Jul 20, 2023
Additional signs include
An infection with the influenza virus causes a disease which is known as the flu. Headaches, body aches, a sore throat, a fever, and potentially serious respiratory problems are some of the symptoms it produces. Wintertime is when flu outbreaks occur and it can affect a large number of individuals at once.
The flu's most typical signs and symptoms include:
If you have had contact with someone who is already sick, you are even more likely to have the flu.
The flu is caused by the influenza virus.
Tiny airborne droplets emitted when someone coughs or sneezes are the main way that the virus is spread. You run the risk of getting infected with the flu if you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes after coming into contact with something that has the virus.
Colds and the flu are frequently confused among people. You might have some of the same symptoms even though they are distinct. A lot of people get cold all year round. On the other hand, the flu frequently only affects persons incidentally.
The family Orthomyxoviridae (a subfamily of RNA viruses) has a number of closely related viruses that can cause influenza. Types A, B, C, and D influenza viruses are distinguished. These primary varieties typically exhibit overlapping symptoms but are fully distinct antigenically, therefore infection with one type does not provide immunity against the others.
The major influenza epidemics are brought on by influenza A viruses, while localized outbreaks are brought on by influenza B viruses. The C viruses only seriously afflict humans with a slight respiratory ailment. Because they have only been seen in pigs and cattle, influenza D viruses are not known to infect humans.
Influenza A viruses are separated into subtypes, and influenza B and its subtypes are further broken down into strains. Hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N), two surface antigens (foreign proteins) that distinguish influenza A subtypes, are the key distinguishing factors.
The influenza A subtypes H1N1, H5N1, and H3N2 are among the examples. B/Yamagata and B/Victoria are the two main lineages into which influenza B viruses can be classified. Variations in the genetic sequence further separate influenza A subtypes from influenza B subtypes.
The following variables may affect your risk of contracting the flu or its complications:
The flu is often not a dangerous condition in young, healthy persons. It usually goes away after a week or two with no lasting effects. However, vulnerable kids and adults might deal with problems like:
Through direct or indirect contact with an infected person, the influenza virus can spread. The following are typical flu transmission methods:
from a nearby person talking, sneezing, or coughing. Droplets may land on your hands or go through the air and enter your mouth or nose. After that, the flu spreads to your lungs.
by touching your face, nose, mouth, or eyes after coming into contact with a surface that has been exposed to the flu virus. This includes objects like desks, computers, phones, and doorknobs.
By contacting your face, nose, mouth, or eyes after contacting the hands or face of someone who is ill with the flu.
The influenza virus itself can lead to difficulties, or it can impair your immune function and make it easier for bacteria to spread to various places of your body (secondary infection). Included in the complications and subsequent infections are:
Your doctor will examine you physically, look for flu-related symptoms, and possibly suggest a test to look for influenza viruses.
In cases where the flu is widespread, you might not need to get tested. Your doctor might establish a diagnosis based on your symptoms.
In some cases, your doctor may advise that you get tested for influenza. Your doctor may do a number of tests to determine whether you have the flu. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is used more often to diagnose influenza nowadays. This examination could be done at a hospital or at the workplace of your healthcare provider. PCR testing, which is more accurate than other techniques, can be used to determine the flu strain.
Both the flu and COVID-19 can be diagnosed with a single test. It's possible for you to have COVID-19 and influenza simultaneously.
Usually, all you need to get better from the flu is rest and lots of fluids. Your physician could suggest using an antiviral medication to treat the flu, though, if you have a severe infection or are more prone to develop complications. These drugs include, among others, baloxavir (Xofluza), zanamivir (Relenza), peramivir (Rapivab), and oseltamivir (Tamiflu). These medications may shorten the course of your sickness by one or two days while also assisting you in avoiding potentially fatal outcomes.
The medicine oseltamivir is taken by mouth. An apparatus resembling an asthma inhaler is used to administer zanamivir. Anyone taking it should not have certain chronic respiratory conditions, such as lung disease or asthma.
Antiviral drugs may cause nausea and vomiting as side effects.
The best way to prevent the flu is to be vaccinated against it every year. Through immunizations, the immune system is taught to recognize infections and ward them off before you become unwell. Since the influenza virus tends to change (mutate) a little bit each year, you should get vaccinated.
Even if you get the flu from a strain other than the one in the vaccination, the vaccine reduces your risk of getting a serious disease. Your doctor can give you the flu shot, or you can opt to have a nasal spray immunization instead.
There are more methods you can reduce your chance of contracting the flu, such as:
To scale up your NEET PG preparation with the best-in-class video lectures, QBank, Mock Tests, and more, download the PrepLadder App!
Download PrepLadder's NEET PG preparation app for Android
Download PrepLadder's NEET PG preparation app for iOS
Get access to all the essential resources required to ace your medical exam Preparation. Stay updated with the latest news and developments in the medical exam, improve your Medical Exam preparation, and turn your dreams into a reality!
The most popular search terms used by aspirants