Cold and getting colder.
All that stuff sweeping in from Siberia.
The polar bear’s pyjamas.
Worse, according to Public Health England, this year’s anti-flu vaccine is barely effective – working in only 3% of cases.
Defences are down
Not good, particularly if you’re older.
Because this year’s nasty, a mutation from the H3N2 strain of the flu virus, particularly affects the elderly. (Tweet this)
Despite the £100 million spent on flu vaccination annually, this mutation has smartly glitched the guessing game that world health authorities play every winter – deciding which variants of flu virus will be “fashionable” this year.
You still need a flu jab, because other types are still around and each year’s vaccine can usually clobber about three.
But H3N2 has decided otherwise and mutated so much, that this year’s vaccine is about as effective as water.
Flu is not all
Woe and grief, yes – but it’s a useful wakeup call.
You see, it’s not just this year’s flu vaccine that doesn’t work.
It’s a whole slew of medicines – starting with antibiotics.
Big time mutation across the board has made many pathogens immune to them.
So if you’re rushed to hospital with complications from catching flu – cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis or asthma for example – doctors are going to think twice before giving you anything.
Overuse of antibiotics in the last 50 years means that, increasingly, they stop working altogether.
Maybe not so bad with your flu complications – medics can quickly put you on oxygen.
But it’s a disaster for medicine across the board – just about every major procedure in any hospital could fail without them.
Back to the Dark Ages
Any kind of surgery – any incision or breach of the body’s skin – is suddenly a major infection threat. Which is why the big worry among health experts is HAIs – Hospital Acquired Infections.
You go to hospital to have your hernia repaired. But MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) gets in to your surgery area and you’re lucky to escape with your life.
Exactly the headache every surgeon faces with even the simplest case.
But what can you do?
The flu virus is out there and raging rampant. What’s to stop it getting you?
Better than cure
Prevention is what. Simple avoidance.
Alright, you can’t do much in the big outdoors. If it’s your turn to breathe in some H3N2 cells on the rampage, that’s just unlucky.
You also can’t do much if Hooligan Harry sneezes all over you in the lift or Underground. Especially when us Brits are about the most unhygienic people around and never wash our hands enough.
But you can clobber germs indoors so nothing lingers. Sterilise the place when nobody’s around so the germ threshold sinks to zero.
Twenty minutes misting up the place with hydrogen peroxide spray completely destroys all viruses and bacteria. Any room you treat with this stuff is totally sterile.
Which is a lot better defence in your workplace or home than the quick vacuum and dust that most places get.
And why take chances when you can be totally sure?
Especially with so much flu around.
Every year, between 250,000 and 500,000 people die from it worldwide.
Don’t let one of them be you.