Influenza is a viral infection that appears annually. There are three different types of influenza, types A, B and C, and influenza A is the most common.

What is Influenza? Influenza usually makes its appearance in the winter. A typical infection lasts between three and five days. Although the patient can feel fatigued for a couple of weeks after the illness.

influenza b

Typical symptoms are fever (often between 38 and 40 C), muscle and joint aches, chills and shivers, vomiting, chest pains, cough, lack of appetite, a sore throat, a runny nose and headaches. The disease usually goes away without complications, although in rare cases there are severe complications such as pneumonia.

Viral diseases cannot be treated with antibiotics, and with most types of “the flu” it is usually best to rest and drink a lot of fluids. Flu vaccinations are available, and they are usually recommended for elderly people and those who would be in a risk group for getting complications: people with heart problems, people with kidney or liver or lung diseases, diabetics and anyone with an underactive immune system, as well as pregnant women.

 

What is Influenza A?

Type A is the most common and the most serious influenza virus. Its symptoms are the most acute. It usually appears every two to three years. Type B appears every four or five years and it is less serious than A, but it has similar symptoms. Type C is the least severe and it can resemble a cold. The swine flu that became a global outbreak in 2009 was caused by a type of A virus: H1N1 influenza A.

Influenza spreads through the air from one person to another and the virus infects the nose, the lungs or the throat. It is typical for influenza to become an epidemic that spreads fast from one part of the world to another. People become resistant to an influenza virus in approximately two to four weeks. You cannot usually get the same flu virus twice. However, the virus mutates constantly. Because of these mutations flu vaccinations are not always effective.

Home treatments for influenza A include resting in bed and drinking a lot of fluids especially when you have fever. Over-the-counter medicines can be used to reduce fever, and cough medicines can relieve coughing. If the symptoms do not go away in a week or if they get worse, it is best to talk to your doctor.

 

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Video about Influenza – causes, symptoms:

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