Flu meaning and treatment : What is Flu and how can I get rid of it?
WHAT IS THE FLU?
Influenza is commonly known as flu, it is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses. Flu appears most frequently in winter and early spring. The flu virus attacks the body by spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract.
WHAT IS COLD?
Colds are very common respiratory illnesses that are usually due to infections with rhinoviruses.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COLD AND FLU
The main difference between a cold and the flu is that the flu generally has more severe symptoms and possible complications and leads to potentially life-threatening. Different viruses cause them.
SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS OF FLU
- Headaches (this is usually common and intense)
- Runny nose or stuffy nose (rare)
- Nausea (rare in adult and common in children)
- Vomiting (rare in adult and common in children)
- Fever (or feeling feverish/having chills), (common and sudden)
- Cough (common, sudden Dry and persistent or with phlegm)
- Body aches (common and sometimes intense)
- Aching muscles
- Fatigue (tiredness).
- Loss of appetite
- Chest pressure
- Shortness of breath
HOW CAN IT SPREAD?
The spread of the flu, just like any other contagious disease can be transmitted in three ways
- By inhalation of virus-laden aerosols: An infectious aerosol is a collection of pathogen-laden particles in air. Aerosol particles may deposit onto or be inhaled by a susceptible person. The pathogen remains viable in the environment for some period of time, and the target tissues in which the pathogen initiates infection are accessible to the aerosol.
- By contact with contaminated objects: You can also contract the flu from handshakes, hugs, and touching surfaces like door knobs, light switch, hair bushes that have been contaminated with the virus. This is why you shouldn’t share utensils or drinking glasses with anyone, especially someone who might be sick
- By direct contact with infected persons: The flu is primarily transmitted from person to person. If someone with the flu sneezes, coughs, or talks, droplets from them become airborne. If these droplets come in contact with your nose or mouth, you can become sick too.
HOW CAN THE FLU BE TREATED?
People at higher risk of flu complications include young children, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant people, and people with certain medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Antiviral flu drugs are taken to decrease the severity and duration of flu symptoms. In some cases they may be used to prevent flu. They include baloxavir marboxil (xofluza), oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab), or Zanamivir (relenza). Antibiotics cannot help flu symptoms. A virus causes the flu, and antibiotics only treat bacterial infections.
SOME OTHER REMEDIES FOR MILD FLU MAY INCLUDE:
- Rest will help your body gather the energy it requires to fight the flu virus.
- Drinking lots of fluids will help you stay hydrated
- Ask you doctor for the right medications
- Keep flu relief close to you at all times
- Lower your body temprature8
HOW CAN FLU BE PREVENTED?
- The American Dietetic Association says eating healthfully is a great way to boost immunity and prevent flu examples of foods fruits, vegetables, whole grains
- Avoid close contact
- Stay home when you are sick
- Clean your hands
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill
- Get a flu shot
- Reducing stress
- Cease smoking: it could be a useful way to prevent the flu not only for the individual but for anyone else in the house
- Exercising frequently
Image Credit: Healthychildren.Org