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10 Tips About Flu

Discussion in 'Pulmonology' started by Egyptian Doctor, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

    Mar 21, 2011
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    10. Flu:

    Flu is the common name for influenza. It’s a virus that infects the respiratory system and causes signs and symptoms of respiratory illness.

    9. Influenza Viruses:

    Flu is caused by influenza viruses, which can be grouped into three classes Influenza virus A, Influenza virus B, and Influenza virus C. These viruses infect the population at extreme of their age, which means children and elderly are vulnerable to their infection hence both these groups should be vaccinated against these viruses. There are various sub-classes of these viruses such as H1N1 up to H10N7 are sub-classes of influenza virus A. Influenza virus B infects animals also including like pigs and dogs along-with humans.

    8. Previous Flu Pandemics

    Pandemic refers to a phenomenon in which a specific disease or illness does not remain just limited to certain country, but it spreads out into neighboring countries across the globe. Most prominent flu pandemics in the history include Asiatic (Russian) Flu in 1889 that killed 1 million people, followed by the 1918 flu pandemic or also known as Spanish Flu that killed millions of people at a 2 % fatality rate which was the highest in history. Flu pandemics had been recorded in 1957, 1968, and 2009, which all occurred in Asia.

    7. Spread Of Flu Infection:

    Flu is an infective disease that develops from infection with a specific virus, which can be transmitted from infected person to healthy person. It usually spreads by droplet infection, which means when an infected person sneezes or coughs small droplets containing virus are released in the air and remain suspended in the air for quite sometime. These droplets can then be inhaled by any other healthy person present in the vicinity leading to infection of that person. Other method of transmission can be direct contact like shake hands, using telephones or mobile phones, and door knobs. Thats why everybody should wash their hands frequently especially before meals. During a seasonal outbreak of flu every body should wear a protective mask, whether infected (to prevent spread of infection) or not infected (to prevent catching the infection) and if possible avoid going out and just stay at home.

    6. Vaccination Against Flu:

    Prevention is better than cure and best way of prevention is vaccination against the specific disease. The influenza vaccination is commonly known as a flu shot. It is an annual vaccination, in which a vaccine specific for a given year is used to protect against the highly variable influenza virus. Each seasonal influenza vaccine contains three influenza viruses: one influenza type A subtype H3N2 virus strain , one influenza type A subtype H1N1 (seasonal) virus strain, and one influenza type B virus strain. A quadrivalent flu vaccine administered by nasal mist was approved by the U.S.Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 2012.

    5. Flu Season:

    Flu season comes in October every year and lasts till may next year. If you get the flu during this season, you’ll have lots of company. Each year from October to May, millions of people all across the Globe come down with the flu. People at extreme of their age (kids and elderly) get the flu most often. But people in every age group — including teens — can catch it.

    4. Mortality From Flu:

    Flu has been ranked 6th with respect to its mortality rate. Mortality from flu has gone up from 3,300, to 49,000 deaths per year over the past century.

    3. Signs And Symptoms Of Flu:

    Flu symptoms appear anywhere between day 1 to day 4 after a person has been exposed to the virus. The main symptoms of flu are headache, sore throat, fever, chills, muscle aches, stuffy nose and dry cough. Some people who are suffering from flu may also have a high grade fever — for example, that person’s temperature may be around 104°F (40°C). People with the flu often feel achy and extra tired. They may lose their appetites.

    The fever and aches usually disappear within a few days, but the sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, and tiredness may continue for a week or so. In addition, the flu can sometimes cause vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

    2. Laboratory Investigations For Influenza:

    Typically, cases of influenza are diagnosed without testing if it is the flu season and it is known that the flu has reached the community. If a person has symptoms and signs that are essentially the same as the symptoms of other people with known cases of the flu, then the doctor may make the diagnosis without testing. However, the flu can be deadly and knowing that it is in the community can help doctors minimize its spread and treat patients to lessen its severity if it is diagnosed early, so testing may be performed for these reasons.

    The tests used for diagnosis of various types of influenza include: Influenza rapid antigen test; Influenza type A and B antigen detection by direct fluorescent antibody (DFA); Influenza type A and B antibody (IgM, IgG); Influenza A and B culture; Influenza type A H1N1 and real time polymerase chain reaction.

    1. Treatment Of Flu:

    The best way to take care of your flu is to rest in bed and drink lots of liquids like water and other non-caffeinated drinks. Stay home until you feel better and your temperature has returned to normal.

    Most people with flu get better on their own after the virus runs its course. But call your doctor if you have the flu and any of the following happen:

    your condition is getting worse
    you develop breathing problem or other complications, such as a sinus infection
    you have a coexisting medical condition (for example, diabetes, heart problems, asthma, or other lung problems)
    Most teens can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help with fever and aches. Avoid aspirin or any combination of medicines that contains aspirin. If kids and teens take aspirin while they have the flu, it puts them at risk of developing Reye syndrome. Although Reye syndrome is rare, it can be serious.

    Antibiotics won’t help because those don’t work against viruses. Sometimes doctors can prescribe an antiviral medicine to reduce the length of ilness. These medicines are effective only against some types of flu virus and must be taken within 48 hours after flu symptoms appear. Doctors usually use this medicine for people who are very young, elderly, or ill or at risk for serious complications, like patients with asthma.



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