As scepticism grows, the virus is becoming more deadly.
The World Health Organization and the European Council advise vaccination against influenza for at least 75 percent of people in whom the disease could cause serious complications. However, in Croatia, just 20 percent of such persons get vaccinated, reports net.hr on November 2, 2017.
According to Dr Vladimir Draženović, vaccination against the flu is the only reasonable measure available to citizens and a major success of the human civilisation which is at our fingertips. He adds that people must be aware of the benefits of the vaccination and use it.
More than 50,000 flu cases were reported in Croatia last year. Antibiotics are not a cure for the flu (influenza) virus, although they are often prescribed as such. According to estimates, employed citizens miss at least 700,000 days of work due to influenza each year.
“The biggest mistake is that people often confuse various colds, of which there are some hundred different kinds, with flu, which is a serious illness and can cause numerous complications. The most common and most severe is pneumonia. Complications are also common in the upper respiratory tract, with children also frequently having middle ear inflammations. Influenza can even trigger a heart attack and many other complications,” said Dr Draženović.
Although physicians warn that vaccination is the only way to protect from the influenza virus, there is more and more scepticism. Dr Draženović points out that the turning point was 2009 and the flu epidemic that year when vaccination started to become more unpopular due to unproven information.
“None of this information turned out to be accurate. These were false reports. But, it is difficult to regain the trust of citizens once you lose it. We have the task of explaining to the public and even our colleagues that vaccination is one of the best public health procedures. Vaccination, in addition to the availability of healthy drinking water, has led to a major increase in average life expectancy,” said Dr. Draženović.
“We are part of a network of 140 national influenza centres whose task is to collect viruses of influenza. After collection, a selection is done in London, based on the most common circulating strains of the flu. It is then determined which fragments of three viruses will be in the final vaccine. Of course, the flu is sometimes unpredictable. But, the vaccination is still the best way to protect us,” said Dr. Draženović.
Translated from net.hr