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Facts about flu you should know

These flu facts are so obsucure. Nonetheless, it would be really awesome if these facts are known, well, some will blow your mind. The other ones will make you, eerrm….

The full word is influenza, which is Italian. And it originally means “influence,” which refers to the influence people believed the sun, moon, planets and stars had on human affairs, including health and disease. The English started using the word in the 1700s, and it has since become abbreviated to “flu.”

One of the greatest flu pandemics in history has been the Spanish flu of 1918 and during such a time of untold distress, starnge remedies to cure the flu came up. I’m just not sure if they can be of use these days of great advancement in medicines. Some of these strange remedies included numerous shots of whiskey, eating and bathing in onions, avoiding tight clothing, gargling with salt water, bloodletting and opening the chest to remove pus and blood from the lung area. Really strange.

Flu viruses are also more resilient than many others and can live on hard, non-porous surfaces for up to 48 hours and around 12 hours on tissues and cloth. They can also stay active for approximately a week at human body temperature and for an indefinite period of time at below freezing temperatures.

Influenza is more deadly than Ebola. Yes. Influenza kills more people than dreaded diseases like Ebola. According to the WHO, worldwide the flu causes around 250 000 to 500 000 deaths annually.

Health professionals recommend annual flu shots as a preventative measure. Flu vaccines protect against influenza A and B viruses but offer no protection against viruses that undergo genetic changes, like the “swine flu” (H1N1) that killed tens of thousands of people in 2009 and 2010.

 

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