Influenza Facts

Influenza Facts
Influenza, which is also referred to as the flu, is an infectious disease that can have mild to serious symptoms. These symptoms may include fever, a sore throat, muscle aches and pains, a runny nose, fatigue, coughing, and headaches. The incubation period for influenza is usually two days but the symptoms can persist for as long as two weeks or more. Nausea and vomiting are not common symptoms in adults but this may occur in children in some cases. Influenza can lead to more serious complications and illnesses such as secondary bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonia, and worsening of heart failure or asthma. Influenza can be spread through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It can also be spread through touching contaminated surfaces such as a door handle, and then touching one's eyes or mouth. Person can be contagious even when they are not showing symptoms.
Interesting Influenza Facts:
Influenza is considered a respiratory illness that results in infection to the lungs, nose, and throat.
Influenza symptoms can range from mild to severe and in the most severe cases it can lead to death.
Some people believe that getting the flu vaccine will help minimize risk while others believe it doesn't help.
It is possible for someone infected with influenza to infect someone before knowing they are ill themselves. A person can be contagious 24 hours before the onset of symptoms.
After becoming ill with influenza an individual can infect others for as long as seven days.
Influenza can complicate other illnesses that an individual may have had before getting the flue, including diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or other chronic illnesses.
In some cases people with the flue are treated with antiviral drugs, which can include liquids, pills, powders, or intravenous medications. Antiviral medications are not antibiotics. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections, and would not be helpful for the flu.
Most people will recover from the flu without the use of antiviral medications. They are more important for those with other illnesses that might be made worse by the flu.
Antiviral drugs can help to decrease the amount of time someone is ill with the flu by one or two days.
There are side effects to antiviral drugs that might include dizziness, runny nose, stuffy nose, diarrhea, headaches, and a cough, as well as nausea and vomiting.
Antiviral drugs for the flu work best if an infected person begins to take them within 48 hours of becoming ill.
Influenza is more prevalent in the winter months, so it is considered flu season in the Northern Hemisphere at a different time than in the Southern Hemisphere.
In one year, when factoring in the flu season in the Northern Hemisphere and flu season in the Southern Hemisphere, there are approximately 500,000 deaths due to influenza.
Some people are more prone to serious complications including children under 5, the elderly, pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems, metabolic disorders, obesity, chronic lung disease, liver disease, kidney disease, and those of Alaskan Native and American Indian heritage.

Related Links:
Viruses Facts
Animals Facts
Flu Facts
Jonas Salk Facts
Global Exchange: c. 1450 - c. 1750
Epidemic vs. Pandemic
Biotic Factors Examples
Demographic and Environmental Changes: c. 1900 - Present
Vaccines Facts
Velvet scoter Facts
Honeysuckle Facts
Avocet Facts