What do you mean by Influenza?

Influenza in simple language is ‘Flu’. It is a highly contagious viral infection caused by the family of Influenza virus which affects humans. Influenza is a very common ailment which affects millions of people worldwide. The condition is characterized by the presence of chills and fevers, pain and sore throat.

Sometime the infection of flu becomes an epidemic affecting a large number of people at the same time.

What cause Influenza?

Influenza is also known as seasonal flu and is caused by the Influenza virus which becomes active in particular seasons or change in seasons.

Influenza can be of various degrees depending upon the type and strains of virus which are active in the air and spread easily.

Influenza can spread by contact with an infected person by direct contact like shaking of hands, sneezing and using of soiled handkerchief of infected persons.

What are the symptoms of Influenza?

The symptoms of Influenza are very sudden and visible signs and symptoms include:

  • High fever between 100° and 104° Celsius
  • Fever comes and goes
  • Muscle and body pain and aches
  • Headache and painful eye movement
  • Fatigue, tiredness and loss of appetite
  • Development of sore throat gradually
What are the risk factors?

The risk factors are:

  • Children under the age of 2 years
  • Expecting mothers
  • Adults above 65 years
  • Persons with some other underlying condition like AIDS or reduced immunity
How is Influenza diagnosed?

The ailment of Influenza or flu is very common and can take epidemic proportions hence it is easy for the General Practitioner to diagnose the condition of Flu by the symptoms alone. Only rarely will blood tests be advised. Flu being seasonal, the outbreak during particular times determines the infection as Flu as it is highly contagious.

Can Influenza be cured?

Flu vaccine is available and treatment can easily cure the symptoms which are not fatal. A person can be infected by flu more than one time, which gets easily cured by treatment. It is a cause for concern when there is some underlying condition like HIV/AIDS or kidney disease or lung ailments.

Can flu be prevented?

The vaccine for flu is available but it has to be taken every year.

The other methods of prevention include:

  • Washing your hands often when there is a flu outbreak
  • No touching of eyes, nose and mouth again and again
  • Eating a well balanced healthy diet including hot soups
  • No smoking, exercising and eating of pro-biotic food [good bacteria] which boost immunity
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