Ouch, I hurt all over! Influenza ?

Ouch, I hurt all over! Influenza ?

The flu, a sort of “winter backdrop”, has been in the news a lot since the beginning of December.

It arrived very early and the number of people affected is very large. But what is the flu? How to treat it and protect yourself from it? The flu is associated with great historic tragic moments, such as the Spanish flu in 1918, which caused 20 to 50 million deaths. The pandemic repeated itself several times until 2009, without being as deadly.

The virus

It is a virus called influenza which affects the upper airways: the nose, the throat and the upper bronchi which are called proximal. There are several types of influenza virus A, B or C. The A, present at the moment, is responsible for pandemics. This virus mutates every year; it is the cause of winter epidemics (it prefers cold temperatures) in the northern hemisphere, but circulates all year round in subtropical and tropical countries. Symptoms Contamination occurs through close contact with a sick person or incubating the disease by inhaling their respiratory secretions, or by putting a hand in their mouth or nose that has touched a soiled surface. The virus develops for 2 to 5 days (incubation) before giving symptoms. We are potentially contagious at this time too, even if we are less virus-shedding if there is no cough, rhinorrhea (“runny nose”) or sneeze. Then appear fever, sometimes very high, body aches (diffuse muscle pain), a dry cough, a cold, etc. These symptoms last for a good week. In rare cases, and especially for vulnerable people (elderly or very young), there are complications leading to hospitalization, or even a move to intensive care.

The treatment

The treatment is essentially symptomatic: rest, drink plenty of water, treatment of cough, rhinorrhea, fever and pain, etc. Fragile people can have an antiviral drug given for 5 days, to prevent a serious evolution. How to escape it? To prevent this, you must above all wash your hands regularly, ventilate the rooms daily (which is not without problems with the current energy difficulties), wear a mask if you are sick or in a confined atmosphere (transport in common, for example). Vitamin cures or homeopathy can also help. Vaccination for adults or fragile people is also strongly recommended. The vaccine changes every year to be as close as possible to the latest mutation. This virus may have enabled us to become “immunocompetent” again and thus less vulnerable next winter!

Did you know ?

CAUTION: do not confuse flu and flu syndrome. The flu syndrome is a set of symptoms (fever, body aches, cough, etc.) that are reminiscent of the flu, but it is due to other respiratory viruses; covid can thus give an influenza-like syndrome.

Dr Emmanuelle Fernex

Actuailes n°155 – January 11, 2023

#Ouch #hurt #Influenza

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