Influenza is commonly known as flu, it is an infectious disease of birds that can cause by RNA viruses. It is a contagious respiratory illness that is caused by influenza virus. Actually it is a viral infection that affects throat, nose, bronchi and in some cases it also affects lungs.
Influenza is a serious disease and every year about 5%-20% of United States population infected by this disease. Sometimes, more than 200,000 of people are hospitalized as they are having infection of influenza. The flu can be serious or even deadly for elderly people, newborn babies and people with certain chronic illnesses. The influenza even has its own season generally from November to April, with most cases occurring between late December and early March.
Symptoms of influenza
The infection is sometimes confused with common cold but its symptoms are more severe than typical sneezing. Infection of influenza lasts for about a week and sometimes more. It is characterized by sudden onset of high fever, muscle ache, feeling chills, body ache, headache, severe malaise, sore throat, rhinitis and non-productive cough. Dizziness and loss of appetite is another cause of influenza. Sometime vomiting, weakness and ear pain can prove associated symptom of influenza.
The flu virus travels in air droplets when any infected person sneezes. One can easily inhale these droplets and affected by disease. You can even pick up the germs by sharing things with the infected person such as telephone, towel, computer keyboard etc.
The main thing to keep away from flu is to get a yearly flu vaccine. Whenever you get the flu, your health care provider may prescribe medicine to help your body fight the infection and lessen symptoms. You can do some practical ways to prevent the spread of influenza. You should wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Don’t pick up the used tissues as this may lead to infection. Never share utensils and towels with infected person; infection may travel through this way. You should cover your nose and mouth at the time of sneezing as the inflectional bacteria travels in the air and can cause another person.