Flu is spreading slowly across many states. Influenza popularly called as Flu is a viral infection caused by virus Influenza A & B or C. It is difficult to prevent Flu all at once even though virus for this illness is well known.
Flu spreads even more rapidly during the winter. Since winter season is different in Northern & Southern hemispheres there are two Flu seasons every year across the hemisphere. Winter in northern hemisphere falls from December to March and in the Southern hemisphere, it is from June to September. Right now continents which fall under Northern hemisphere (Europe, North America, 2/3 rd of Africa, Vast majority of Asia, Caribbean) are suffering from the flu.
It is high time to be healthy and immune during this winter season. Let us see the cause, symptom, precaution, treatment for this flu to be alert.
What causes the Flu?
Flu is mainly caused by the Virus Influenza. This Virus has A, B & C types which have their own differentiation. Most of the times people are affected by Influenza A & B. These two can be prevented by flu shots but Influenza C cannot be prevented by any other means.
Please note, this looks almost like cold but it is lot more severe than a regular cold. Influenza virus lives for a longer time in cold air hence is easily transmitted by air. This can be spread easily by handshake, kiss, touching objects which are used by an infected person, sneeze etc.
If you have symptoms please be away from your friends and family to prevent spreading further. Virus may stay from two to seven days with severe cold and sneezing.
As already mentioned Flu symptoms are similar to cold but it is lot more severe. Cold increases gradually to high condition but Flu starts with unbearable cold from Day one!
Sometimes it is difficult to recognize the symptoms. Hence it is better to stay alert if you see any of these below symptoms;
- Running Nose
- Throat Pain
- Watering Eyes (Itchy sometimes)
- A cough in the chest
Consult doctor immediately if you have any of these. You can spread Flu easily before knowing that you have got it. Above are the general symptoms in most of the patients. Sometimes these also can be found in case of a severe condition.
- Body Ache or Pain
- Light and continuous fever
- Increased appetite
- Stomach pain
- Difficulty in breathing by blocked nose
- Sleep lag
According to CDC Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report, 923 positive specimens have been testified as of December 30th, 2017 (Week 52). This is moderate according to sources, the graph may go high in coming days.
Pregnant ladies, Diabetic patients, People aged above 60, Newborn babies are at high risk hence it is very important for these guys to stay immune.
How Can it be prevented?
Every winter Flu attacks most of the countries and people. All we can do is to follow as many preventive methods as we can. Keep the infected patients away with all their belongings at least for a week. Wipe the things thoroughly using a wet tissue to avoid spreading germs. Flu can be prevented by;
- Taking regular shots (Once in a year)
- Staying away from the infected person
- Consulting doctor as soon as you see the symptom
Since Flu can come to anyone from Infant to an adult, there are 2 types of shots. For babies (6 months and older) there is Flu shot which goes directly into muscle. Adults aged from 18-64 can take Flu shot with a small needle which only goes to an upper layer of skin. This Flu shot contains a dead virus and hence is mostly recommended.
There is not much or clear treatment in medical history to cure Flu. Generally, flu takes its own time to cure hence it is very important to take bed rest. Flu causes running nose hence drink lots of water or any other fluid to maintain the water level in the body.
Medication like cough treatment, an antiviral drug can cure it fast but still, it is very important to provide all the necessities required for the body to fight flu on its own. Drugs help especially during the night to have sound sleep.
Take steam three times a day to feel better from a headache and running nose. Gargling throat with hot water and salt can help to overcome with a sore throat.
Drink boiled water, eat easily digestible foods, avoid milk products like curd, buttermilk, butter etc. Avoid computer or watching TV which strains eyes. Remember, your body needs complete rest!
Finally, follow the precautionary measures to prevent Flu. If you are infected then don’t worry. Just relax, eat and drink well.