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Influenza

Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an infectious disease that attacks your respiratory system, including your nose, throat, bronchial tubes and lungs caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae that infect the respiratory tract of many animals, birds, and humans. Influenza (flu) infection can cause a more severe illness with a mortality rate (death rate) of about 0.1% of people who are infected with the virus.
The cases of influenza become more acute in winter season. Majority of influenza cases of occurs between December and March.

Causes:
In virus classification influenza viruses are RNA viruses that make up three of the five genera of the family Orthomyxoviridae:

  • Influenzavirus A
  • Influenzavirus B
  • Influenzavirus C
These viruses are only distantly related to the human parainfluenza viruses, which are RNA viruses belonging to the paramyxovirus family that are a common cause of respiratory infections in children such as croup, but can also cause a disease similar to influenza in adults. Flu viruses travel through the air in droplets when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes or talks. You can inhale the droplets directly, or you can pick up the germs from an object, such as a telephone or computer keyboard, and then transfer them to your eyes, nose or mouth.

Risk Factors:
  • Infant or young child
  • Over age 50
  • A resident of a nursing home or other long term care facility
  • Chronic disorder, such as diabetes or heart, kidney or lung disease
  • Weakened immune system, such as from medications or HIV infection
  • Pregnant during flu season
  • Working in a health care facility where more likely to be exposed to the flu virus
  • Children on long-term aspirin therapy also may be at greater risk.
Symptoms:
Typical clinical features of influenza include
1.Fever (usually 100-103ºF in adults and often, even higher in children),
2.Respiratory symptoms such as
3.Cough,
4.Sore throat,
5.Runny or stuffy nose,
6.Headache,
7.Muscle aches, and
8.Fatigue, sometimes extreme.
Although nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can sometimes accompany influenza infection, especially in children, gastrointestinal symptoms are rarely prominent. Most people who get the flu recover completely in one to two weeks, but some people develop serious and potentially life-threatening medical complications, such as pneumonia. In an average year, influenza is associated with about 36,000 deaths nationwide and many more hospitalizations. Flu-related complications can occur at any age; however, the elderly and people with chronic health problems are much more likely to develop serious complications after the conventional influenza infections than are younger, healthier people. However, the novel H1N1 virus has initially developed a different pattern of infection. Unfortunately, the pattern of infection is similar to that of the 1918 "Spanish flu" pandemic in which young people (pregnant individuals, infants, teens, and adults through age 49) are the most susceptible populations worldwide.

Investigation:
1.Complete Blood Examination.

Treatment and Management:
1.Drink plenty of water, juices and warm soup to prevent dehydration.
2.Rest- gets more sleep to fight immune system against flu.
3.Crowded places should be avoided.
4.Use of handkerchief while sneezing and coughing must be encouraged to avoid spread of infection.
5.Homoeopathy-homeopathy has proved to be of use in serious epidemics or pandemics. It is routinely used and prescribed for the prevention and as treatment with an effectiveness that has been recorded in several scientific publications. The medicine is selected on the basis of holistic approach. The whole organism is taken into consideration while prescribing medicine on the basis of the homeopathic law of similars.

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