There are several types of flu, and we all sometimes face an epidemic or a pandemic. Canadian researchers have found that the first type of flu a person encounters in life significantly determines our ability to resist the flu for the rest of the life. Which flu might you fight better?
The First Encounter with the Flu Virus
For the flu to cope with the immune system and vaccines, it is constantly mutating. Every year, people face a different flu type. Canadian researchers recently studied the flu epidemic of the 2018/2019 season when H1N1 and H3N2 flu spread. The viruses we have encountered in the past have a significant effect on the risk of becoming sick during future pandemics.
According to scientists, the immune system of people born in 1970, who came in contact with influenza A (H3N2) virus, will respond with increased sensitivity to the H3N2 virus. People born in 1949 could only encounter the H1N1 virus. They are expected to have a higher response to the immune system rate to this virus type.
Who and Why Died of Bird Flu?
Researchers base their claims on data from past flu epidemics. Between 2003 and 2006, the so-called bird flu virus, caused by the H5N1 type, was a threat. Most people who died of H5N1-related infections at the time were their first influenza infections with the H3N2 virus, a virus from the opposite group of influenza viruses.
In 2009, there was a pandemic of the H1N1 flu. The virus was remotely associated with the H1N1 viruses, which circulated in society from 1918 to 1957, and then between 1977 and 2009. It turned out that people who encountered the virus before 1957 coped very well with the pandemic. On the contrary, people aged 30 to 40 who came into contact with the H3N2 virus in their youth were very severely affected.
A similar scenario was repeated between 2013 and 2016 when the H7N9 virus spread. Most people who died of infections caused by this virus were at the age when their probable entry virus was H1N1, which is again an infection from the opposite flu group.
To monitor different flues are necessary for professionals to estimate who will be most at risk in the coming epidemics, including coronaviruses.
Featured image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay