Influenza (Flu)

Influenza (Flu)

In 2009, H1N1 swine flu developed in Mexico and created a worldwide flu pandemic. In 2012, H3N2V developed. We take a look at what influenza is.

What is Influenza?

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a viral infection that infects the respiratory system – your nose, throat and lungs. It is a contagious respiratory illness.

How influenza spreads

When someone with flu infection coughs, sneezes or talks, flu viruses spread by travelling through the air in droplets, transferring to people who are nearby. You may also get the virus by picking up the germs from an object that has the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose!

People infected with the virus can pass on the flu to others 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 days after becoming ill. Children and people with weakened immune systems are more prone to being infected.

Symptoms of flu

  • Fever / chills

  • Dry, persistent cough

  • Sore throat

  • Nasal congestion

  • Muscle / body aches

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue


Risk factors

  • Young children and older adults are more prone to catching the seasonal flu. People aged 65 years and over have the highest risk of complications associated with seasonal flu.

  • Medical treatments for chronic illnesses can weaken the immune system and increase the

  • risk of influenza complications.

  • People who are obese are at a higher risk of flu complications as well.


Prevention

  • Get a flu vaccination each year, especially for older people.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes to slow down the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses.

  • Wash your hands frequently.


 



 





 

 

 

 

Treatment

  • Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids.

  • Over-the-counter treatments are available to reduce flu symptoms. Do consult a doctor if the condition persists or if there are any complications.

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