The flu (or Influenza) is one of the most contagious and most annoying illnesses out there. It is a respiratory illness caused by flu viruses that can cause mild to severe illness. Occasionally, it can lead to death.
Flu is different from a cold. People who are infected by the virus often feel feverish and plagued with a cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, muscle pains, and fatigue. It’s the complete package of all the common uncomfortable symptoms there are.
Influenza has taken tens of millions of lives in the past century, and it is still a serious threat today. We have not fully figured out how to protect people from this virus, once and for all.
In the past year, 80,000 people in the United States were killed by the virus. So in a recent research, Dr. Donald Milton of the University of Maryland worked with a team of virologist to make the Gesundheit II, a machine that catches the flu virus.
The machine has a big cone-like tube placed inside a quarantined area of about one square meter. The infected person then breathes into the opening of the tube and whatever is exhaled is sucked by the machine, which is then analysed for viruses.
The big question is, “Where does the flu come from?” Somehow, the virus always seems to pop up somewhere in the world. Today’s vaccine offers protection but it does not guarantee immunity, so it is possible that you get the flu even when you got a flu shot.
The surface of the virus changes enough as a year passes. That is why it is advised to get flu shots annually. Medical authorities are also having problems in getting the message of the severity of the flu across.
In the age of social media and progress, people have been challenging authority and doubting the advice given by doctors, thinking that it is a ploy to gain more money. But the flu is more serious than we think.
Watch the full video here to learn more.