The seasonal flu shot is a “trivalent” vaccine, which means it contains three influenza viruses. Although the individual strains vary each year, the types of strains selected for the vaccine usually consist of an influenza A strain, an H1N1 strain (not the pandemic 2009 strain) and an influenza B strain. In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration also approved a “monovalent,” or single strain, vaccine designed exclusively to combat the pandemic H1N1 strain. Continue reading
Avian flu virus or avian influenza is also known as HiN1, H5N1, or Bird flu. It is named “avian” because it basically a flu that infects birds. But humans have no form of immunity against this virus. Like all other pathogenic organisms, the avian flu virus changed to completely infect humans as well, resulting to a worldwide epidemic. You may contract avian flu if you get in contact with an infected bird, getting in contact with contaminated objects and surfaces, or if you eat the uncooked eggs, meat, or blood of the infected bird. These carriers could shed the virus through their saliva and feces for 10 days. Usually, those who work closely with poultry, those in contact with avian flu patients, and backpackers usually get infected easily. In diagnosing a patient, the doctor subjects the patient to chest x-ray, white blood cell (WBC) differential, auscultation to hear breath sounds, and nasopharyngeal culture.