Influenza is an airborne infection and is transmitted from person to person through inhaled air.
The virus is transmitted by airborne droplets. Moreover, one cannot but note its high contagiousness – it develops in almost all people whose respiratory tract it has entered.
Incubation period, i.e. the period during which the disease can manifest itself after entering the body is very short – only 1-2 (maximum – 5) days.
It is known that Influenza is most severe in the elderly, young children, and those with weakened immune systems (having serious chronic diseases, immunodeficiencies, etc.).
The structure of the influenza virus
The causative agent of influenza is the Mixovirus influenzae virus. This is a small ball containing an RNA molecule and two surface proteins – neuraminidase and hemagglutinin.
This disease-causing agent is very unstable under the influence of environmental factors.
It quickly dies in a dry room, when exposed to disinfectants, when heated and in the sun. However, at low temperatures (-25°C to -70°C) it remains for several years.
During contact with the patient, the virus enters the respiratory system by airborne droplets and invades the epithelial cells (mainly the trachea and large bronchi).
There are three subtypes of the influenza virus – A, B, and C. Influenza A is more severe than its other varieties.
As a rule, a person is sick only with the “human” flu, which has become common for us, the cause of disability in the autumn-winter period and accounts for more than half of all infectious diseases.
Among people, influenza viruses with a limited set of surface proteins circulate: these are hemagglutinin and neuraminidase from 1 to 3 types.
From time to time, human history is disturbed by influenza pandemics, when the usual seasonal epidemic takes on enormous proportions and covers entire states.
Read next: Flu and colds: spot the difference
How to distinguish influenza from SARS?
one. The flu has an acute onset and from the first hours it proceeds with a high temperature (above 38 degrees). The temperature lasts 2-5 days.
2. On the first day, runny nose and sore throat are not typical. The appearance of these symptoms is a sign of the addition of a bacterial infection or other acute respiratory viral infections.
Happens with the flu nasal congestion, which is associated with swelling of the mucous membrane.
3. The specific ones are: pain in the frontal region of the head, eyeballs, photophobia and lacrimation. Often occurs aching muscles and joints.
four. Never there is no stool disorder.
5. Influenza may cause nosebleeds, hemoptysis, skin rash.
First of all, don’t overcool. during this, a person’s immunity is sharply reduced and he becomes more vulnerable to any infection.
Promptly sanitize foci of chronic infection – tonsillitis, rhinitis, bronchitis, pyelonephritis – all this again hits the immune system. If you are aware of such problems in the body, then in the fall and spring, conduct maintenance therapy courses under the supervision of your doctor.
Boost Your Immunity with Immunostimulants (Immunal, Echinacea, Cat’s Claw, etc.), but do not get carried away with them – with excessive or too long intake, you can achieve the opposite effect, so you should consult your doctor to adjust the dose and time of using these drugs.
One preventive measure is influenza vaccination.
Read more: How to treat the flu?
one. Put on a gauze mask. It will protect your loved ones from infection, and will also help you recover faster.
2. Try to drink as much as possible. It is advisable to drink 2-2.5 liters of fluid per day.
3. On the first day, you can take 2.5 g of ascorbic acid, in the future, the dose should be 1 g per day.
four. Antiviral drugs such as rimantadine, arbidol and others should be taken from the first day of illness. Therefore, you will not be mistaken if you start taking them before the doctor arrives.
5. Also, before the arrival of the doctor, you need start taking interferon or its inducers: cycloferon, viferon, amixin, etc. These drugs can help only in the first few days of illness.
6. The intake of antipyretics in adults does not depend on the height of the temperature, but on the general condition. If you easily tolerate a fever, do not rush to take antipyretics.
Errors in the treatment of influenza
Never with the flu do not start treatment with antibiotics – Antibiotics do not act on viruses, but destroy only the bacterial flora
Do not start taking immunomodulators – such as Immunal, Bronchomunal, Interferon, Galavit, etc. during the period of maximum temperature.
It makes sense to start taking vitamins only after the temperature normalizes. – against the background of intoxication, they simply will not be absorbed
Medical assistance must be soughteven if you do not need a sick leave and in matters of flu treatment you “ate the dog”!
The doctor individually determines the indications for taking antibiotics for influenza to prevent its bacterial complications.
In addition, patients with severe forms of influenza should be hospitalized. Severe and extremely severe forms of the disease are dangerous for the development of cerebral edema, lungs and other complications, which often lead to death.