Influenza is a respiratory tract infection caused by a virus. Millions of people suffer from the flu each year. Influenza is very contagious and spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes and it can also spread by touching an object that was used by an infected person. Influenza can also spread through your saliva, by kissing or sharing utensils with an infected person. There is no cure for influenza. Treatment is to reduce the symptoms and improve your comfort.
Influenza Flu Symptoms
The flu consists of the following symptoms:
A fever as high as 38-40 Celsius, aches and pains, fatigue, headache, sore throat, a dry persistent cough, runny nose, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, and tiredness. Your symptoms will begin to improve in two to three days but will take at least ten days to clear up. If your symptoms do not improve by this time and you are still not feeling well, you will have to see your doctor for further assessment.
How A Person Can Spread The Flu
The virus is transmitted from one person to another by droplets and from coughing and sneezing. When others come into contact with the virus or breathe in the droplets they are at risk of getting the infection. You can pass on the virus to someone else before you even know that you are sick. People become contagious one to four days of exposure to the virus and it will last from five to seven days. It may be shorter for people who have had the flu shot. Try to stay away from crowded places and limit your contact with other people, so you don’t pass the virus on to someone else. A person can be exposed through contaminated objects like a telephone or even by touching other things like your computer keys and not washing your hands afterward.
The virus can enter your body if you touch your eyes, mouth or nose when your hands are contaminated with the virus. A person can spread the virus one day before the flu symptoms begin to show, and will continue to spread it to others after becoming sick.
Ways to Prevent the Spread of Influenza
If you are coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth with a tissue, or a cough and sneeze into your sleeve, rather than your hands. Don’t go to work if you have the flu. Avoid direct contact with others, like kissing and sharing contaminated objects. Wash your hands with soap and water after coughing, sneezing or touching contaminated objects. Use a hand Sanitizer to clean your hands if you are in a hurry and keep one in your purse, or pocket. Avoid touching your face, eyes, and mouth as these are port of entry for the virus to enter.
How to Treat the Flu
Getting a flu shot is the best way to avoid the infection. If you already have the flu, get plenty of rest to fight it and help prevent the spread to others. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids like water and fruit juices. Take pain relievers for your pain and lower your fever. If you have flu symptoms and are at risk of complications, see your doctor as soon as you can. Taking antiviral drugs within the first 48 hours after you first notice your symptoms, may reduce the length of your illness and help to prevent more serious complications.
People at high risk for complications from influenza will need to get a yearly flu vaccination. They include people 65 or older, people with chronic illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes, pregnant women, anyone with a weakened immune system, Health Care Providers including first Responders and people taking care of anyone at risk for influenza complications. People who have a temperature will need to get better before taking the flu shot. Although the annual flu vaccine is not 100 percent effective, it is still your best defense against the flu.
The best way to fight off the cold and flu is to eat foods with antioxidants, especially organically grown fruits and vegetables. Some of these foods are filled with antioxidants that will help to boost your immune system to fight off the virus that is causing the problem. According to reports, KIWI is high in antioxidants that are loaded with vital nutrients including vitamin C, carotenoids, polyphenols, fiber, and many other vitamins and minerals. Kiwifruit also has a beneficial effect on your immune system in which it helps to fight inflammation, full of nutrients, and increase its fiber content by three times the amount required.
As always, if you get the flu, it is very important to know the influenza flu symptoms in order to protect yourself, your family, friends, and others from getting sick with the flu, and getting the help you need before it’s too late. Know your body and how you are feeling, and see your doctor if your influenza is getting worse to get the help you need. Please feel free to leave a comment.
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