Influenza is a contagious disease that has flu-like symptoms. It is a viral infection. Flu symptoms are usually worse than a normal cold and lasts longer. Most flu spreads in late fall and winter. The symptoms usually start after a couple of days and you may pass it to someone even before you know you have it.
It is initiated by a sphere or filament shaped virus. The most difficult part of these viruses are they keep on changing. Even though the person has immunity to strain influenza virus, these mutated virus strains can harmfully affect a person. The situations become worse if separate strains join. Such a mixture can be highly dangerous as the fresh emerged virus improves its immunity against the extant vaccines.
Common symptoms of Influenza.
Symptoms of influenza include fever, sore throat, cough, muscle or body aches, runny or stuffy nose, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue. It usually takes 1-4 days for the symptoms to appear, once you catch the virus from an infected person.
The symptoms usually fade away within 2-4 days if you are on medication. However, it is a silent stalker. Bronchitis, Ear infection, sinus and bacterial infection are serious problems that can persist.
How to prevent Influenza infection.
The best way to prevent this flu is by getting vaccinated each year with a flu shot. It is best to stay at home when you are sick. Remember to wash your hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick, cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, get plenty of sleep and drink a lot of fluids.
Treatment of Influenza infection.
If you get the flu, important actions that need to be taken are avoiding alcohol and tobacco use, drinking plenty of liquids and taking medications to relieve the symptoms. Aspirin and ibuprofen can be used to treat headaches, fever and muscle pain for adults.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This sections answers some of the most common questions regarding Influenza.
Q. Is it curable?
Yes, influenza is curable and usually fades away in a week or two but symptoms persist. However, antiviral drugs can be used to reduce the time.
Q. Is it life-threatening?
Yes, it can be life threatening with some medical risks.
Q. Is it contagious?
Yes, the virus is highly contagious and spreads from sneezing, coughing and when the person comes in direct contact with an infected person.
Q. Is it possible to take other vaccines at the same time?
Yes, the vaccine is 100% safe if taken with another vaccine.
Q. Is it recommended for pregnant women?
Pregnant women are at a higher risk of catching this flu, therefore this vaccine is highly recommended.
Q. At what age should it be taken?
Vaccine can be taken by any individual on a yearly basis.