Influenza is an acute infectious disease characterized mainly by the defeat of the respiratory tract mucosa and the phenomena of high intoxication (a painful condition of the body).
There are three main types of influenza viruses: A, B, and C, and several types of their varieties. These viruses differ somewhat in their structure and cause diseases of varying severity. Influenza a and B viruses cause the most severe forms of influenza, in contrast to C, which is relatively easier to carry by humans.
Transmission routes and symptoms of influenza infection:
A person with the flu from the first hours of the disease is the source of infection.
The incubation period ranges from a few hours to 1-2 days for influenza A and up to 3-4 days for influenza B.
Airborne pathway of infection. When coughing, sneezing, or talking, particles of saliva, mucus, and sputum with pathogenic microflora, including flu viruses, are ejected from the patient’s nasopharynx or virus carrier.
Through household items (towels, handkerchiefs, dishes, etc.).
The main symptoms are:
– the appearance of chills;
– sudden sharp increase in body temperature;
– general malaise;
– muscle pain;
– headache (mainly in the forehead); I am lethargic or agitated;
– reddened eyes and face;
– dry obsessive cough;
– nasal congestion with minor discharge.
Course of disease
The clinical manifestations of the disease do not depend on the type of virus. The disease begins suddenly. Chills appear, the body temperature quickly rises to 38-40°C. the Patient complains of a severe headache when moving the eyeballs, aching throughout the body, broken, stuffy nose, photophobia, lacrimation, sore throat, lethargy, drowsiness, dizziness. In some cases, insomnia is possible, sometimes vomiting, fainting, delirium, convulsions, loss of consciousness.
After 2-3 days, serous-purulent discharge from the nose (runny nose) appears, there is swelling of the soft palate, arches, and tongue. Most patients have a cough due to tracheitis and trachebronchitis, and the cough with flu is painful, dry, and sputum appears a few days later. If the flu proceeds without complications, then the acute period of the disease lasts 3-5 days, and the final recovery occurs within 5-10 days.
Treatment of influenza
Treatment is usually carried out at home. Patients with severe disease and complications, as well as those suffering from chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system, respiratory organs, etc. are subject to hospitalization.
Patients should observe bed rest during the entire febrile period in order to avoid complications, it is desirable to allocate them an isolated room, dishes, towels, etc.
Wear the mask in close contact with the patient, then immediately dispose of it.
Wash your hands with soap and water or treat them with alcohol-containing liquid after each touch to the patient or to his handkerchiefs, underwear.
Follow strictly all the doctor’s recommendations and take prescribed medications in a timely manner.
Conduct symptomatic therapy for mild and moderate forms of the disease – antipyretics, sleeping pills, coughing agents, nose drops, rinsing the oropharynx with a decoction of herbs, etc.
Extend the patient’s day and night sleep.
Full nutrition, rich in vitamins. During high temperatures, the predominance of milk – carbohydrate food is desirable.
Plentiful warm drink with raspberries, honey, Linden blossom decoction, as well as warm milk with alkaline mineral water or baking soda in order to reduce the tickling in the throat.
Prevention and protection measures
To protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu and its severe consequences, you should take certain precautions and protection. These include:
Vaccination is the main and most effective method of prevention. And although it does not guarantee absolute protection from the flu, but thanks to the vaccine, the disease is either prevented before it begins, or it proceeds easily and without complications. Immunity to the virus lasts from one and a half to 8-10 months.
Non-specific prevention of influenza. It is divided into emergency and seasonal prevention. Emergency non-specific prevention is usually carried out for a limited period of time (7-10 days) from the moment of contact with a person with the flu at home or at work. Seasonal non-specific prevention is characterized by taking medications that increase the body’s resistance to infection a month before the start of the seasonal rise in the incidence of influenza and throughout the epidemic, i.e. for 4-6 weeks.
Seasonal prevention medications include various non-specific medications. These are immunomodulators (ginseng, Eleutherococcus, Echinacea, immunal, etc.), drugs that stimulate the production of interferon in the body (Dibazol, no-shpa, cycloferonm, etc.), vitamins of groups A, C and E (an antioxidant complex or antioxycaps).
Self-medication for emergency and seasonal prevention is not allowed. It is prescribed only by the attending physician, taking into account the individual characteristics of the patient’s body.
Use of non-medicinal methods They will be effective if a person uses them regularly, leads an active and healthy lifestyle.
Hardening – physical exercises, air baths, wet wipes, pouring cold water on hands and feet, contrast shower – reliable defenders against flu and SARS.
Wear clothing appropriate to the weather, but do not wrap yourself up, do not go bareheaded and in light shoes.
Avoid being in crowded places during the epidemic, and if this is not possible, then before leaving the house, it is necessary to lubricate the nasal passages with oxoline ointment.
Cover your mouth and nose with disposable handkerchiefs when coughing or sneezing. After use, throw the handkerchief in the trash.
Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water, and try not to touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Try not to attend mass events during this period, especially those held indoors. Less use of public transport, visiting, etc.
Balanced nutrition – daily use of fresh vegetables and fruits, onions and garlic in the diet.
Daily walks in the fresh air, airing the premises at home and at work.