What is flu?
A highly transmissible disease of the upper respiratory system caused by a virus named influenza affects the nose and throat and sometimes also involves the lungs.
What is the cause of the flu?
virus from the family of orthomyxoviruses known as influenza viruses A and B are the main cause of flu.
Characteristics of the Influenza Virus
Influenza viruses A and B both are double-stranded RNA viruses. The only difference is that the RNA of influenza virus A encodes nine structural proteins and two proteins which are not the structural components of the virus while the RNA of type B influenza virus encodes ten structural and one nonstructural proteins.
Symptoms of flu
1)Common cold and flu (influenza) are among the commonest viral infections in human beings.
2)Nose stuffed with mucus or runny nose
4)Feeling of tiredness
5)Maybe accompanied by fever or a feeling of fever
8)Other symptoms may also be associated for example diarrhoea and vomiting depending upon the cause of the flu but it has been seen more commonly in children and older people.
What is the flu called in Urdu?
In Urdu flu is known as “Nzla”( نزلہ ).
Spread of flu
when A surface having the influenza virus on it is touched y a person’s hand and then the person touches his nose or mouth with the same hand, can cause flu.
When a person suffers from flu sneezes or coughs the droplets can infect the healthy individual.
Recent research has also demonstrated that cats can also be a cause of the spread of some specific strains of influenza virus.
Home remedies for the treatment of flu/household treatment
Drink a lot of water .keeping your body hydrated helps to flush out the microbes.
Take vitamin C which is commonly present in citrus fruit for example oranges.
Sleep improves the abilities of your immune system to fight the disease. so it is important to get sound sleep.
Take honey and tea
Warm a cup of water. Add some salt to it. Now gargle with this warm water.
Treatment of flu
There is no specific medicine for the treatment of the flu because of the presence of multiple varieties of influenza virus. But the following is the list of different medicines used by people.
1. Common analgesics for example paracetamol aspirin ibuprofen are used by many people as the treatment of flu but there are no physiological bases for the use of these drugs. But research has shown that there is no basis that these analgesics prolong the duration of the common cold and flu.
2. The herbs may alleviate the symptoms of the flu and the common cold. These are antiviral and include yarrow and peppermint leaf. Moreover, ginger root garlic tulsi and clove are also in use.
3. A nasal gel formulation containing zinc has recently been introduced which came out to cause a decrease in the duration and f the flu.
4. Cough suppressants can also be taken if a cough accompanies the flu
5. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs i.e. NSAIDS can also be taken
6. Your doctor advises you to take antivirals if it is an increased risk of severe illness.
These antiviral medications include:
• Zanamivir (taken orally in the form of a pill or liquid state) is taken for a long period.
• Baloxavir marboxil is also taken orally in the form of a pill or liquid state. It is contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
• Peramivir is given intravenously. Only one dose is required.
Antiviral medications cause diarrhoea and vomiting.
Note: All the drugs must be used according to the advice of the doctor. Above mentioned drugs are just for information. You must consult your doctor before taking any of these drugs.
How to know if I am suffering from flu or COVID-19?
As both have the same symptoms i.e. Runny nose and somewhat difficulty in breathing due to respiratory tract infection it may become difficult to distinguish between the two. the only way to know about it is to have a test regarding COVID-19.
On which individual flu exerts more deleterious effects?
Individuals who have chronic obstructive lung diseases and asthma are more affected.
Individuals who have diabetes
Those who are suffering from other diseases i.e. stroke, or any other disease of the lung, kidney etc.
individuals with very high body mass index
Immunodeficient individuals who are suffering from AIDS or cancer Children and elderly people
What is the time interval between the virus exposure and the onset of symptoms?
The symptoms of flu appear after 1-4 days after exposure to the virus .this is due to the 1-4 days incubation period of the influenza virus.
Diagnosis of flu
A specimen of mucus from the nose of payment is taken with a cotton swab and sent to the laboratory. Specimen is examined and the reports are given if the person is infected with the influenza virus or not.
How one can prevent form flu?
The best solution is to get vaccinated against the influenza virus. mutation occurs in the influenza virus every year so it is important to get vaccinated every year. Vaccination provides you with immunity which helps you fight diseases.
Other preventive measures include washing your mouth and hands with soup, covering your mouth .try not to be around those who are infected with the flu. Use a mask and avoid touching your face.