Seasonal influenza

Dr. Khuloud Ibrahim Alblooshi

  • Sunday 20, October 2019 08:08 AM
  • Seasonal influenza
1- What is seasonal flu? Influenza is an infectious respiratory disease caused by seasonal influenza A or B viruses that infect the nose, throat and sometimes lungs. Influenza tends to have a seasonal pattern, with epidemics usually occurring between late autumn and early spring.
2- How does the virus spread from person to person?
The virus is transmitted by inhaling respiratory secretions through coughing, sneezing or speech. Although people with influenza are most infectious in the first 3-4 days of the onset of the disease, some healthy adults may be able to transfer the virus to others a day before the onset of symptoms and even 5 to 7 days after the disease.

3- What are the symptoms of influenza?
• Fever or chills
•Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Muscle or body pain
• Headaches
• Severe fatigue
• Vomiting and diarrhea, which is more common in young children.
It should be noted that when fever and cough worsen with purulent sputum or dyspnea, the presence of bacterial pneumonia, which is detected by chest radiation, should be suspected.

4- How is the flu diagnosed?
The diagnosis is made by the patient's history and clinical examination in addition to the presence of symptoms concurrent with the season of influenza outbreak, as well as by blood tests and the culture of samples taken from the nose or sputum and others.

5-How do I prevent myself and my family from seasonal influenza?
Primary prevention is provided through influenza vaccination, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending the influenza vaccine annually for all people aged 6 months and older.

Some daily preventive measures may help, including:
• Avoid crowded places and exposure to sick people as much as possible.
• Avoid contacting other people who have flu symptoms, including family and children.
• Cover the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing while cleaning surfaces frequently
• Always wash your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-containing hand cleaner while avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth.

If exposed to the influenza virus, anti-influenza drugs such as Oseltamivir and Zanamivir can be taken as they are effective as infection prevention when given early after exposure.

6- Are there any contraindications to seasonal influenza vaccination?
Influenza vaccination may contain eggs so it is not recommended for people with severe allergic reaction after taking eggs as well as those who have a previous severe allergic reaction to the influenza vaccine, it is worth noting that there are types of influenza vaccination that do not contain eggs, so be sure of the type of vaccination before Taking it.

7-How is the treatment done?
Most people with influenza have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs, they should stay at home and avoid contact with others, on the other hand there is a group of influenza patients who have a greater chance of obtaining complications either because of their age Or because of a medical condition, they may need antiviral drugs to treat influenza within the first 48 hours of the disease, which can make the disease milder while shortening its duration, and can prevent serious complications of influenza such as pneumonia.

8- What are the complications of influenza?
Complications of influenza can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and exacerbation of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes, etc.

9-Who are the people most at risk for post-influenza complications?
-Children aged 6 months to 5 years and adults aged 65 and above.
- People with chronic diseases such as heart, lung, kidney, diabetes, immunodeficiency and asthma
- Medical and health workers

10-What's the difference between colds and flu?
Influenza and common colds are respiratory diseases but they are caused by different viruses, and it may be difficult to tell the difference between them depending on the symptoms where the symptoms are similar, but colds are usually less severe than influenza, as colds do not lead to serious health problems Unlike influenza, which can lead to pneumonia, bacterial infections, etc., they can also be differentiated by doing influenza tests to detect their presence within the first few days of the disease.