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Why experts are worried about the next flu pandemic

When you hear medical experts talk about what most concerns them, you might be surprised to hear the word "flu."

The world may be due for an outbreak of pandemic influenza, a lethal virus that can sweep quickly across the globe. "And when it comes, it will affect every human alive today," writes CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta vitamale.

For years, Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has called the pandemic influenza virus his biggest concern.

"If the virus acquires the ability to transmit readily among humans, an influenza pandemic could ensue, with the potential to kill millions of people," Fauci writes in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. "Reports in both the popular press and scientific literature have raised alarms in the United States and throughout the world. The prospect of pandemic influenza provides good reason to be concerned."

Most people are familiar with seasonal flu, a virus that mutates a little each year. There's an annual vaccine that has varying levels of success and although the flu can be dangerous to some demographics, the impact is typically not incredibly severe because our immune systems have seen some iteration of the virus and are equipped to combat it, Gupta says.

But the pandemic flu is different. It's a worldwide outbreak of a new influenza virus with significant differences from recently circulating viruses. It spreads easily and quickly from person to person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The name "pandemic" translates to "all people."

As CDC Director Robert Redfield recently told CBS News, another flu pandemic is a serious possibility. "You know, people ask me what keeps me up at night," Redfield told "CBS This Morning" co-host John Dickerson. "And the thing that keeps me up at night is just what you brought up, pandemic flu. So I think it's very possible."

The pandemic flu in history

Just in the 20th century, we've had four serious flu pandemics. The Spanish Flu of 1918 spread through North America, Europe and Asia. It's estimated that about one-third of the world became ill and between 50 million to 100 million people died. In the U.S. alone, more than 675,000 people died in just eight months obat ejakulasi dini permanen.

Four decades later, the Asian flu of 1958-59 had an estimated death toll of 1.1 million worldwide and 116,000 in the U.S.

In the 1968 pandemic, the estimated number of deaths was 1 million worldwide and about 100,000 in the U.S.

Then in 2009, it was the H1N1 pandemic. The CDC estimated that between 151,700 and 575,400 people worldwide died during the first year the virus circulated.

Where do pandemic flu viruses come from?

At times, various animals — including birds and pigs — have been hosts to pandemic influenza viruses. These viruses traditionally don't affect people but have mutated and spread to humans. The pandemic flu can also start as an already circulating virus that has mutated salwa herbal.

Are there vaccines to protect against the pandemic flu?

It's unlikely the seasonal flu vaccine would protect against the pandemic flu virus, says the CDC. The federal government has stockpiled a few vaccines against some influenza viruses that have "pandemic potential." But it's likely a new vaccine would need to be developed, and that would probably take at least six months. People would need two doses of the new vaccine to be protected.

"I have become convinced that if we can develop and deploy a pandemic flu vaccine just 24 weeks faster than is currently projected, the impact could change the course of human history," Gupta says. "Twenty-four weeks faster could mean the difference between 20,000 people dying in the next flu pandemic or more than 20 million people dying."

The Secrets to Never Getting Sick

Overview Most secrets to good health aren’t secrets at all, but common sense. For example, you should avoid contact with bacteria and viruses at school and work. But a whole host of other feel-good solutions can help you live healthier while avoiding that runny nose or soar throat. Here are 12 tips for preventing colds and the flu vitamale.

1. Eat green vegetables Green, leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins that help you maintain a balanced diet — and support a healthy immune system. According to a study of mice, eating cruciferous vegetables sends a chemical signal to the body that boosts specific cell-surface proteins necessary for efficient immune-system function. In this study, healthy mice deprived of green vegetables lost 70 to 80 percent of cell-surface proteins.

2. Get Vitamin D Reports indicate that many Americans fall short of their daily vitamin D requirements. Deficiencies in vitamin D may lead to symptoms such as poor bone growth, cardiovascular problems, and a weak immune system.

Results from a 2012 study in the journal Pediatrics suggest that all children should be checked for adequate vitamin D levels. This is especially important for those with dark skin, since they don’t get vitamin D as easily from exposure to sunlight obat ejakulasi dini permanen.

Foods that are good sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, mushrooms, salmon, canned tuna, and beef liver. You can also buy vitamin D supplements at your local grocery store or pharmacy. Choose supplements that contain D3 (cholecalciferol), since it’s better at raising your blood levels of vitamin D. 3. Keep moving Staying active by following a regular exercise routine — such as walking three times a week — does more than keep you fit and trim. According to a study published in the journal Neurologic Clinicians, regular exercise also:

keeps inflammation and chronic disease at bay reduces stress and the release of stress-related hormones accelerates the circulation of disease-fighting white blood cells (WBCs), which helps the body fight the common cold 4. Get enough sleep Getting adequate sleep is extremely important if you’ve been exposed to a virus, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Healthy adult participants who slept a minimum of eight hours each night over a two-week period showed a greater resistance to the virus. Those who slept seven hours or less each night were about three percent more likely to develop the virus after exposure.


One reason may be that the body releases cytokines during extended periods of sleep. Cytokines are a type of protein. They help the body fight infection by regulating the immune system salwa herbal.

5. Skip the alcohol New research shows that drinking alcohol can damage the body’s dendritic cells, a vital component of the immune system. An increase in alcohol consumption over time can increase a person’s exposure to bacterial and viral infections.

A study in the journal Clinical and Vaccine Immunology compared the dendritic cells and immune system responses in alcohol-fed mice to mice that hadn’t been supplied alcohol. Alcohol suppressed the immunity in mice to varying degrees. Doctors say the study helps explain why vaccines are less effective for people with alcohol addiction.

6. Calm down For years, doctors suspected there was a connection between chronic mental stress and physical illness. Finding an effective way to regulate personal stress may go a long way toward better overall health, according to a 2012 study published by the National Academy of Sciences. Try practicing yoga or meditation to relieve stress.

Cortisol helps the body fight inflammation and disease. The constant release of the hormone in people who are chronically stressed lessens its overall effectiveness. This can result in increased inflammation and disease, as well as a less effective immune system.

7. Drink green tea For centuries, green tea has been associated with good health. Green tea’s health benefits may be due to its high level of antioxidants, called flavonoids.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, several fresh-brewed cups a day can lead to potential health benefits. These include lower blood pressure and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.