Influenza

Influenza is caused by Influenza virus (A, B or C)

Incubation Period

  • 1-3 days

Mode of Transmission

Entry of the virus into the respiratory tract:

  • via droplets from an infected person through coughing, talking and sneezing.
  • through contact with the surfaces, material and clothing contaminated with discharges of an infected person.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever of at least 38 C
  • Headache
  • Runny nose, sore throat, cough or other respiratory manifestations
  • May or may not have muscle or joint pains

Treatment

  • Use of antiviral agents within the first two days may halt the course of influenza illness.  Consult your physician regarding antiviral agents.
  • Paracetamol for fever.  Aspirin should not be given to children.
  • Antibiotics to be given only to complications of influenza such as pneumonia or otitis media.
  • Adequate rest.
  • Increase intake of oral fluids and eat nutritious foods.

Prevention

  • Influenza vaccination preferably to be given anytime from February to June.
  • Provide separate room to a person sick with influenza.
  • Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing to prevent spread of the virus.
  • Avoid crowded places. Distance yourself from at least  meter from people who are coughing or are sick with influenza.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water.

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Source: Department of Health

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