This flu season has been bad partly due to the presence of H3N2, a particularly nasty strain that people over 50 have a poor immune response to, and to the flu shot being a miss.
But when spring comes, will that be the end? Or is this just the start of bad flu seasons?
Over the summer, we’ll get an idea of what next flu season will be like based on Australia’s. But there are other factors putting pressure on flu strains that could not only contribute to more nasty flu seasons, but more surprise flu seasons.
The big worry is strain mutations. A woman in China was just the first case of H7N4 bird flu. In this instance, nothing will come of it. The concern is that if people, birds, and other mammals like seals, dogs, pigs, and even horses hang out in close contact during flu season, we might bring our various flu strains together and potentially mutate a super strain.
Flu strains can spread genes to each other, like the gene to be virulent and make people really sick, or the gene to be airborne between humans. A super strain with those properties might come out of seagulls and seals on the east coast of America, a chicken farm in China, or might accidentally spread as sick birds migrate south, and come into contact with dogs and pigs. There are many risk points that are watched and monitored, and although we’ve known about the risk for years, all we can do is test and watch.
You can take action by taking care of any sick pets you own. Dogs are also facing a flu epidemic this season. And be careful about mixing with chickens. Backyard flocks are great to have, but the CDC suggests you not kiss chickens, and to be careful around chicken poop and other potentially contaminated things. Bird flu is prevalent this season too, although it mostly hasn’t affected humans.
And keep up your immune support with colloidal silver. We don’t know what’s coming next, but a little extra support is always good for being prepared!
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