The flu is a viral infection caused by influenza virus.
Besides seasonal flu, there is also the "swine" flu which cause caused worldwide outbreak in 2009-10 (Pandemic). Bird flu ("avian flu") is a severe form of the flu that is caused by a type of flu virus that first infected birds.
Most important strain for humans is H1N1 and H3N2
- Fever (temperature higher than 100ºF or 37.8ºC)
- Extreme tiredness
- Headache or body aches
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
Its severity varies in different people. In some it gets controlled on its own may be in a week time however, in some high-risk group it can cause serious pneumonia and can be led to death.
Yes. In most cases, your doctor can tell if you have the flu by your symptoms. Sometimes your doctor may advice nasal or throat swab to test for influenza virus.
- Hand wash with soap and water or alcohol hand rub
- Avoid contact with people infected with flu
- Get the flu vaccine every year – Its effectiveness varies among individuals. Even if you get flu despite vaccinated, severity of illness would be lesser.
Take paracetamol if fever >100 ⁰F.
Do not give medicine containing ‘Aspirin’ to children younger than 18 years as it may cause Reye Syndrome.
Always cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow / handkerchief when you cough or sneeze.
- Have trouble breathing or are short of breath
- Feel pain or pressure in your chest or belly
- Get suddenly dizzy
- Have severe vomiting
Most people who get the flu will only develop a mild illness and won’t need medical care or antiviral drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It can be treated with antiviral medicines. If you have had contact with person suffering from flu and you don’t have any symptoms still, you may need to take anti-viral medicine in prophylaxis dosage.
Flu can be dangerous in pregnancy. Take flu shot if not already taken within a year. See you doctor immediately if you have symptoms as you may need to take anti-viral medicine.