Flu; It is a seasonal disease that occurs with symptoms such as 39 degrees fever, severe muscle-joint pains, weakness, exhaustion, chills, headache and dry cough. It is effective for about 8-10 weeks during the winter months and directly affects almost 40 percent of our society. Influenza is a great danger, especially for people over 65, children and those with chronic diseases.
Looking at the last two years, in 2020, where vaccines to protect against Covid-19 are not yet widespread; Strict implementation of rules such as closure, quarantine, social distancing and the use of masks temporarily eliminated the flu. But in 2021, this situation was reversed and continued to be contagious, including the summer season in 2022.
Deputy Director of the Infection Control Committee at Yale New Haven Hospital, Dr. Scott Roberts told CNBC, “We’ve never seen a flu season in the US that stretches all the way back to June. It is clear that Covid has had a huge impact on this. People no longer wear masks and are not adequately protected. We’ve been seeing the flu virus behaving in a weirder way than ever before for several months.” used the phrases.
DANGER BELTS RUN FOR THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE!
Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Bessey Geevarghese “There have been so many cases of flu in the Southern Hemisphere. This indicates that the danger for the Northern Hemisphere is approaching. Especially in Australia, the flu season is intense. It’s going to be a worse year than we’ve seen in the last few years.” used the phrases.
Chief medical adviser to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Dr. Susan Hopkins, on the other hand, announced that they were watching the flu epidemic, which started early in Australia at the end of the winter season and spread rapidly to all age groups, very carefully.
Hacettepe University Vaccine Institute Faculty Member Assoc. Dr. By Sezer Okay “Australia is experiencing its worst flu season in five years. This situation serves as a potential indicator for the Northern Hemisphere. The start of the flu season in Australia, typically between June and September, in April this year caused the disease to peak months ago. used the phrases.
‘THE CIRCULATION OF TWO VIRUSES EXCEPT THE FLU WILL INCREASE’
‘Well, what kind of flu season is expected in our country, should we be worried?’ Infectious Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. I asked Alper Şener and he underlined that apart from the flu, two viruses lurk:
It is certain that flu cases will increase this year. Because the antibody response in respiratory tract infections is not permanent, so it decreases and disappears over time. The immune system of almost half of the world, including our country, forgot about the flu, but it will remember it again this year…
— It will be easy for the young, but difficult for the old. Because with age, the ability to remember deteriorates. The risk situation will continue for children under the age of two. Also, this winter is not just about the flu; ‘Rinovirus’ (Infects mostly nose and nasal passages) and ‘human metapneumovirus’ (Respiratory tract virus) will also increase. The gradual decrease in the pressure of Covid-19 has a large share in the increase of these viruses.”
WHEN WILL THE FLU SEASON BEGIN IN TURKEY?
“We start to see the virus load like November,” said Prof. Dr. Alper Şener drew attention to vitamin C and flu vaccine:
“You can buy it as a supplement or with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Both are recommended topics. Others are antioxidants; turmeric, cinnamon, etc… The list is long, but it should be kept in mind that heavy use of such products carries the risk of side effects such as toxic hepatitis (liver dysfunction). Using it casually is not very acceptable. But the flu vaccine would be more beneficial.”
HOW MUCH PROTECTION IS THE FLU VACCINE THIS YEAR?
Assoc. Dr. Sezer Okay, Looking at the CDC’s data this year, he said that vaccines are expected to have an effectiveness of 40-60 percent, and added:
— A strong event is expected this year. However, it is necessary to know that the effectiveness of vaccines will be revealed by the data to be obtained during the flu season. But it should be underlined that the recommendations for the 2022-2023 season are stronger than the recommended composition of last season’s US flu vaccines.
— This year, ‘Quadrivalan’, i.e. ‘quadruple vaccines’ will be used. in the vaccine; There are particles belonging to 4 different viruses, consisting of one H1N1 (Swine flu) virus, one H3N2 (the type of virus that commonly causes flu in humans) virus and two influenza B (A flu virus known to infect humans and seals only) viruses. . However, this year both influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B (Victoria line) vaccine virus components have been additionally updated.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR VACCINE?
The most powerful measure against the flu epidemic is vaccination, but when it should be done is also a matter of great debate. For example, “Because people are more likely to get the flu in the winter rather than in the early fall, it’s reasonable to wait as the protection afforded by the flu vaccine diminishes over time,” says Emily Martin, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan School of Medicine.
Epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, on the other hand, says that she usually gets the vaccine in October, Infectious Diseases Specialist at the University of Toronto, Dr. Jeff Kwong, on the other hand, states that he waits until November.Assoc. Dr. Sezer Okay, on the other hand, said that it makes sense to be vaccinated before the flu starts to spread in the community, and that the CDC’s recommendation is September and October:
“September and October are generally the best times to get a flu shot, according to the CDC. However, vaccination is still recommended until November or later, as the flu peaks most often in February and significant activity can continue into May. In fact, early immunization is recommended for adults aged 65 and over, children, and people in the third trimester of pregnancy.
HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO GET THE FLU VACCINE?
As a strong epidemic is expected in the Northern Hemisphere this year, ‘Should the flu vaccine be given once or twice?’ The answer to the question is also very important. Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Bessey Geevarghese stated that children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years who have been vaccinated for the first time or have only one dose of flu vaccine should receive two doses of flu vaccine this year, Assoc. Dr. Sezer Okay summarized the issue with the following information:
“Youngsters and adults should get one dose of the vaccine. But children aged six months to eight years need two doses of flu vaccine in their first vaccination season. Before July 1, 2022, receive a total of two or more doses of any flu vaccine at least four weeks apart. One dose of 2022-23 flu vaccine is required for children aged 6 months to 8 years who receive the vaccine, unless a child received at least two flu shots before July 1, 2022, or if their flu vaccine history is unknown, they should receive 2 doses of 2022-23 flu vaccine 4 weeks apart. Between dose one and dose two, two doses are recommended, even if the child reaches 9 years of age.”
Nurten Saydan, Chairman of the All Pharmacists Employers Union, announced that 3.5 million flu vaccines have started to arrive in pharmacies. The price of the flu vaccine, which is not on the SGK payment list, is 243 liras.