The word “influenza” comes from the Italian influentia because people used to believe that the influence of the planets, stars, and moon caused the flu—for only such universal influence could explain such sudden and widespread sickness.
Annual flu viruses (not including flu pandemics) infect up to 20% of Americans, put 200,000 in the hospital with flu-related complications, and kill about 36,000 people.
The cost of treating annual flu epidemics, including lost wages and productivity of workers, is billions of dollars each year in just the United States alone.
There have been four major global flu pandemics since 1900: the Swine flu (officially named “Novel H1N1 Influenza A”), the Hong Kong flu (1968-1969), the Asian flu pandemic (1957-1958), and the Spanish flu (1918-1919).
The single deadliest flu pandemic in history was the Spanish flu pandemic. It occurred in the three waves of increasing lethality.
- It killed more people in 24 weeks than AIDS did in 24 years.
- More people in one year than smallpox or the Black Plague did in 50 years.
- More Americans in one year than the combined total who died in battle during WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Viruses mutate more in one day than humans did in several million years.
Flu viruses can live up to 48 hours on hard, nonporous surfaces such as stainless steel and up to 12 hours on cloth and tissues.
It can take 1-2 weeks after being vaccinated before protective immunity develops.
The first time that children younger than 9 years old receive the flu vaccine they need to receive 2 doses at least a month apart from each other.
The flu vaccine can’t give you the flu. The vaccines only contain a dead piece of the flu virus, and a dead virus can’t infect you.
For further information on how a flu shot can help you, please call 360-734-5413 x118.