Health is perhaps the most important thing we have, and learning how to protect it is a ‘must’. Although the majority of the world is mostly preoccupied with the COVID-19 pandemic when it comes to health threats, the age-old flu can be just as dangerous.
During a recent news briefing in Geneva, representatives of the World Health Organization emphasized the importance of getting a vaccine for the common flu this year.
The Northern Hemisphere could be at risk
Areas like Europe, North America, and some from Asia could be at risk of facing the spread of the influenza virus. Luckily, the Southern Emisphere doesn’t seem to deal with major problems for that matter.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for COVID-19 at WHO, declared the following:
“I think we need to be careful about making an assessment of what may happen in the Northern Hemisphere for a number of reasons,”
One of the reasons is that the systems already put in place must continue to test for both the flu and COVID-19. Another major reason is that it would be difficult to tell for sure when a patient has a COVID-19 infection or the more common flu infection. Therefore, testing is needed.
“It could complicate the clinical picture, but there are tools that are in place for influenza,” says Van Kerkhove. “So it is really, really important than when the vaccine becomes available for flu, that people do take that vaccine.”
The Influenza virus (commonly known as the flu) is also a highly contagious respiratory illness, just like COVID-19. The flu is infecting about 9 percent of the world’s population every year. 3 to 5 million turn out to be severe cases, while between 300,000 and 500,000 infected people die every year.