FLU (Influenza) is a viral infection that affects mainly the nose, throat, bronchi and, occasionally, lungs. Infection usually lasts for about a week, and is illustrated by sudden onset of high fever, aching muscles, headache and severe malaise, non-productive cough, sore throat and rhinitis.
The virus is transmitted easily from person to person via droplets and small particles produced when infected people cough or sneeze. Influenza tends to spread rapidly in seasonal epidemics. Most infected people recover within one to two weeks without requiring medical treatment. However, in the very young, the elderly, and those with other serious medical conditions, infection can lead to severe complications of the underlying condition, pneumonia and death.
The most prominent of the respiratory symptoms is usually a dry, hacking cough. Most people also develop a sore throat and headache. Nasal discharge (runny nose) and sneezing are common. These symptoms (except the cough) usually disappear within 4 – 7 days. Sometimes, the fever returns. Cough and tiredness usually last for weeks after the rest of the illness is over. Anyone at any age can have serious complications from the flu, but those at highest risk include: People over age 50, Children between 6 months and 2 years, Women more than 3 months pregnant during the flu season, anyone living in a long-term care facility, anyone with chronic heart, lung, or kidney conditions, diabetes, or weakened immune system
The best protection against influenza is to have an annual flu vaccination jab.
Another precaution is to maintain good hand hygiene (especially before eating). This is because people’s hands can pick up the virus from touching door handles or shaking hands. The virus can then find its way into a person’s body by their hands touching their mouth, eyes or nose.
Each year, scientists from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Influenza Surveillance Network monitor the strains of flu virus that are circulating in humans round the world. The network consists of 112 National Influenza Centers in 83 countries. Any new strains are rapidly identified and their makeup investigated. Based on information collected by the Network, the WHO annually recommends a vaccine recipe that normally protects against the 3 most virulent strains in circulation. Scientists use this information, composed by a observations, to grow a vaccine yearly opposed to the explicit virus they expect will prevail.
Medicines called neuraminidase inhibitors (NAI) also pertained as antiviral assail the influenza at its origination and obstruct the virus’s capability to flee from cells which are already contaminated, therefore forestalling the infectivity from spreading.
Some antiviral prescription can also prevents the flu and can facilitate controlling the virus in convinced settings like if relatives pass the flu to one another in a family, or colleague thinning out it in the office.