Influenza “Flu Virus”
What is Influenza? “Flu Virus?
Influenza, commonly known as the “Flu”, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. Symptoms can range from mild to severe with symptoms ranging widely due to the specific type of virus. There are many strains of Influenza which you may come in contact with. Here is a basic run down on what you can do and what to expect and even some preventative tips on Influenza.
How does it spread?
There are mainly 5 ways that virus’s are spread
- Direct Contact – “Directly contacting the virus through a fluid or droplets containing the virus like: blood, saliva, seminal fluid”
- Indirect Contact – “Contacting contaminated objects like: Door Knobs, toilet seats, light switches, cell phones, needles or used bandaging”
- Airborne – “viral microbes small enough to be discharged from an infected person via coughing, sneezing, laughing”
- Vector Born – “caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria that are transmitted by mosquitoes, sandflies, triatomine bugs, blackflies, ticks, tsetse flies, mites, snails and lice”
- Zoonotic Disease – “bacteria, viruses and parasites that spread between animals (usually vertebrates) and humans such as Ebola and salmonella.”
Influenza itself spreads between humans by either direct contact, indirect contact and more rare airborne strains. Normally Influenza is spread through droplets that are created when someone with the flue either coughs, sneezes or talks causing droplets of saliva to be expelled. These droplets land on another person or surface and due to “personal habits like touching your face, lips, nose” may be rubbed into the nose, mouth or eyes infecting the next person.
Commonly known as the Flu, this contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses inflict either the nose, throat, lungs or a combination there of. From mild to severe as mentioned earlier depending on many factors like the patience own immune system, age, athleticism or personal health.
People often suffer from:
- Fever “feverish / chills” Not all suffer from a fever.
- Sore Throat
- Runny or Stuffy Nose
- Muscle or Body Aches
How long does the Flu Last?
Although the symptoms can be harsh, and in severe cases even life threatening, most people feel much better within one to two weeks. Most health adults become contagious the day before symptoms develop “which makes it harder to prevent spread”. The person will remain infectious for up to five to seven days “after symptoms appear”. However, children and those with weakened or compromised immune systems may be contagious for even longer.
There are a few steps you can take to lessen the symptoms like:
- Get plenty of rest – Your immune system needs a lot of sleep to recover.
- Treat your cough so you can rest easier “Please consult your pharmacist or physician for options”
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Over the counter Medications “Please consult your pharmacist for the proper medication to help with your individual symptoms.” “Never self medicate! Please follow the recommendations on the box or bottle as prescribed by your physician or manufacturer”
Always consult your Pharmacist before giving medication to your child for the 5 rights
- Right Medication
- Right Dose
- Right Rout of Entry
- Right Time to Administer
- Right Person
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION WHEN
In extreme Cases where:
- Temperature gets as high as 39-40C or 103F
- A fever that lasts for “more than 3 days”
- Fever accompanied by a severe headache, severe throat swelling, an unusual skin rash, mental confusion, persistent vomiting or any other out of the ordinary symptoms
There are a few methods to help prevent the spread of Influenza and other common like diseases.
- Hand Washing “Hand sanitizer can NOT replace hand washing, it is a temporary fix”
- Treat all blood and other body fluids as potentially infectious.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
- Eat well and get enough exercise and sleep.
- Reduce stress levels and find a healthy balance of mind and body.
Not all people are “able” to be vaccinated, this may be due to a prior underlying medical condition like a compromised immune system, medical condition or even a disease which prevents them from being vaccinated. To prevent a disease from spreading too someone who is unable to be vaccinated, it is recommended for those that are able to do so.
Please consult your local physician to see if you are able to be vaccinated and for which diseases should be vaccinated against in your local area of the world.
Myths about Vaccines
- Autism is not a contagious disease and being vaccinated can not “cause” autism.
- Mercury is not a preservative and is prohibited against consumption or injection by the FDA and is not present in vaccines. Mercury contamination has been found in soul and fisheries around the world.
- Vaccines do not cure a disease, they allow the body to recognize the virus once you have come into contact with it, giving a stronger immune response to defend the body and prevent further illness or injury.
Please consult your physician about the Vaccines and potential concerns.
If your symptoms get worse at any time or you notice new symptoms from the list above, call your doctor or Health Link “811 in Alberta”. You can also call the “Health Link Alberta 24/7 if you have questions about C.Diff or any of the information in this handout.
This information was taken From Center of Disease Control “CDC” (Influenza Guide) Information slip,
“This material is for information purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your doctor or appropriate healthcare provider.”
In any emergency just remember to Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!
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