A mutated form of the flu virus will arrive in Serbia in mid-December and there is no vaccine for it, the doctors warn. It is a mix of swine (AH1N1) and seasonal (type B) virus, which will merge into a far more dangerous form.
Experts warn that we can expect the mass epidemics of flu in Serbia in the middle of January when people return to work after New Year's holidays. First ones to get sick will be the people over 65, pregnant women and chronically sick people, and then children.
Infection specialist Dr. Zarko Rankovic says that in the middle of December the first version of the AH1N1 flu will arrive, which will very quickly mutate because it will connect with type B virus.
- The same epidemiological situation occurs each year when it comes to respiratory infections. Sudden changes in the weather, holidays and family reunions are leading to increased number of sick people in the second part of December. That is why it is completely normal to expect a mild form of AH1N1. However, it will soon change its structure, it will mutate and it will become far more dangerous, with a lot more difficult clinical picture - Says Rankovic for Informer.
He advises citizens to get a vaccine just in case, although it won't help against the mutated form of the virus.
- No matter if it were a mutated or a seasonal virus, we need immunization. Especially with older than 65 years, chronically sick people and pregnant women. The vaccine serves to maintain the state of the organism and to prevent severe conditions that could be fatal for the patient, like a complete collapse of the organism, difficulty breathing, coma, and even death. The only problem is that viruses with altered genetic compounds represent a combination of several types of flu and no form of immunization can eradicate them. However, it can alleviate the severity of the disease - explains the doctor for Informer.
Dr. Brana Grujic agrees with Rankovic. According to her, the peak of flu activity is expected in January, the tie when the number of sick people could drastically increase.
- Throat inflammation, nasal leakage, cough, weakness, increased fever, and muscle pain are the main symptoms of any seasonal influenza, even mutated, and it is mainly treated with vitamins and medicines for cold. But if the disease lasts longer than seven days, and patients do not notice an improvement in recovery, it is mandatory to contact the doctor, because their tips are very important in the days when we have two types of viruses. Certainly, the epicenter of the infection activity is now expected in January after the holidays and school break, when the activity of the virus is the strongest - says Dr. Grujic and advises citizens that it is very important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, to drink fluids, preparations against colds, rest and avoid in closed rooms.
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