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Flu

What is Flu?

It is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory tract including the nose, throat, and lungs. It is also known as influenza. For most individuals, it resolves on its own but sometimes it may prove fatal.

CAUSES

Influenza virus can travel through the droplets in the air when someone talks, sneezes, or coughs. You may directly inhale the droplets or get them by touching the object such as telephone, newspaper, or keyboard and then transfer them to your mouth, nose, or eyes. If you had the infection in the past your body has already made antibodies against it. So, if the virus attack again your body can fight the infection more efficiently, but the antibodies level can drop with time.

flu-effect on body

SYMPTOMS

  • Fever
  • Sweating with chills
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Pain in the eyes or the periorbital areas.
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Pain in muscles and body
  • Headache
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Low appetite
flu-sign & symptoms

COMPLICATIONS

  • Pneumonia
  • Myocarditis-inflammation of the heart muscles
  • Encephalitis-brain
  • Myositis-muscle tissue
  • Multi-failure organ including the kidneys and lungs.
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Sepsis
flu-complication

PEOPLE WHO ARE AT HIGH RISK OF GETTING THE INFECTION

  • People at extreme levels of ages are more prone to get the infection like up to 65 years old adults, pregnant women, or children younger than 2 years.
  • People have a weak immune system.
  • Native Americans
  • People have interaction with care facilities for the long term.
  • People have chronic diseases like kidneys disease, liver disease, diabetes, asthma, etc.
  • The obese person has a body mass of 40 or greater than that.
  • People younger than 18 years of age who are taking aspirin for a long time are more prone to get Reye’s syndrome if they get infected with the influenza virus.

DIAGNOSIS

For diagnosis purposes, medical officers first ask the medical history and the sign and symptoms.

There are several tests to confirm the flu. For this purpose, the health care provider will swipe inside the nose to the back of the throat with the cotton swab. Then this swab will be tested for the virus.

EMERGENCY WARNING SIGNS OF FLU

CHILDREN
  • Bluish face and lips
  • Pain in the chest
  • Dehydration that causes no urination for about 8 hours, dry mouth, and no tear production.
  • Seizures attack
  • Temperature above 104
  • Unconsciousness
  • Not alert situation
  • Increased in breathing rate, Trouble in breathing.
IN ADULTS
  • Shortness of breath- dyspnea
  • Continues pain in the chest or at the abdomen level.
  • Seizure attack
  • Unsteadiness or weakness
  • No urination.

PRECAUTIONS

Following precautionary measures can be taken to prevent the disease.

  • Wash your hands for about 10 to 20 seconds to prevent various infections.
  • Use alcohol-based sanitizer to kill the germs.
  • Cough or sneeze on your elbow or the tissue rather than on the hands.
  • Take more sleep and rest, this helps your immune system to fight infections.
  • Take plenty of fluids and water to prevent the dehydrating condition
  • Stop smoking.
  • Regularly clean the surfaces you often come in contact with, this helps to reduce the chances of getting an infection.
  • Try to keep social distancing.
  • Flu has more chances to spread through a crowded area like office buildings, public transportation, auditoriums, schools, etc. By avoiding going to such areas during peak flu season reduces the chances of infection to the maximum extent.
flu-prevention

TREATMENT

  • Anti-viral drugs are given to treat the condition.
  • Some painkillers help to manage body pains and aches.
  • Go and get the flu vaccine every year.
  • People with mild signs and symptoms must stay home, take rest and drink plenty of water and avoid getting in contact with others.

But for severe symptoms do visit a health care provider or doctor to minimize the chances of getting other influenza-related complications.

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