#FluStory: this doctor started a Twitter thread to show the real impact of influenza

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

April 11th, 2019

Editorial Team

‘When Dr Jennifer Gunter took to Twitter to share her stories on the influenza, she had no idea it would go viral’

Dr Gunter, a gynaecologist, is no stranger to social media. A prolific blogger and social media commentator, she has a stunning 148,000 Twitter followers – putting her in the top 0.1% of the Twitter elite.

But even by her own stellar standards, Dr Gunter’s latest viral thread on influenza is a smash hit. Tired of hearing how flu isn’t a big deal, she called on her enormous band of followers to share their real-life #FluStory. The responses were inspiring, shocking and deeply sad.

She kicked things off by describing her own son’s experience.

Dr Gunter also recalled her own bout of H1N1 during the early phases of the pandemic.

Some parents bravely shared stories of otherwise healthy children who had died from influenza, including a father who lost their three-year-old girl.

A mother described how her young son had developed a minor fever that quickly developed into a fatal illness. She has since become a vocal flu vaccine advocate and set up a website dedicated to Jude.

Others shared stories of adults who had died from flu.

Several posters spoke about influenza during pregnancy. The flu vaccine is recommended by the WHO for pregnant women.

This mother spoke of her fear of losing a baby after she was struck down by the virus.

Several posts focused from people who had survived the flu spoke of the disruptive effect it had had on their lives. A student in Scotland recalled how they had missed school due to influenza, fallen behind on their studies, and failed a maths exam.

Health professionals were also quick to weigh in with their stories.

This intensive care nurse described some of the horrors she has witnessed.