Do you have a runny nose, high fever, headache, muscle pain, are you coughing and generally feel weaker and more tired than usual? You may have contracted the flu virus. In this article we will present an extensive information about the flu and its symptoms and ways to prevent and treat the flu.
Get to know the Influenza virus (The Flu)
Influenza is an upper respiratory tract infection caused by viruses from the Orthomyxoviruses family, including the influenza virus. There are three types of viruses that can cause influenza - A, B and C. Type C is considered rare, while virus types A and B are very common, especially during the winter months.
The symptoms of the disease usually appear two days after being infected with the flu and last for about a week. In general, the flu is not a dangerous disease, but when people with a weak immune system and those in risk groups contract the flu, they may develop complications such as a chest infection that might even lead to death.
Influenza virus prevalence
Influenza is very common among the population - 5% to 15% of adults and 20%-30% of children become infected with the virus every year.
How many people die from the flu?
As mentioned, the flu is not usually dangerous, but there are people who may develop complications because of the disease and end up hospitalized. People who have a poor immune system such as infants, immunocompromised patients, the elderly, pregnant women, patients with chronic diseases such as kidney failure and heart failure, as well as people who are overweight - are at risk. According to the World Health Organization, every year there are 3 million to 5 million people who suffer from flu complications and between 290,000 to 650,000 people die every year from the flu.
Does the colds also indicate the flu?
Many people tend to confuse a cold with the flu - a cold manifests itself in a runny nose and a cough, when some of the symptoms of the flu are also a cold and a cough. At the same time, there are differences between a cold and the flu. Colds caused by different types of viruses and not by the flu virus. Compared to the flu, the common cold is milder and does not cause complications like the flu. It passes faster than the flu and does not cause a high fever like the flu.
Did you catch the Flu? These are the Flu symptoms:
A fever that develops suddenly and exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).
Cough without phlegm secretion (The secretions that
the body produces in the bronchial tubes, throat, sinuses and respiratory tract). In many cases, a dry cough is due to viscous phlegm that you don't feel moving in the throat, but it occasionally irritates the cough center located in the throat, so you cough (For phlegm natural treatment we recommend to take the Muco Protector especially for chronic phlegm treatment).
One of the common symptoms of the flu is the headache.
You might have difficulties falling asleep at night.
The flu causes a runny nose, a blocked and stuffy nose, as well as sneezing.
The flu causes a sore throat and swallowing difficulties.
Digestive system problems
Flu patients may sometimes suffer from abdominal pain and diarrhea.
The muscles are also affected by the flu. The immune system tries to fight the virus and as a result proteins called cytokines are released - That causes muscle pain. In addition, the flu causes dehydration accompanied by salt imbalance, and as a result we experience muscle pain.
The flu weakens our body and as a result we feel tired.
During the flu we may feel involuntary tremors and chills.
Loss of appetite
A common symptom of the flu is loss of appetite and decreased hunger.
I think that I have contracted the flu - when is it recommended to go to the doctor?
You should consult a doctor if you have a high fever of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) that lasts more than three days. Also, have you developed shortness of breath, a sharp earache, facial pain, purulent runny nose? If your cough gets worse and followed with chest pain that shows purulence, and if you at the same time, feel difficulty looking at the light, have strong headaches and suffer from vomiting. In these cases, you should consult a doctor.
How is the flu virus contagious?
The flu virus spreads by droplets. When a sick person sneezes or coughs, he is actually spray droplets containing the virus. Contact with these droplets and even breathing air containing spray droplets may cause infection. In addition, it's also possible to spread the flu via surface contact, such as a door handle or a telephone, can lead to infection with the flu. After infection, the influenza virus replicates within a week and then the symptoms of the disease break out in one day.
Why is the flu virus more contagious than other viruses?
The reason the flu virus is more contagious than other viruses is that it spreads very easily from person to person. During the winter, people huddle in closed places without ventilation, such as buses, schools and even at home. In many cases, people choose to turn on the heat, and close the windows, which causes the virus to spread easily in the shared space. Therefore, the chance of contracting the virus is high.
Why does our body not develop a self-immune
to the flu after contracting the disease?
The influenza virus has the ability to change its genetic features every year (a feature called mutational development that characterizes all viruses).
When a person is infected with the flu, the immune system fights the virus and develops antibodies that are present in our body even after recovery, but the immune system is not effective with the "renewed" virus. The antibodies are not suitable to deal with it and therefore new flu symptoms develop. This is also the reason why every year a new flu vaccine is developed.
How do you prevent catching the flu?
Strengthening the immune system
Our immune system is our body's main defense mechanism. It protects us from diseases, viruses, fungi and various infections. A strong immune system is better able to deal with viruses such as the flu. Therefore, it is very important to take care of strengthening the immune system, and here are some of the ways to do this:
There is a direct connection between physical activity and strengthening the immune system. When we exert ourselves, our body secretes hormones such as adrenaline and especially endorphins. Adrenaline combined with an increase in body temperature leads to the fact that the immune system increases its activity. So to prevent catching the flu, it is recommended to exercise regularly.