Influenza, also called flu or grippe, is an acute viral infection of the upper or lower respiratory tract that is marked by fever, chills, and a generalized feeling of weakness and pain in the muscles, together with varying degrees of soreness in the head and abdomen.
What is Influenza?
Influenza, commonly called “the flu”, is a contagious disease caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract including the nose, throat, and lungs. Influenza causes severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people.
This document covers seasonal influenza.
Influenza Causes :
Influenza is contagious, which means it can be spread easily from person to person. Viruses that cause influenza spread from person to person mainly by droplets of respiratory fluids sent through the air when someone infected with the virus coughs or sneezes. Other people inhale the airborne virus and can become infected.
The flu virus can live on some surfaces for up to 24 hours. This means that, in some cases, the flu can be spread when someone touches a surface (e.g., doorknobs, countertops, telephones) that has the virus on it and then touches their nose, mouth, or eyes. The flu is most easily spread in crowded places such as schools and offices.
There are three families of influenza virus: A, B, and C. Type C more commonly affect ducks, geese, turkeys, and chickens, but it has also been involved in a small percentage of human cases, most of which are in children. Type B mainly affects humans and usually causes a milder disease, and it changes very little from year to year.
Type influenza poses the most serious problems for humans and causes 95% of cases. Strains of this type have also been found in birds, horses, pigs, seals, whales, and ferrets. Viruses that affect two different species sometimes combine and mix and match genetic information to create a new strain that nobody is immune to and for which no vaccine has been prepared.
The flu takes 1 to 4 days to incubate in humans, but infected people can become contagious starting the day before symptoms appear. Adults remain infectious (i.e., they can spread the virus to others) for about 6 days, and children remain infectious for up to 10 days.
Influenza symptoms :
At first, the flu may seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat. But colds usually develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come on suddenly. And although a cold can be a bother, you usually feel much worse with the flu.
Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:
Chills and sweats
Dry, persistent cough
Shortness of breath
Tiredness and weakness
Runny or stuffy nose
Vomiting and diarrhea, but this is more common in children than adults.
Treatment for Influence :
As influenza is caused by a virus, antibiotics are useless, unless the flu has progressed to other illnesses caused by bacteria. Some of the common symptoms like a headache and body pains can be treated with the help of painkillers/paracetamol.
People suffering from influenza should:
Stay put at home
Avoid direct contact with people till you are cured
Keep your hands protected from germs with the help of Dettol Liquid Handwash or Hand Sanitiser
Take rest and keep yourself warm
Consume plenty of liquids
Abstain from drinking alcohol
Keep separate utensils for the one who is infected and make sure that you wash those utensils with Dettol Multiuse Hygiene Liquid.