What is Flu or Influenza?
Got a runny nose? Having a bad day due to a headache?
Having a cough and cold that won’t stop? These may be symptoms that you’re suffering from the flu.
Influenza commonly known as “the flu”, is an infectious disease caused by influenza viruses. These symptoms last for about 2 – 8 days then seeing a doctor is what most experts suggest. Being a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can also cause diarrhea, and nausea and may even lead to death.
Viral infection of the upper or lower respiratory tract that is marked by fever, weakness, and pain in the muscles all together indicates influenza or flu.
Up to 65 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths occur in people who are almost 60 or older. For People in this age group, it’s important that they know how to protect themselves after being in grips of the virus.
These below-mentioned points may help you to get along with the top 3 tips to avoid the flu which sometimes results to be deadly and take a person’s life if not properly treated.
Avoid being part of a massive crowd.
Avoiding massive crowds can often turn out to be a lifesaver for you especially since the time 2020 happened in all our lives. The less interaction and getting along with more people,the chances of coming to grips with the flu. The deadly fact is that flu can spread quickly in confined spaces. They include:
- Nursing homes
- Railway Station
- Assisted-living facilities
Covering our face with a good material mask is also a very essential thing to use when it comes to keeping oneself safe from the flu. Wearing a mask whenever we go out can reduce the chances of getting affected by the flu by 72% according to a survey in California soon after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still if sometimes a situation arises with no alternative of being a part of a crowd then there are some measures we can follow to keep ourselves safe and protected from getting infected by the virus. They are discussed as under:
- Maintaining a distance of about 1 foot from the person we are standing next to.
- Avoiding the public toilet in that particular area to prevent getting infected by the flu.
- Avoid touching here and there as it increases the chances of catching the flu.
Keeping the house and all the furniture in it clean. If you’re caring for an individual, remember to always wear a surgical mask and gloves when attending to them, and also never forget to wash your hands afterward. If someone in your house has been going through any of the stages of the flu, then we should keep our house clean more often so that visitors coming from other places don’t get the flu.
Use disinfectant cleaners available in the market to wipe down objects that are prone to human touches like door knobs, telephones, toys, light switches, and other high-touch surfaces several times each day. The sick person should also quarantine themselves to a certain part of the house.
Influenza is a very serious illness for almost everyone. Certain diseases that place people at high risk include:
- chronic lung diseases such as
- bronchiectasis, or
- cystic fibrosis,
- heart disease,
- chronic kidney disease diabetes
- other chronic metabolic disorder
Be hygienic about yourself
Washing our hands properly with prescribed solutions by experts can come in handy when it comes to avoiding the flu. Carrying a hand sanitizer should be made a daily routine for people in this present era.
If you come in contact with any of the following:
- Light switches
You should wash your hands regularly with Lukewarm water preferred, anyways cold water works just fine. Not touching our nose, and face just after we immediately wash our hands is a good thing to keep in mind every time we wash our hands. The flu virus normally travels in the air, but under certain circumstances, it can also enter your body. This mostly occurs when your infected hands touch your face.
When washing our hands, we should rub our hands together for at least 20 seconds. Then, we should always rinse our hands and dry them with a clean towel.
Hygiene is one of the most important factors to keep in mind when it comes to avoiding the flu. The more hygiene an individual maintains the more safer he or she becomes from catching the flu.
If any symptoms of flu is seen in any of the elders in your house, it’s well suggested to go and see a doctor as soon as possible because that’s how the universal truth goes “prevention is better than cure”
Symptoms to look for in an individual to see whether they caught the flu or not include:
- sore throat
- body aches
There’s no cure for the flu. But if you are a victim of the virus, you must see a doctor early. You would then be able to receive a prescription of antiviral medication. Antiviral medicine, if taken within the first 2 hours of symptoms, may shorten the duration of the flu and reduce the deadly severity of the symptoms.
Get a flu shot AKA getting vaccinated
Getting vaccinated at the earliest is the most effective way to protect oneself from the flu. A seasonal flu shot protects an individual from getting predominant during the year’s flu season. A single shot usually protects against three or four different viruses.The CDCTrusted Source recommends getting vaccinated in September but having one at any time during the season will help.
The procedure for getting vaccinated is not some rocket science; it usually involves going to a doctor’s office or pharmacy and receiving a simple injection in the upper arm.
Who should get vaccinated at the earliest:
People who have crossed the age of 65 or more i.e the senior citizens of every respective country should get the vaccine shot at the earliest because the immunity at that age of an individual gets really weak so people with age 65 or above are the ones to get it first.
Babies younger than 6 months and people with life-threatening allergies to any ingredient in the vaccine should not get vaccinated.
Does the vaccine really come ineffective?
Vaccination doses have till now saved more than an estimated 20 million lives in the past years since the pandemic broke out all over the world.
The flu vaccine reduces the number of occurrences of flu infections and saves lives. The flu vaccine can reduce the flu occurrences by 45–65%.
The flu shot has reduced hospitalization from serious flu complications by 70%. When people received the vaccine while pregnant, the flu cases in infants younger than 6 months were reduced by 70%.
Seasonal Flu vaccination
The flu shot reduced patients’ hospital admissions by
- 30% for stroke
- 28% for heart failure
- 17% for pneumonia and the flu
- 33% for COVID-19
Annual Flu Vaccinations
Getting a flu vaccination each year has become very important because the predominant circulating flu virus changes from year to year, so you’ll need to update your vaccination each year. The normal time needed for the vaccine to work is 2 weeks. So, if an individual gets the flu even after taking the vaccine then, the flu shot may help the individual to recover soon.
The high risk of complications in people over the age of 65, must take the vaccine at the earliest.
A high-dose vaccine contains about four times the amount of antigen as a regular vaccination shot. These shots are able to build a stronger immune response to the flu.
Is the vaccine or flu shot safe?
Vaccines have proven to be safe since they came into use influence after the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Although a flu shot can cause mild side effects, such as a headache or nausea, which is common and has nothing to worry about.
Many myths regarding vaccination like they weaken the immune system, lead to autism, etc but are not scientifically proven.
Strengthening the immune system is another way to protect oneself against the flu. If a person has a strong immune system then, he or she has less risk to get affected by the flu which we also know as Influenza.
Following a healthy routine and continuing a healthy food diet helps us to strengthen our immune system.
And a sleep cycle of 8 hours is compulsory to have a strong immunity inside the human body.
Intake of rich protein food, proper carbohydrates and fibers can help build a strong immune system.
Influenza or the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. It spreads easily from person to person, and it can cause serious complications in some individuals. Therefore, it is important to take steps to avoid getting infected with influenza. Taking a vaccine is very essential for being safe in the present situation because the virus is getting stronger every year and getting vaccinated is one of the major key factors to avoiding the flu. It is important to note that these measures can also help prevent the spread of other respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold or COVID-19. Therefore, incorporating them into everyday routines can help promote overall health and well-being.