus has mutated into many strains. H3N2 is increasingly abundant in seasonal influenza. Symptoms of Aussie flu are similar to those caused by normal flu, but they are more severe. Here are some signs to look out for:
The symptoms of Aussie flu are as follows:
1. A sudden fever ( body temperature will be not less than 38C )
2. A sore throat and cough
3. A headache
4. Fatigue, tired and exhausted
5. Muscle ache
6. A runny nose and sneezing
7. Difficulty in sleeping
8. A dry and chesty cough
9. Diarrhea and tummy pain
People should recover from normal flu within a week so, although a cough and fatigue may last longer.
In the event you are still really sick after seven days, it's a good indication of something more serious.
Australian flu can lead to pneumonia and other potentially fatal complications.
Influenza/Flu virus is spread when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes small droplets containing infectious agents into the air. The droplets in the air may be breathed in by those nearby. Infection may also be spread by contact with hands, tissues and other articles soiled by an infected nose and throat discharges.
A POTENTIALLY deadly flu strain is heading for the UK from Down Under - leaving Brits to face the worst flu season in 50 years. Public Health England revealed 1,649 people had been struck down with Aussie flu over the Christmas week, up almost half on the week before. And at least 73 have already been admitted to a hospital, causing doctors to urge people to get vaccinated - as the flue "actively circulates" in Ireland. Some expert is opinionated that this is the most serious flu epidemic since the 1968 pandemic that started in Hong Kong - and killed a million people worldwide.
H3N2 is a mutated strain of flu, meaning the vaccine in Australia has been less effective than hoped. The UK’s health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the H3N2 virus is straining resources at the NHS. “We’ve also got an additional pressure this year of an uptick in flu and respiratory illness which we didn’t have last year,” he told Sky News. “It’s too early to say whether we are going to experience what they experienced in Australia. But that has undoubtedly created extra pressures on the system.”
How to avoid the flu infection?
1. Exclude people with flu from childcare, pre-school, school and work until there has been no fever for 24 hours (without using a fever-reducing medicine such as paracetamol).
2. Wash hands as soon as possible after sneezing or coughing and after contact with nose and throat discharges or articles soiled by these. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
3. Wipe down all frequently touched surfaces regularly with a cleaning cloth dampened with detergent, or a large alcohol wipe.
4. Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or your arm, not with your hand. Drop used tissues immediately into a rubbish bin, then wash your hands.
5. Flu vaccines reduce the risk of getting severe influenza. Influenza vaccination is required every year as the influenza virus is constantly changing and each year the influenza vaccines are altered to provide protection against the strains that are circulating.
6. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for anyone 6 months of age or older who wishes to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with influenza.
7. Annual influenza vaccination is strongly recommended and should be actively promoted for people at increased risk of complications from influenza infection or who may transmit influenza infection to others who are at increased risk of complications. However, with this major outbreak, the effectiveness of the vaccination is highly doubted.