Influenza is one of the most widespread diseases, as it causes about 50,000 deaths yearly in the United States alone, in addition to causing about 200,000 hospitalizations, and the influenza virus has different types, most notably the following:
- Type A: is characterized by its ability to infect animals and humans. This virus constantly changes shape, making it one of the most infectious.
- Type B: This virus infects only humans, unlike the first type, and this type is characterized by the absence of subtypes, which makes it less infectious.
- Type C: usually infects humans in general and is considered less painful than the previous two types, in addition to not causing the infection to spread significantly.
- Flu symptoms begin 1 to 4 days after infection and can start suddenly. You become very unwell, weak, and tired and have to stay in bed for days. Patients have aches and pains all over the body, especially in the back and legs. The headache is often severe, with soreness around and behind the eyes. Bright light can make headaches worse.
- Respiratory symptoms may be relatively mild at first. These symptoms may include an itchy throat, a burning feeling in the chest, a dry cough, and a runny nose. The cough can become severe with the production of sputum (sputum).
- Patients, especially children, may experience nausea and vomiting. Some patients lose their sense of smell for a few days or weeks. Rarely is this loss permanent.
- Most flu symptoms go away after two or three days. But the fever sometimes lasts up to five days. Cough, weakness, sweating, and tiredness may last for several days or sometimes weeks. It can take complete recovery from mild irritation of the airways (which may lead to a decrease in the duration or intensity of exercise a person can do) or simple wheezing for 6-8 weeks.
The most common complication of influenza
- Pneumonia, which can be viral, bacterial, or both.
- In viral pneumonia, the influenza virus travels to the lungs. In bacterial pneumonia, germs not related to the flu attack a person’s weakened defenses. When infected with one, patients may cough worse and have difficulty breathing. , relapsing or persistent fever, and sometimes tinged sputum with blood or pus.
- Categories of patients at high risk of complications and death from influenza include:
- children under five years of age; Children younger than two years old are at exceptionally high risk
- Adults over the age of 65
- People with chronic disorders (especially those affecting the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, or immune system)
- People with severe obesity
- Doctor’s evaluation
- Sometimes testing samples of blood or secretions from the respiratory tract
- Chest X-ray and sometimes measurement of oxygen levels in the blood
Influenza prevention Techniques
Prevention measures include:
- Get vaccinated annually, starting at six months of age or older (with rare exceptions)
- Sometimes antiviral drugs are used.