How to Keep the Flu Away During Change of Season

Dr. Kamal Asnani, is a General Physician and Medical Writer. In this article, he is giving out some expert tips on how you can prevent yourself from flu this season.

The influenza virus is a common, highly seasonal and significant respiratory pathogen. Influenza is spread from person to person through respiratory droplets like most other respiratory viruses. Significant features of fever and cough are the hallmark of influenza infection and these are present in annual epidemics. Other symptoms include sore throat, headache, malaise, nasal congestion, and myalgia. Consequences of influenza are varied and most individuals have mild to moderate symptoms. Most patients continue with their daily activities or return to work within 3-4 days.

Cure of influenza

Rest, fluids, and antipyretics are recommended as supportive measures for influenza. Antipyretics reduce fever and myalgia and also make the patient feel subjectively better. Antiviral medications can be effective in treating influenza infection, but their effectiveness is highly time dependent and complicated by resistant strain development.

Prevention of Influenza

The key to managing influenza is prevention and this can be done in 4 ways, which are:

1) Essential Precautions:
Hand washing and the use of naso-oral facemasks can limit its spread. Hands should be washed at regular intervals with soap and water or with alcohol-based sanitizers.
A minimum distance of 3-6 feet should be kept from people who are suffering from illness.
Drinking glasses, food, towels, or other personal care items should not be shared with others.
As virus for flu multiplies in dry air, a humidifier can be used to increase humidity and thus avoid spread of virus.
Heathcare workers should cultivate a habit to wash hands frequently.2) Vaccination

Immunization is highly effective in preventing flu. Vaccination is also very important. Benefits of the vaccination are reduction in influenza related symptoms and relief from its consequences. Pneumonia, hospital admission, fever, influenza related deaths in nursing home patients are few reliefs one can attain by getting vaccinated.

3) General health practices

Let us have a sneak peek at general health practices that can help to fend off the flu virus:

According to recent studies, drinking plenty of water is said to activate a particular immune against the viruses; so stay hydrated.
Consuming food or taking supplements rich in "probiotics" may fend off flu viruses.
The most effective way is to keep one's immune system strong and equipped to fight influenza. Immune system can be strengthened by exercising and consuming food rich in protein and complex carbohydrates.4) Chemoprophylaxis

Chemoprophylaxis with antiviral medications can prevent influenza. Antivirals (amantadine and rimantadine) are active against influenza A; however, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised not to use them, as they are not active against Influenza B viruses. Oseltamivir and zanamivir are generally effective against influenza A and B and may be more effective than amantadine and rimantadine in preventing influenza.

Now that you are well versed with effective means to keep influenza at bay, get yourself better equipped this season.
Source - Yahoo India LifeStyle


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