Flu – an infectious respiratory disease caused by different influenza viruses. The flu can be uncomplicated, in which the prognosis is quite favorable, and can have very serious consequences, including death.
There are three types of influenza viruses: A, B and C. these viruses cause annual epidemics.
Type C infections cause mild respiratory illness and is considered that it does not cause epidemics.
The type a viruses are divided into subtypes. Subtypes of the type that have been found in people worldwide include H1N1, H1N2, H3N2 and other strains.
Influenza viruses are constantly changing over time, usually by mutation (change in the viral RNA). This constant changing often enables the virus to evade the immune system of the host (humans, birds and other animals), so that the host is susceptible to changing flu virus infections throughout life. This process works as follows: a host infected with influenza virus develops antibody against that virus, as the virus modifies, produced “first” antibody does not recognize the “new” viruses and infections. Up to the moment of production of antibodies to the new virus, the disease can occur at full speed. Previously developed antibodies can in some cases provide partial protection against infection with the new influenza.
Healthy people recover from the flu without problems, but people with weakened immune systems are at high risk of serious complications.
Most people have a natural immunity, but you can resort to vaccination against this disease.
Each year, approximately 5-20 percent of the population fall ill with seasonal influenza. Flu-related deaths range from 3,300 to 48 600 (average 23 600).
Annual outbreaks of seasonal flu usually occur from early autumn to mid-spring, remains unstable and wet weather. This also contributes to the fact that in the summer / autumn period, people tend to be EN masse in enclosed spaces.
A flu pandemic occurs when a new stamp of the influenza virus, which infects a large number of people in the country or a few countries, the virus causes serious illness and spreads easily from person to person worldwide, and the spread of the virus is very fast.
The symptoms of the common cold and seasonal flu are similar: fever, pain in muscles and joints, fatigue, runny nose and dry cough. Although most people recover within a week without any medical assistance, they in no case should not be confused, the flu is a viral disease and is much more dangerous than the common cold and often causes complications.
Complications of flu can include:
- bacterial pneumonia
- ear infections or sinus
- exacerbation of chronic diseases
There is a certain group of people most vulnerable to complications from seasonal flu. These include:
- older people, aged 65 years and older
- children under 2 years
- people of any age who have chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, asthma, congestive heart failure, lung disease).
Treatment and Prevention of Seasonal Influenza
It is advisable to conduct the treatment drugs Antigrippin, Amantadine, Rimantadine, Arbidol.
Prevention is vaccination, the observance of rules of personal hygiene, especially after contact with sick with the flu, wearing gauze bandages and measures aimed at strengthening the immunity system.
H5N1 Avian Influenza
Avian influenza – influenza virus a subtype of group A, which is very infectious among birds, are, in fact, are carriers. H5N1 is a flu virus usually does not infect humans but rare cases were noted. Almost all human cases have been observed in people having direct or close contact with H5N1-infected poultry or contaminated material.
Avian Flu Symptoms
Signs of bird flu in cases similar to typical seasonal influenza symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle pain). In severe cases breathing problems and pneumonia, 50-80% ending in death. The symptoms of H5N1 avian influenza may depend on the immune system and whether previously infected with the strain of the patient, such a person is almost not susceptible to the virus.
In most confirmed cases of infection have occurred in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Europe and the middle East. Currently, there is no confirmed person – the carrier of H5N1 infection flu, but bird flu remains a serious concern, with the potential to cause a deadly pandemic.
Prevention of H5N1 Avian Influenza
Most cases of infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus occurred in people having direct or close contact with infected poultry or surfaces contaminated with excretions from infected birds.
Cannot be infected by H5N1 influenza from properly cooked poultry and eggs. Even if poultry and eggs were contaminated with the virus, proper heat treatment would kill it.
1.Follow the most important advice, careful heat treatment of eggs and poultry: the virus is killed by heating foods to 50-60C for 30 minutes.
2. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds of processing raw poultry and eggs.
