Influenza is an acute infectious disease of the respiratory tract caused by a virus. Among its most important features is its high transmission capacity of one person to another. It usually occurs in winter and in an epidemic form. This means that each year we face a season in which there may be great activity and circulation of influenza viruses (predominantly in the months of November to March). Because of this, Flu Shots for Your Family are recommended.
The flu is a major health problem, in so that it causes mortality directly or indirectly. The complications it can cause and the economic and social costs incurred can be devastating. The proportion of population affected during annual epidemics is between 5 and 15% in large populations, and is over 50% in closed populations such as boarding schools or nursing homes. Currently there are flu vaccines with high efficacy, but because influenza viruses vary from year to year, the vaccine must be updated every season and administered annually.
Infection with the influenza virus causes an alteration of the respiratory mucosa. Influenza is different from an ordinary cold. This is because the disturbance is much more severe than that caused by catarrhal viruses. A few hours after infection, the respiratory tract becomes inflamed and congestive.
The clinical presentation typically begins abruptly with fever and chills, accompanied by headaches, nasal congestion, throat discomfort, malaise, muscle aches, loss of appetite and a dry cough. The fever and muscle aches usually last for 3-5 days, while the congestion and lack of energy can last up to 2 weeks. Some symptoms of the flu are common to all ages, but others are more specific to certain age groups. Most people recover in one to two weeks, but, in some cases, complications may develop. This is why Flu Shots for Your Family are so important.
Treatment of Influenza
If you have been diagnosed with the flu, your doctor may suggest you do the following:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco.
- Take medications to improve symptoms. Remember that the flu is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not improve your symptoms or speed up healing.
- Do not give aspirin to children or teenagers (This could cause a rare, but serious syndrome called Reye syndrome).
For more information on the flu, or to find out info on other medical issues, visit Midwestexpressclinic.com today.