החיסון מסוכן? השפעת הרבה יותר

Professor Alon Hersko, Director of the Deptartment of Medicine C at Hadassah Ein Karem Medical Center, spoke with Arutz Sheva about the unusually high morbidity this flu season, what may be causing it, and what the best way to prevent both becoming ill with flu and experiencing complications is.

"This year there is no doubt that there is a lot more morbidity than there weas in previous years," Professor Hersko said. "In our hospitals, there are four times the number of flu patients than there were during the same period last year."

"The rise in morbidity stems from the fact that apparently the virus underwent a biological change - a change which makes it more violent this year, and obviously the other factor is a drop in the number of people receiving vaccines."

Prof. Hershko also emphasized that "the vaccines are very effective at preventing the illness and even more effective at [preventing] the complications of influenza, so when there is a drop in the number of people being vaccinated, then it obviously means there is more morbidity and more complications."

When asked if the doctors know when the "plague of flu" will end, he said: "We have a very limited ability to predict what will happen this winter, but what we know with certainty is what is happening now, and with almost certainty that this winter will continue to be more difficult with regards to flu morbidity."

"In practice, before the plague began we knew that we were expecting a difficult plague because of the fact that Australia had a difficult flu [season]. As is known, Australia is in the earth's southern hemisphere, and winter there is summer for us. We saw very difficult flu there and it did in fact reach the northern hemisphere.

"What will be in the next month or two? Apparently there will still be a plague, and we will continue to prepare and treat well those who are ill with flu, but we really hope that people will get the vaccine, which, by the way, covers very well the strains of the virus which are causing this year's flu in Israel."

Professor Hershko also discussed the dangers of the vaccine, explaining that the complications of influenza are much greater and more dangerous than the complications which might occur from the vaccines.

"The story with the opposition to vaccines is something that's always beyond my understanding, because it's very well known in medicine, for hundreds of years already, that the best medicine is preventive medicine.

"Every medical treatment has its complications and the vaccine has complications that you cannot ignore, but if we compare the danger of the vaccine to the danger of flu, there's no comparison.... The vaccine usually has no symptoms, while the flu, in the best case, is a febrile illness which forces the person to stay home, and in a worse case it involves severe bacterial pneumonia which takes advantage of the infection, myocarditis, kidney or brain tissue complications, and more.

"I don't think there's a question what's safer. The vaccination is a surefire treatment, and unfortunately this year a lot of people have bought these stories that the vaccine isn't really safe, and we're seeing the results in the hospital wards, with people who are very sick and whose lives are now in danger."

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