Those who had to suffer through the swine flu last year and earlier this year will be delighted to hear that while the experience was likely incredibly intense and draining, experts worldwide are now saying research suggests those who overcame the intense virus that started the 2010 pandemic scare may actually have super immune systems thanks to the way the human body fights off the swine flu.
Researchers are suggesting that research conducted on the Swine Flu may soon lead to the development of a super-vaccine that could eventually wholesale prevent all forms of flu in humans. With seemingly yearly scares over various flu vaccines and the diseases themselves, a universal flu vaccine and immune response from the body could result in an extraordinary immunity to future diseases including the once feared H5N1 bird flu. Of course further research is being conducted at Oxford University in an attempt to glean the benefits of the disease without having to go through the debilitating and sometimes even deadly Swine Flu.
Tests began in 2008 for a universal flu vaccine, and with the various strains of the disease claiming half a million lives worldwide every year and causing others to lose days or even weeks of work time and keep them isolated from friends and loved ones. And yet it seems that those who had the swine flu will (at least for a period) not have to worry about several strains of swine flu.
It doesn’t mean you’ll never get sick, but it means you’re far less likely to get infected with several different strains of the flu including the 1918 Spanish flu which killed millions and the 1976 outbreak strain of flu. Whether or not the swine flu vaccine provides any similar benefits is yet to be studied, though experts have suggested this new immunity boost works is by recovering from the illness itself.
Of course this isn’t unheard of in medical circles. Many diseases have run their course and as a result allowed for a stronger immune system. In addition to the swine flu, Chicken Pox is often said to be a coming of age disease because once someone gets it they are more immune to it later in life.
In the past, the CDC had to use predictions to decide which vaccines were stockpiled and this inevitably led to shortages and fears of shortages occasionally over the years. Ultimately, if the vaccines were universal they would not have to worry about running the risk of appropriating resources toward the wrong vaccine. And ultimately fewer people would have to take shots for the vaccine or risk wasting their time with the wrong one.
But in the mean time, it would seem those who suffered from the swine flu will be able to fight off diseases in the future more effectively than ever. And with the flu season in full swing, that’s good news to a lot of those with swine flu memories.