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Is a new influenza virus coming our way?

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Do we keep catching the same old influenza virus with a new tag?

A new strain of the Bird flu takes flight over Hong Kong. A 36-year old Indonesian maid is in critical condition with the H7N9 strain according to a story from WTHR, Channel 13 news report. This is the first case reported since the H7N9 strain was identified in April, 2013.

The word flu is short for influenza. Influenza is a virus that can be transmitted from human to human. Studies show that the Avian influenza virus can be transmitted from ducks, chickens, pigs, horses, whales and seals to humans.

In 2003, we were kept at bay by the SARS virus. In 2005, we suffered through the Bird flu also know as the Avian influenza. Purdue University made a study speculating that viruses may knock out viruses. In 2009, we donned masks and ran for shelter from the Swine Flu. The H3N2v is a variant of the H3N2 infected people in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

No matter which strain, symptoms of the flu often include but not limited to:

  • Body aches
  • Feverish/chills
  • Tired
  • Headache

Your body has its own defense mechanism. It is your immune system. Your bone marrow, thymus, spleen and lymph nodes are in your body on constant guard. These are the major organs that make up your immune system. They produce the cells that are required to destroy viruses (and other trespassers). Vitamins A, B, C and E are recommended to boost the immune system.

With each new virus we become more aware of diseases that can be contracted. The flu will run its course, which may last two days to two weeks. Anyone can contract the flu but people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women and young children are at higher risk for complications.

In the Midwest, temperatures are now dropping and can leave a person vulnerable. Your best defense is staying warm, dry and take precautions to safeguard against inhaling, ingesting or physically contacting a virus. You can make choices for your personal protection.

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