What is the Flu?
Influenza, commonly known as flu or “the grippe” is a contagious respiratory disease that infects the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness.
Symptoms of the Flu
- Fever or cold spells
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Muscle ache or body pains
- Exhaustion or fatigue
- Diarrhea — in children
Facts You Should Know About The Flu
- If influenza is not properly treated, it can gradually progress into pneumonia which can be caused by the virus or an entirely different bacterial infection.
- Other complications that may result from the flu can be meningitis and the worsening of pre-existing health problems like asthma.
- In a year, 5–15% of the population contracts the flu. Globally, there are up to 5 million severe cases
- According to Wikipedia, there are four types of influenza virus, dubbed Influenza viruses A, B, C, and D.
- Influenza A virus (IAV) is found in mammals, B and C primarily affects humans, and D is found in cattle and pigs.
- Influenza viruses can be transmitted through aerosols — respiratory droplets caused by coughing or sneezing.
Preventing the Flu
Preventing the flu can be an easy thing to do if you know the right steps to take. To that effect, we compiled a couple of directives that could help you prevent the flu.
Here are a few suggestions that could help you:
- Practice good personal hygiene
Practicing good personal and health hygiene can go a long way to prevent the flu. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and douse your hands in alcohol-based solutions or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Cover coughs and sneezes with handkerchiefs or tissues, and make sure they’re properly disposed of. Also, avoid close contact with sick people.
Stay at home if you feel ill or down with the flu and reach out to medical personnel. It is also recommended to avoid spitting as much as possible.
Face masks might also help to prevent transmission of infection from one person to the other.
2. Sanitize your surfaces
Influenza is often transmitted through aerosols and contact with contaminated surfaces. To prevent this effect, sanitize your surfaces.
Alcohol often acts as an effective sanitizer against influenza viruses. Chlorine bleach can also be used to sanitize rooms that have contained influenza patients at some point or the other.
3. Social distancing
This was an effective technique used during the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s as effective in preventing influenza from spreading.
Keep your distance from people who show symptoms of the flu — recurring sneezes or coughs should raise the red flag for you. Maintain an appropriate distance of at least 1 meter.
4. Avoid close contact with sick people
To prevent influenza, you need to avoid contact with sick people, as influenza can easily be transmitted, mostly because many people confuse the flu with common cold.
This doesn’t mean you should completely stay away from sick people. It means wearing protective clothing, especially when in the same room as someone showing symptoms of influenza, keeping your face mask on, sanitizing your hands, and maintaining a social distance.
5. Get vaccinated
Vaccination is a trusted way to prevent the transmission of influenza. As soon as you can, get yourself and your family members the flu vaccine. Vaccination makes you immune for a while.
Influenza is oftentimes taken for granted by most people because the symptoms are hardly ever life-threatening. However, influenza is worth taking seriously.
This is why you should visit a lung doctor or pulmonary lung doctor if you feel any symptoms of influenza. You can as well contact us if you’re faced with difficulties as regards the prevention of influenza.