The H1N1 flu was a surprise right from the start: a soon-to-be pandemic flu virus that was first identified in kids in the United States. But that's not the only unusual fact about H1N1 flu. Here are eight more surprising developments:
1 Name that flu virus
In April 2009, CDC researchers met to name the newly identified flu virus. The virus came to humans via swine, so the first idea was to call it swine influenza virus. But SIV already stands for simian immunodeficiency virus. Some CDC wags...
Truth: Influenza and its complications caused
from 3,000 to 49,000 deaths each year from 1976 to 2006 in the United States.1
Myth: The vaccine causes the flu.
Truth: You can't get the flu by having a flu
shot. The flu shot is made of killed virus and therefore
cannot cause the flu. And the weakened viruses in the flu nasal spray vaccine can cause symptoms similar to a cold, but they can't cause the flu.
Myth: The vaccine causes unpleasant side
Truth: The vaccine causes no side effects in
most people. Earlier vaccines (1940s to 1960s) did have more
unpleasant side effects, but this is rare now. And an intradermal flu shot is available. A smaller needle is used, and the vaccine is injected into the skin instead of the muscle to reduce discomfort at the time of the shot.
Myth: The vaccine is ineffective because some
people had a flu-like illness after getting a flu vaccine.
Truth: Although getting the vaccine prevents
most people from becoming ill with the flu, some people still become infected.
This may occur because a person is exposed to the virus before getting a
vaccination or before it has taken effect, or because the vaccine does not
match the circulating virus closely enough. A mild illness similar to a cold also can be caused by the live, weakened viruses in the influenza nasal spray vaccine. But any illness is usually
milder than it would be without having had the vaccine.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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