Flu: Symptoms, Transmission, Prevention and Treatment


The flu or Influenza is a disease that tend to be very infectious. This disease is normally caused by a virus known as the influenza virus.

Symptoms
The symptoms of the flu include the following:
1. Runny nose
2. Headaches
3. Coughs
4. Sore throat
5. Muscle pains
6. Fever
7. Congestion in the nasal cavity
8. Sneezing
9. Watery eyes
10. Fatigue
11. Earache
12. Sometimes reddened nose and mouth can be seen.
Children with influenza can sometimes exhibit symptoms like stomach pain and vomiting.
Two days after you have been exposed to the influenza virus, you would start showing the symptoms.

Types of influenza viruses
There are three main types of influenza viruses out there. They include:
1. Type A
2. Type B
3. Type C

Transmission
An infected individual can transmit the disease to other people through coughing or sneezing.
From day two to day five after the infection, individuals who have been infected will be very infectious to other people.
There are three major ways that flu can be transmitted from one person to the other.
The three major ways of transmission include: 
1. Direct transmission
This is when the mucus from an infected person's sneeze somehow directly managed to enter the nose or mouth.

2. Airborne transmission
The flu can be transmitted through airborne. A person will be infected if he or she breaths in aerosols given out by an infected individual's sneeze or cough.

3. Hand to mouth, eye or nose transmission.
This occurs when a person's hand comes into direct contact with contaminated surfaces and he or she touches the mouth, eye or nose with that same hand. Some of these contaminated surfaces could be doorknobs, light switches, television remotes and many more.
Sometimes, touching your mouth, eye or nose with your hand after a handshake with an infected person can also result in the swift transmission of the influenza viruses.

Prevention
1. Influenza vaccine
  • The influenza vaccine is known to be very helpful in preventing the influenza virus from causing any sort of infection to people who are prone to the flu. Individuals who are very prone to the flu are health care workers, children and elderly people.
  • Individuals with heart diseases and asthma are normally advised to go in for the influenza vaccine.


2. Reducing the transmission of the influenza virus through unique and desired personal hygiene can help prevent the flu. 
The following are some hygienic ways to reduce influenza virus transmission:
  • Wash the hand quite often with soap and water.
  • Advice people to cover their nose and mouth when they are sneezing or coughing.
  • Do not spit in public and tell people not to do so too.
  • Wear face mask when you are around infected people.
  • The use of efficient sanitisers to sanitise possible contaminated surfaces can help stop transmission of the influenza virus hence avoiding infection.
  • A person suffering from flu should avoid physical contact with people who are not infected in order to stop the spread of the infection.


Treatment
  • Drinking high amount of fluids and getting enormous amount of rest are the best basic ways individuals who has the flu can suppress the intensity of the flu infection symptoms.


  • Cutting alcohol intake and smoking can be helpful during treatment.


  • Taking paracetamol is known to be very helpful in managing certain symptoms that comes along with the flu.


  • The use of antiviral drugs for treatment is widely known to be very efficient and effective. Neuraminidase inhibitors and M2 protein inhibitors are common groups of antivirals that can be used to treat flu. Visiting your doctor for appropriate  antiviral drug prescription is the best, ideal and right way to prevent complications after the drug intake.


Note: A child with flu should not take in aspirin in order to prevent a very dangerous liver disease known as Reye's syndrome.
Note: Antibiotics literally cannot have any kind of positive impact on flu infection because flu is caused by viruses not bacterias.

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