Although you do not believe it, the truth is that it is extremely common to confuse a flu with a cold, although the reality is that if we look at its symptoms, the differentiation would be more than evident. Why? Fundamentally for something very simple: the symptoms of the flu tend to be much more severe than those caused by a cold or a simple cold.
In fact, the most common is that a flu causes high fever (usually between 38 to 40 degrees) which tends to appear abruptly. The same happens with other related symptoms, such as fatigue and malaise, lack of energy and muscle pain.
On the other hand, these symptoms are accompanied by others as common in the cold, as for example is the case of sore throat, nasal congestion and sneezing. However, these last symptoms are much more common and severe in the cold or the cold.
It basically consists of a acute infectious disease that affects the respiratory tract , which is caused by a total of three types of virus (A, B and C), the most serious of which are varieties A and B, as they are the cause of the epidemics that occur each year (especially variant A), while B is usually more localized.
When does the vaccination campaign begin?
Every year, each Autonomous Community launches the Seasonal flu vaccination campaign , which is especially aimed at both at-risk population groups and older people.
Therefore, although each year the dates tend to vary, the most common is that the campaign begins in the month of October and ends in the month of January . However, these dates may vary depending on certain epidemiological needs.
Why is there a different flu vaccine every year?
We must bear in mind that the virus that causes the flu has a high capacity to suffer variations in its surface antigens , which consist of proteins where the ability of the virus to infect resides, so that in front of them our body produces antibodies that protect us.
For this reason, given that these variations imply the appearance of new influenza viruses against which the human being has no protection, each year the vaccine must be updated, since influenza viruses vary in reality year after year. And, therefore, the vaccine is equally annual.
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Who should get the flu vaccine?
Vaccination is recommended especially for people who have a high risk of complications in case of suffering the disease. On the other hand, It is also advised in people who are in contact with these groups high risk, since there is a greater risk of transmitting it.
According to the National Commission of Public Health of the Spanish Ministry of Health, we can summarize the risk groups below:
- Persons 65 years of age or older , especially those that live in closed institutions (for example in hospitals, nursing homes and nursing homes).
- People under 65 with a high risk of complications: children older than 6 months and adults with chronic cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases (including asthma, cystic fibrosis or broncho-pulmonary dysplasia), metabolic diseases (including diabetes mellitus), morbid obesity, renal failure, asplenia, anemia, hemoglobinopathies, chronic liver disease, immunosuppression, dementia, Down syndrome or severe neuromuscular diseases.
- Other groups that are recommended: people who work in essential public services, as well as those who are in contact with birds with confirmation or suspected infection with avian influenza virus.
Of course, vaccination against influenza is not recommended at all to children under 6 months, people with egg allergy or hypersensitivity to egg proteins, as well as those suffering from an acute illness with high fever (which should wait until said condition remits).
What people can not get vaccinated?
Although the vaccination against influenza , there are also certain groups in which the vaccine can not be administered:
- Babies under 6 months.
- People allergic to: egg, chicken protein or other components of the vaccine.
- If the person has a fever.
- If the person suffers from an acute infection.
What is the flu vaccine composed of?
The influenza vaccine is composed of three strains, specifically two type A and one type B, which represent the viruses that most likely would circulate throughout the following winter.
Most of these vaccines are made from viruses grown in embryonated chicken eggs, which are then inactivated and finally fractionated.
Can I get the flu despite having been vaccinated?
Although it is true that many of the adults who are vaccinated develop high titers of antibodies after a dose of vaccine, it is necessary to know that these antibodies are only protective against influenza viruses similar to those included in the vaccine.
Therefore, there is a risk of infection even though the person has been previously vaccinated.