It’s been a looooonnnngggg time! Your’s truly have been very tied up with work, organizing some parties and house chores. Trying to joggle between work, personal life and other extra curricular activities (social obligations 🙂 ). Anyway, I’m back! but don’t come closer just yet as I am battling a nasty flu for a week now. I must’ve got it from work (viral). A little basic information below about this distraction from everything!
In medical term it is called Influenza but commonly known as “the flu”. It’s a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract. Although the flu affects both sexes and all age groups, kids tend to get it more often than adults. The illness even has its own season — from November to April, with most cases occurring between late December and early March (that explains the seemed epidemic happening inside our office)!
People infected with the flu are contagious from a day before they feel sick until their symptoms have resolved (usually about 1 week for adults, but can be up to 2 weeks for young kids). Spread by virus-infected droplets that are coughed or sneezed into the air, the flu is contagious.
Signs and Symptoms
The flu is often confused with the common cold, but flu symptoms are usually more severe than the typical sneezing and stuffiness of a cold. Fever generally lasts 3-5 days, and is often higher in the afternoons and evenings, with some decrease in the mornings. Fever typically runs higher in children and can be over 104°.
The cough starts as dry and hacking and progresses by the 3rd day to wet with thick mucous. The cough can worsen for the next 4-7 days and could last for over 2 weeks. This is the major symptom of influenza. Cough in children can be croupy and serious. Smokers are at risk for significant bronchitis and pneumonia.
Headaches and Muscle Aches
These can be severe for the first few days and will slowly improve.
Fatigue is common and severe, lasting for 1-3 weeks.
Sore throat is most common in older children and adults. It can be severe for the first few days.
Nasal Congestion and Red Eyes
Nasal congestion lasts for 1-2 weeks, and eyes may be red for 3-4 days.
Vomiting or Diarrhea (in children
Vomiting or diarrhea is unusual in adults. These symptoms are typically seen in children less than 6 years of age and last for the first few days.
Influenza is typically contagious for 5-7 days from fever onset.
General Treatment for Flu
• Give ONLY non-aspirin medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to children for fever, muscle aches and headaches.
• Ibuprofen-containing pain relievers (e.g., Advil or Motrin) can be used for fever and pain in older adolescents and adults.
• Drink plenty of fluids to prevent secretions from getting thick and increasing breathing problems.
• Rest to help your body fight the infection.
• Antiviral medicines can be used. (See below.)
• Antibiotics are of absolutely no use for influenza and are used only for bacterial complications after the acute phase is over.
How Do we Prevent Flu from Spreading?
There’s no guaranteed way — including being vaccinated — to prevent anyone from getting the flu. Avoiding large crowds can help, but it’s often impossible to keep kids cooped up.
Here are some practical ways to help prevent the spread of the flu:
* Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.
* Never pick up used tissues.
* Never share cups and eating utensils
* Stay home from work or school when you’re sick with the flu.
* Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.