COVID 19 Vs. Influenza | How many people die from the flu each year
With news of mass-scale vaccination programs for COVID-19 around the corner, is it time for influenza vaccines to take a back seat?
Coronavirus has undoubtedly caused tremendous loss for us all, but it doesn’t mean the flu vaccine should take a backseat. Flu shots have shown benefits in reducing COVID-19s severity.
This article aims to educate you on the severity of the Influenza virus by showing you reliable data, so you make the right choice for your family.
How many people die from the flu each year
According to the World Health Organization estimates, about 250,000 to 500,000 people worldwide die from contracting the virus. However, in 2019, the numbers grew to more than 650,000. Of that, around 200,000 deaths were from lower respiratory tract infections.
How is the flu so deadly?
You are aware of the severity of the coronavirus. But, since people usually mistake the flu symptoms to be like that of a common cold, they don’t get to the hospital quickly.
The untreated symptoms later progress into serious conditions like pneumonia, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), or even Congestive Heart Failure.
As soon as the virus triggers a serious inflammation in your lungs, the simple flu could turn deadly.
Sometimes, the flu could cause a secondary infection like one involving bacteria that leads to sepsis.
Symptoms that warn you to head to the emergency room
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling dizzy
- Severe abdominal pain
- Chest pains
- Severe and persistent vomiting
- Dehydration because of inability to drink fluids
- Rapid breathing
- Pain or stiffness in the neck
- Persistent headaches
- Blue tinge in face or body
Risk factors: Influenza
Like the novel coronavirus, children under the age of 5 and adults above 65 are generally at higher risk. Others include:
- Children below 18 taking aspirin/ salicylic acid treatments
- Pregnant women
- Chronic illness patients
- Low immunity
- People with a BMI of 40 or above
- Organ donor recipients on anti-rejection medication
- HIV or AIDS infected individuals
Taking your flu shot and COVID vaccine
As explained above, the Influenza virus could get dangerous soon. It may not be as deadly as COVID-19 on the onset, but a flu shot is necessary.
- Ensure you take your flu shot in October or per your country’s flu season to protect you against the virus.
- There needs to be a minimum gap of 14 days between your flu shot and COVID vaccine. This ensures enough time for your body to make the antigens required to fight the disease.
- Don’t forget to take booster shots to fight new strains of the viruses.
With the advanced technology application we’ve seen in COVID-19 vaccination, it’s exciting to think about a future where viral diseases like influenza will have a better vaccination. Until then, it’s best to continue taking vaccination for both the viruses, so your immune system is ready to wade off any threat.
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