Flu is a nasty illness to catch. In order to have a chance to avoid it you can get an intradermal flu shot. This famed “flu shot” has the right stimulants for you body to augment your protections against the flu. Hence, people who had received it are free to socialize even during the season. But unknown to many, you could catch flu more than once. And there could be many various reasons why.
What Is the Flu?
This seasonal illness is known to many as the countless sneezing that later develops into a cough. But there are many ways on how the flu could present. Some other signs of flu are stuffy nose and fatigue. And unlike the regular cold, flu develops quickly. You could have all the sneezes at one point, and the next thing you know, headaches and body malaise have hit you as well. With the runny nose and the headaches, the flu sure is as awful as professionals say.
Moreover, signs and symptoms are only at the tip of the iceberg. From the messy tissue scene, flu could bring you into a life-death event. This scary circumstance happens because of the complications so often associated with flu. Some of these problems include pneumonia, inflammation of the brain, heart or muscles, and multi-organ failure.
What Causes Flu?
If you are looking for the culprit behind this widespread and potentially life-risking illness, it would be the influenza virus. If you might have noticed, it is easy to catch and far easier to spread. This feature is probably due to the nature of its causative agent. Even when viruses are too small, they have all the necessary means to survive momentarily in the environment before it enters a host. And if a virus has found a host, replication and spread in the body becomes effortless. This invasion in your inside leads to the symptoms you feel, and the signs doctors see.
Commonly, a virus enters your body when you touch contaminated area or if the virus from an infected person enters your respiratory system after they sneeze or cough. Hence, covering your nose is not just an etiquette practice but a preventive measure as well. Since there are different strains and types around, strict control is vital for the influenza virus. The types of influenza virus include:
Encompassing further groups and subgroups, influenza A contains different strains of influenza. One strain known as the H1N1 was the reason behind the 2009 swine flu pandemic. By infecting both humans and animals, influenza A easily disperses from one host to another. Much more, this type frequently changes in genes and proteins.
Not any less in groups than the Influenza A, this type also has numerous and different strains. Luckily, influenza B mutate more slowly, and its only known hosts are humans and seals. Although it might cause the same disease spectrum as Influenza A, it does not cause pandemics or large-scale outbreaks.
This type of influenza is not as common as the other two types. Influenza C also infects several hosts, including humans. However, its occurrence often limits on children.
With only animal hosts, influenza D does not cause infection in humans. However, experts do not exclude the idea of human transmission in the future.
Can I Get The Flu Twice: The Answer
Yes, it is possible to catch the flu more than one. In fact, developing it twice in a year or single season is possible. It sounds unfair, but there are many reasons why this event happens. Some of these include:
- Numerous Types
Going back to the type of influenza viruses, you get varied options. Three of which are transmissible to humans. Hence, even when you have developed immunity to Influenza A, it does not make you any safe for Influenza B. A season with double outbreaks of Influenza A and B is even possible. Also known as the double-barreled flu season, this could increase your chance of getting sick twice.
- Frequent Mutation
The different strains under Influenza A and B can be attributed to its adaptive and flexible features, such as mutation. This process involves changes in genetic material. And with different genetic material inside, viruses could display new proteins outside its surface. These proteins play a role in how your immune system recognizes such foreign organism inside your body. And as long as the virus constantly changes its protein coat outside, your body will identify it as a whole new organism every time. Thus, it is also possible to get sick twice from one type. Hence during a pandemic of a new strain, everyone is vulnerable. Even people who had a flu vaccine may get sick. Indeed, the 2009 Swine flu was a new strain that may result from the mutation of both human and swine influenza virus.
Flu Vaccine: One Best Way To Prevent Getting The Flu Twice
Although the spread of the different strain of influenza viruses is inevitable, there are many ways to minimize your risk of exposure. One tested means is to get your right doses of flu vaccine. Although these shots do not completely protect you from the B type, it reduces the symptoms significantly. When fewer people are sick, there are fewer hosts to spread and transmit the flu virus around. Hence, when you opt for flu vaccines, you do not only protect yourself but the people around you as well. Indeed, experts at the Center for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone older than six months to receive their annual flu shot.
The flu vaccine mimics the mechanism of the virus. This will stimulate the body in secreting protective substances. And when the virus enters, your body will be able to recognize and neutralize it immediately.
Like any other period, the flu season comes and goes. You could only beat it or bear it. With the complications it brings, no one can risk catching one. Hence, before it enters your body, it is always best to ready your health. Although flu shots are not perfect in all aspects, it is your single most efficient weapon against flu season. When your body has all the essentials to beat it, you don’t have to avoid the flu season entirely —you could even anticipate for its arrival each year.