3. Use separate cutting boards to avoid contact with other products. Wash your utensils with soap and hot water.
4. Use a food thermometer to make sure that You cook poultry at a temperature of at least 75 degrees Celsius. Of course, it is desirable to cook poultry at a higher temperature.
5. Do not consume raw eggs and undercooked eggs with the yolk.
6. Avoid contact with people with suspected bird flu. If contact was unavoidable, in the course of 2 days to measure body temperature at least 2 times a day, to monitor symptoms over a week since contact.
7. The intake of antiviral and immunomodulatory drugs and vitamins.
8. In the period of the epidemic is necessary to wear a gauze mask. To change the mask needs at least every 2-3 hours.
9. If You plan to visit any of the countries that have had confirmed human infection of the H5N1 go to pre-vaccination, and it is better to refrain from travel.
10. Seasonal influenza vaccine does not provide protection against avian flu.
Treatment of H5N1 Avian Influenza
People with suspected avian influenza requires early use of neuraminidase inhibitors due to their broad spectrum of activity.
Some of the medicines for human influenza viruses can be effective in dealing with H5N1, but not proved until the end.
Typically used Oseltamivir, Relenza: a drug is given the form of inhalation. In the case of temperature increase appropriate use of antipyretics. Also required vitamins. Antibiotics are prescribed only in cases of suspected pneumonia.
Popular drug, Rimantadine, has sadly lost its role in the treatment and prevention of avian influenza.
No event it is impossible to apply Antigrippin, Aspirin and Analginum!
H1N1 Swine Flu
What is swine flu and how serious the consequences after an illness?
A new strain of influenza A H1N1, also known as swine flu, was confirmed in the UK in April 2009 and has spread to almost 200 countries around the world.
Its symptoms swine flu similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu, however, in case of complications, it usually causes lung disease, In severe cases may develop pulmonary pneumonia.
Symptoms of Swine Flu H1N1
Typically, the symptoms for all flu are similar. Patients with swine flu usually have a fever accompanied by high temperature (above 38°C) and two or more of the following symptoms:
- runny nose
- sore throat
- shortness of breath or cough
- loss of appetite
- pain in the muscles
- diarrhea or vomiting.
As with any kind of flu, symptoms of the disease will depend on the treatment and individual characteristics of the patient’s state of health. The majority of the cases registered in the world, was relatively light, the victims began to recover during the week.
Who is at risk for H1N1 Swine Flu?
Some groups have a higher risk of serious illness if they catch swine flu. It is very important to people risk to get antivirals and start taking them as soon as possible – within 48 hours after the onset of symptoms.
As is well known, are most at risk:
- pregnant women
- people aged 65 years and older
- small children under the age of five years.
People suffering from the following diseases, are also at increased risk:
- chronic lung disease
- chronic heart disease
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease
- chronic neurological disease
- immune systems (whether caused by disease or treatment)
- diabetes mellitus
- patients who were taking medications for asthma within the past three years.
Treatment and Prevention of H1N1 Swine Flu
If you think you have the symptoms of swine flu, should stay home and consult a doctor.
Swine flu is treated with antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu or Relenza. These drugs prevent the multiplication of influenza virus. To enhance the antiviral effect, you must take them within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. This can reduce the risk of complications and possibly shorten the illness by one day.
Adverse reactions to Tamiflu
In some cases, antiviral medicine can cause side effects such as:
- pain in the abdomen
Even if you feel these symptoms, it is important to take the full course of treatment even if the symptoms of swine flu have passed, and you began to feel better.
To reduce the risk of infection or the spread of the virus should:
- cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, using a handkerchief
- use disposable handkerchiefs, which are disposed of after a single use
- wash hands regularly with soap and water
- clean items (such as door handles and remote controls)
- wear a gauze bandage or a mask
- antiviral vaccination.
Vaccination against swine flu is not mandatory, but people in high risk groups at the present time, it is strongly recommended to have vaccinations.