Prevent Flu as Winter is at the door
The Influenza Virus is one of the most common source of infectious diseases. It is a highly contagious air borne virus.
There are four types of viruses A, B, C, D. Type D primarily affects cattle and has not been found in humans. But strains of A and B have been reported all over the world.
Symptoms range from mild to severe, including fever, lethargy and fatigue, nasal blockage or runny nose, cough and sore throat.
Symptoms if untreated or in previously vulnerable patients such as asthmatics or patients with other allergies, might exacerbate to lower respiratory tract infections like: bronchitis, asthma attacks, pneumonia, even going into respiratory failure and death.
Flu vaccines are available and used usually a month before winter season starts, the main groups who need the vaccines are children and the elderly especially with chronic diseases.
You should be updated b your family physician on when to start the schedule for it.
Influenza viruses spread from human to human by aerosols created by cough or sneeze. Young children and immunocompromised persons shed out the virus for longer time.
Diagnosis is done by a nasal or throat swab that gives positive results in less than 30 minutes.
Management is best by bed rest, starting antiviral agents that reduces the severity and duration of the illness. To be effective the medication must be started within 40 hours of symptoms.
Some individuals may need admission especially the elderly who may be too weak to care for themselves or those who have other respiratory co-morbidities .