What do people know about influenza nowadays?
Probably all faced with the flu at least once in their lives. This is not surprising, because influenza is one of the most common infectious illnesses that can cause massive outbreaks and even epidemics every year. Therefore, it is important to know about the disease: how dangerous it is, how to defend ourselves from illness, and as the easiest way to become healthy. Why is illness so common? The influenza virus is highly variable. Annually there are new strains of the virus, with which human immune system is not yet met, and therefore cannot easily cope with. That is why flu shot cannot provide full protection. It is not 100% guarantee that you will not get sick, but significantly reduces the risk of disease. Therewith there may be side effects of flu shot as redness and swelling of the hands. It may also have a fever or muscle aches.
Diagnosis and symptoms of influenza
Influenza is a serious viral infection that usually affects women, men, children of all ages. Disease is accompanied by high mortality. Influenza epidemics can occur every year, generally during the cold season and affect up about 15% of the world population. Influenza relates to acute highly contagious diseases, which are characterized by a sharp toxicosis, mild catarrhal symptoms with the most intense lesions of the trachea and the large bronchi. Influenza differs from the common cold usually by sudden appearance. People who become ill usually feel some or all of the following influenza symptoms as high temperature, fever, cough, fever or chills, sore throat, sore muscles and body, runny nose, fatigue, severe weakness, headache, in some people there can be vomiting and diarrhea, but more often it occurs in children.
How do you get the flu?
The only source of influenza infection is a sick man. The flu virus is found in tiny droplets of saliva, sputum, nasal mucus released during talking, sneezing, coughing, so flu is attributed to airborne infections. The susceptibility to flu is very high, especially dangerous period of formation and circulation of new types of influenza B and A. The probability of infection with influenza increases in areas with large concentrations of people (in schools, institutions, transport, entertainment events, etc.).
Possible complications after the occurrence of influenza
The flu virus is exacerbated existing chronic diseases, in addition to this the disease has an extensive list of possible complications:
- Pulmonary complications (bronchitis, pneumonia). Primary viral pneumonia is a rare, but very serious complication of the flu. The disease starts like the flu and has been steadily progressing. There is shortness of breath, sometimes with the development of respiratory failure. Cough appears with scanty sputum, sometimes with blood. For viral pneumonia there are possible heart defects, particularly mitral stenosis.
- Complications of upper respiratory tract (sinusitis, rhinitis, otitis media, tracheitis).
- Complications of the cardiovascular system (myocarditis, pericarditis).
- Complications of the nervous system (encephalitis, meningitis, neuralgia).
To avoid possible complications, it is crucial to carry out prevention of influenza and properly treat the disease itself.
What can you do in the case of the flu appearance?
The patient with the first symptoms should stay at home in order not to infect others, but also in time to do the treatment for flu, which requires immediate medical attention. To prevent further spread the sick should be isolated from healthy individuals, it is advisable to allocate a separate room. During the day it is better to have good drinking of 8 liquid glasses (water, sweet herbal tea with lemon and honey, if you do not have allergies). Fresh lemon mixed with honey and hot water, warm milk with honey reduces pain in the throat and softens the cough. You can take medications that relieve pain and reduce the temperature. Children should not be given acetylsalicylic acid, it is better for them to buy in the drugstore children paracetamol. Before taking the medication, carefully read the instructions on the package and follow all recommendations.
What can the doctor do?
The flu can be confused with other diseases, so a clear diagnosis should be indicated by the doctor. The specialist assigns the treatment strategy corresponding to the status and age of the patient. For proper flu treatment patient must strictly comply with all recommendations of a doctor and take the medication in a time. For febrile fever patient is appointed Paracetamol and flu remedies based on it (Panadol Extra, Tylenol, Motrin). The basic treatment of influenza should include vitamins and herbal medicines (Vitamin C, Amalaki, Aloe Vera Juice, Kof Tea, Echinacea). In case of allergic history it is necessary to use antihistamines (Benadryl, Zyrtec, Claritin). Therapy of influenza includes also a combination of cold and flu medicaments. The maximum total efficiency of these medications is shown for appointment at the earliest possible time.
Preventive measures and flu vaccination
If you have a high risk of developing complications or a high probability of getting the flu (including those related to the profession: the police, health workers, teachers, child care workers), the doctor may suggest a flu vaccine. Vaccination should be carried out for 2-3 weeks prior to the growth of disease, can only be vaccinated in a medical facility by trained medical personnel, and the pre-vaccination mandatory medical examination. In some cases patients may experience flu shot symptoms as cough, headache, body aches, sore throat, runny nose. In some cases, fever is also possible. Importantly, the benefits of vaccination are much greater than the side effects. The vaccination is not carried out for children younger than 6 months, people who are allergic to chicken protein or those who have previously had a reaction to the flu shots.