An illness that was first discovered around 430 BC, typhoid has harmed and killed millions of people throughout history. The foodborne ailment claimed the lives of one-third of the Athenian population; many settlers in the English colony at Jamestown, VA; over six-thousand New World settlers; and countless soldiers in multiple wars. But, typhoid is just one of many foodborne killers. Indeed, hepatitis A also presents a significant threat. Also known as heptovirus A, this virus infects more than 1.4 million people each year.
Influenza, Ebola, malaria, measles; all of these infections have unique and important names. But, where do they come from? To paraphrase the Bard, “What’s in a name? / that which we call the flu / By any other name would still stink.”
When it comes to viruses, a name can be extremely important. Many are named for what they do. Chickenpox is believed to have been named for either its root giccan, a Latin word meaning to itch which could be confused with chicken. However, many scholars believe it derives its name from the pox marks themselves, considering that the word used for the disease in many Arab countries is hummus and in Spain, garbanzo, both of which are associated with chickpeas.
- Fluzone High Dose is the only flu shot specifically formulated for people over 65.
- Studies have shown that the traditional, seasonal flu shot does not prevent the flu as well in senior populations as it does in younger people.
- Almost 90% of flu-related deaths in the U.S. occur in people over age 65.
- According the CDC, the best prevention for Influenza each season is receiving a seasonal flu shot. Now with the Fluzone High Dose, there is a flu vaccine specially designed for the population most at risk of serious flu-related complications.
Flu season is upon us again, and it is time to protect your health and the health of those you love. You know a seasonal flu shot is the best means of preventing the flu each flu season, but for senior populations this shot may not provide adequate protection. Therefore, if you or someone you love is over 65 years old, consider the Fluzone High Dose Flu Shot this year.
Fluzone High Dose is the only flu shot specifically formulated for people over 65. Indeed, studies have shown that the traditional, seasonal flu shot does not prevent the flu as well in senior populations as it does in younger people. As the body ages, the immune system gets weaker. This means the body’s ability to bounce back from disease decreases with age as well. A weakened immune system can have very serious complications during flu season.
Seniors are more likely than their younger counterparts to have existing health problems, and the flu is more likely to cause serious complications, hospitalization, or even death when someone is already unwell.
Thousands of people (between 3,000 to 49,000 in particularly bad years) die from the flu each season in the US alone. Almost 90% of these deaths occur in people over age 65.
For these reasons, it is crucial that seniors take extra care of their health. After consulting with a healthcare professional to determine if this vaccine is appropriate given specific health issues or allergies, seniors should consider the only flu vaccine made specifically for them.
Remember, even a mild case of the flu results in ample unpleasantness: coughing, sore throat, fever, chills, headache and more. However, it is possible to prevent all of these nasty symptoms and more. According the CDC, the best means of preventing the flu each season is with a seasonal flu shot. With Fluzone High Dose, there is now a flu vaccine specially designed for the population most at risk of serious flu-related complications.
- The impact of the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic now stands at 10 times the original estimate – new study shows it may have been responsible for up to 203,000 deaths.
- Approximately, 80% of deaths from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic were in people younger than 65 years old, which is a sharp contrast to the typical influenza epidemic in which 80-90% of deaths occur in people over 65.
- It’s not too late to get your flu shot to protect your health this flu season.
According to a new study by the World Health Organization (WHO), the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic may have been responsible for up to 203,000 deaths. When deaths due to flu-related complications such as cardiac and respiratory issues are added in, the total could go up to nearly 400,000 fatalities. This is a steep rise from the original laboratory reported number of deaths of 18,449. While this flu pandemic was nowhere near as lethal as other strains of the virus, particularly that seen during the 1918-1919 flu season that resulted in over 50 million global deaths, the impact of the 2009 flu pandemic now stands at 10 times the original estimate. Moreover, the new study demonstrated that the infection and death rates varied greatly based on demographics and geography.
Indeed, one of the key take home points of the new study is that even a global pandemic can have great heterogeneity in terms of its deadly impact. For example, the Americas were impacted much more heavily than Europe or Australia, causing great difficulty for the WHO as it tried to craft a global response. Indeed, the impact of the disease varied greatly even within regions; for example, Argentina was hit very hard, while the impact in Chile was far less. Some have proposed that exposure to past disease strains that were similar to the 2009 strain may have had a preventative effect, whereby past exposure almost acted like a vaccine to the new disease. Most experts agree that quality of care was not a sufficient explanation for differences in impact, but the disease was more deadly in countries in which it peaked during cold weather months.
Additionally, the 2009 pandemic took an especially heavy toll on children, young adults, and pregnant women. Approximately, 80% of deaths from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic were in people younger than 65 years old, a sharp contrast to the typical influenza epidemic in which 80-90% of deaths occur in people over 65. Therefore, in terms of years-of-life-lost, the 2009 pandemic had a much greater impact than a typical flu season.
In short, experts are still trying to determine the exact reasons the disease took a deadly toll on certain regions and age groups. However, the additional data will be integral to improving public health response to future pandemics and to build out better influenza monitoring systems that take these key variations in disease impact into account.
In the United States, the flu season tends to begin in October and can continue into the springtime. If the news about the high death toll from the 2009 pandemic has concerned you, remember that it is not too late to get your flu shot, the best preventative measure you can take.
Imagine sending your daughter off to school, but she never comes home. That is what happened to Grace Nye, a mother from Toppenish, Washington, in October of 1918. A letter to her from her daughter’s headmaster reads as follows:
“Absolutely everything possible was done in the way of medical care and nursing. The sick was never left alone for one minute, someone was administering to their needs and looking after them and I want you to feel that in this sickness that your daughter has had as good attention as she possibly could have had in any hospital or home.”