Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is an acute infectious disease of the respiratory tract. It is a contagious viral disease that attacks the main structure, upper and lower respiratory tract in humans. The main factor for this disease is three different types of influenza virus – type A, B, and C.
VIRUS TYPE A- characteristic of this type is the contagiousness and high mutagenic potential. Compared to the other two, this type of virus is responsible for the emergence of pandemic and severe infectious diseases. As some rule, a pandemic occurs every 30 to 40 years. The last pandemic that occurred at the global level, was in 2009 when it killed about 300,000 people.
VIRUS TYPE B- characteristic of this virus is that it is less virulent. And therefore cannot cause a pandemic. But we cannot ignore such a virus.
VIRUS TYPE C- Unlike the previous two, which we admonish them, the human population is less represented. Generally causes only mild infections in children.
As the main cause of the occurrence of influenza, thereby causes sore throat (pharyngitis), vocal cords (laryngitis), mucous membranes of the nose (rhinitis), and sinuses (sinusitis). In some severe forms can cause bronchial (bronchitis) and bronchioles to the alveoli (pneumonia).
The most common occurrence of flu in the winter and spring. Then when the weather changes this is the occurrence of the disease is greatest. In most cases, the flu manifests as a mild and self-limiting disease. But not to the group of people considered at risk.
Short incubation of the virus, since only 2-3 days, formed the grip. Symptoms that are typical of that period are leaked and nasal congestion, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, muscle pain, headache, or fatigue. Same symptoms exist for the common cold, but there is a difference. The difference is that the influenza problems that affect the whole body are stronger and last longer than symptoms in the respiratory tract. But there are the following symptoms that occur only in serious forms of flu. These are high temperature (up to 39 ° C), chills and severe fatigue, gain muscle and joint pain, and headache progression. In adults, the symptoms last for 7-10 days. In young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and the chronically ill may develop complicated forms of influenza, which is accompanied by symptoms of inflammation of the lower airways.
Transmission of influenza viruses
The most common mode of transmission is through the large droplets of secretions from the nose and throat of an infected person. When sufferers sneezing, coughing, and talking. Then particles that carry the virus are released into the environment. And be inhaled by a person who is near.
Can with direct contact. Such as kissing, hugging, or handling. Otherwise, the transfer can make contact with surfaces and objects. When the infected person may leave a mark on him. This is because the virus survives for several hours in outdoor environments.
TREATMENT OF INFLUENZA
Therapy for common flu usually is symptomatic. This means that giving medications that help with headaches, neck pain, impairment of body temperature. Most products that are often used are various analgesics, antipyretics, nasal decongestants, and various medicines for cough. Besides these preparations, the most recommended is vitamin C for intake. Because vitamin C helps the respiratory system with a variety of diseases and colds. Then the firm recommended rest and taking more liquids such as tea, a variety of soups, juices.
Antibiotics as well as the possibility of treatment are not recommended, because they have no effect on viral infection. This is so because antibiotics do not prevent viral neither cure viral disease. And globally, doctors argue that they are not prescribed and given antibiotics for these diseases. But in fact, it is not so. But to give and so leads to the development of strains of bacteria resistant to these important drugs. This is already a problem. Thus, there has been an increase in rates of bacterial resistance to antibiotics in the human population. It can be said that the use of antibiotics is justified only in healing bacterial sinusitis and bacterial pneumonia.
That’s why it is recommended that when ill from the flu to avoid taking antibiotics. To grip, there are other types of medicines. These are the neuraminidase inhibitors oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Their function is to shorten the duration of symptoms by about one day. They can also reduce the possibility of the development of serious complications.
Recently Tamiflu is known for the occurrence of the so-called swine flu. How the latest global epidemic of this type of grip, Tamiflu is spreading rapidly as an important effect of the treatment.
CAN WE PREVENT THE FLU?
There are several ways of prevention. One of the more is to take the vaccine. And it is recommended that high-risk group. These are pregnant women in all three trimesters of pregnancy, children from 6 months to 5 years of age, the elderly (≥65 years of age), the chronically ill, immunocompromised patients, health care workers.
It is advisable to carry out the vaccination at the beginning or during the autumn, before the onset of flu. This is because the antibodies, which protect the body from infection, synthesized only after two weeks of vaccination.
Another way of prevention is to regularly maintain the immune system by taking healthy food and lots of vitamins and minerals.
And the third most important method of prevention is hygiene. This implies regularly washing hands. And rinse your nose and nasal cavity with a saline solution. Because during an inhalation, such as mucous membrane retains virus, and using saline can be removed.
All sick with the flu recommended to sit at home and recovered from the disease. Because grip like a viral disease requires rest and no physical activity. On the other hand, it is good to not spread the virus to others.
Given the fact that the flu can be transmitted and hands and objects, that the virus has come, should frequently wash their hands. Also, items should be cleaned and disinfected.
The room in which there are more people, be more likely to be ventilated. It is desirable and limits contact with other persons.
These are some of the basic tips that should be practiced for their own protection against influenza.