The flu, which is also known as influenza, is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract thus affecting the lungs, throat and nose. Flu outbreaks tend to occur on an annual basis, which is commonly referred to as the flu season. Every outbreak is caused by different virus strains or subtypes and for this reason, a different flu vaccine is required to prevent the flu every year. The best way of preventing flu infection, therefore, is to get the annual flu vaccination.
How it Spreads
The flu virus moves from person to person through tiny droplets that are inhaled through the air. It could also be spread through direct contact with nasal secretions or by touching objects that have the virus and subsequently touching one’s nose or mouth.
The flu is often characterized by a 1-4 infection period. Some of the symptoms include a fever, running nose, headaches, eye pain, lack of appetite and upset stomach. In some cases, it may lead to other complications such as bronchitis, asthma flare-ups, pneumonia or sinus infections.
In most cases the flu can be managed at home by resting, drinking lots of fluids and using pain and fever relievers. Sleep and keeping away from activity helps the body fight the infection.
It is recommended that you get the annual flu shot which helps prevent the infection. Ensure that you consult a physical for further advice.