Hundreds of people have died as the result of the flu. Scientists have stated that the only way to put a stop to flu season is to create a universal vaccine. The flu is not one virus. There are several viruses that can cause the flu. This year’s vaccine was not effective for preventing the flu. The poor match is one of the many reasons that scientists want to develop a universal vaccine.
Many people compare this year’s flu season to the Spanish flu, which occurred 100 years ago. This flu killed thousands of people and affected about 5 percent of the world’s population. One of the reasons that this flu was so deadly was because there was not a vaccine to prevent it. There were also no antibiotics or antiviral drugs available during this time. Additionally, poor sanitation and crowded housing made the virus more deadly.
The virus could also be transferred from animal to human. Vaccines are made from proteins that are found on the outside of the virus. This helps the body produce antibodies against that virus. However, the virus can mutate and trick the immune system.
A team of scientists at Oxford University Jenner Institute is coming up with a different approach that can help them develop a more effective vaccine. They want to use the proteins that every influenza A virus has. A team of scientists at University of California Los Angeles has a different approach. They are focusing on the influenza A genome. They want to find what makes it resist the body’s defenses.
Scientists are crossing their fingers and hoping that a vaccine will be available within the next few years. According to the World Health Organization, the flu causes 500,000 deaths worldwide. Over 50 million people have died from the flu since 1918.