Influenza: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Prevention
Cold or flu is caused by a virus that affects the trachea. It is a rapidly spreading infectious disease, which is easily spread by coughing or sneezing by a sick person.
Cold can be spread even by touching. In adults, the disease starts spreading even by touch as early as 2 days before the onset of cold symptoms and this condition can last up to 7 days after the onset of the disease. This means that the cold starts spreading even before it is detected.
According to an estimate, 2.5 to 5 lakh people die in a year due to cold. In countries with heavy industries, people over the age of 65 are more likely to die of cold.
If a large number of people in a country get the flu, then the flu can spread like an epidemic.
Now let's look at the symptoms of the disease:
People usually can't differentiate between the flu and a cold. Symptoms of flu and cold include runny nose, phlegm and sore throat.
The following symptoms differentiate a flu from a cold:
- Pain in knees and joints
- High fever
- Fatigue, throbbing
- Shivering, sweating
- Abdominal diseases, e.g., Nausea, diarrhea Vomiting (these symptoms are found in children and adults both)
These symptoms can last up to a week, while weakness and loss of consciousness can last for several weeks.
How serious is a flu?
In most cases, a cold isn't serious—it causes discomfort. But in some unfortunate cases, the flu leads to many complications. This happens in young children, the elderly and people who have been sick for a long time, whose body's immunity is reduced.
Complications from severe flu create more risk for:
- Individuals over 65 years
- Newborn Children
- Patients with heart disease
- Patients suffering from the diseases like bronchitis and asthma
- Kidney disease Patients
- Diabetes patients
- People taking steroids
- Patient getting treatment for Cancer.
Some intricacies associated with cold flu include water shortage in the body, pneumonia caused by bacteria. In more severe cases, it can cause chest congestion, heart failure in patients with diabetes and asthma.
Treatment of flu:
Cold is caused by viruses, in which antibiotics are not effective unless there is another disease associated with the bacteria. Some common symptoms, such as headache and body ache, can be treated with painkillers such as Paracetamol.
Flu patients should do this:
- Stay at home
- Avoid contact with people until you recover
- With the help of Dettol liquid handwash or hand sanitizer Keep the germs off your hands.
- Rest and keep the body warm
- Make maximum use of liquid food and drink
- Stay away from alcohol
- Stop smoking
- Use separate utensils for the patient and clean them with Dettol multiuse hygiene liquid
How to avoid flu?
Health experts and government agencies around the world recommend that the best way to prevent flu is to take a vaccine every year.
Two types medicines are available. Flu shot and nasal spray. The flu shot is given through a syringe, usually in the arm. The use of this procedure is allowed for anyone over the age of 6 months.
The nasal spray flu vaccine is made from live, weakened flu viruses that don't make you sick.
There are three types of flu viruses – A (H3N2) virus, A (H1N2) virus, and B virus. Vaccines are changed as the virus reproduces and multiplies.