Cold temperatures usher in the flu season. This is an illness that affects millions of people in the US and billions worldwide every year. Statistics also show that more than 200, 000 people in America are usually hospitalized annually because of flu. The virus is air-borne thus spreads when people sneeze, cough or even talk. One can also contract flu by touching surfaces infected by the virus. The material posted on this page on flu’s, influenza’s and other medical emergencies is for learning purposes only. If you have a medical emergency consult a physician immediately. To learn to recognize and manage serious medical emergencies that affect the circulatory or respiratory system enrol in a first aid course near you.
Is the Flu Serious?
The severity of this illness varies from one person to the other. This depends on numerous factors with the main being age, gender and health status. People who are at risk of suffering serious complications include: Old people, those suffering from chronic illnesses, pregnant women and young children. However, the virus is still dangerous to anyone who catches it which means that preventive measures must be for everyone during the flu season.
How Can the Flu Be Prevented?
The best method of preventing the virus is by getting vaccinated. The vaccinations are administered yearly just before the season begins. Although the vaccines are not 100% effective, getting the shot is the best defense available.
Apart from the vaccine, there are other ways of staying healthy during the flu season. Always practice good health habits which include: Eating right, sleeping adequately and exercising. In addition, avoid smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol.
People should cover their mouths when coughing to avoid spreading the disease. Those infected ought to be quarantined as well. Remember to wash hands frequently.
Can Flu Be Treated?
Yes. There are numerous over-the-counter medications known as antiviral drugs which a person can use to combat the illness. Tamiflu is an effective prescription drug that alleviates the symptoms while speeding up the recovery process. These drugs work when taken immediately the symptoms begin to show. When taken later on, they may fail to deliver expected results because the virus can develop intolerance.
What Public Activities Minimize Flu Illnesses?
To better manage the flu season, many health organizations take part in public activities geared towards minimizing flu illnesses. This is done throughout the year in various parts of the world. South Africa has been a leading force in educating people about flu and ways of dealing with the problem. Conferences are normally held so that scientists can present their findings on research pertaining to flu prevention and control.
What Are the Common Flu Myths?
Numerous myths circulate particularly during the flu season. These are non-factual information that people pass around when tensed. The most common are:
- The flu vaccine causes flu. In case you get the virus after receiving the shot, this means that you were already infected, nothing else.
- The vaccine is not meant for healthy people. Except for rare cases, health care providers recommend everyone to get the vaccine.
- Flu is nothing but a severe cold. Despite the fact that the flu virus may cause similar symptoms to the common cold, it’s a much serious illness.
- Chicken soup speeds recovery. Those who’re used to taking chicken soup during the flu season must understand that although hot liquids soothe the throat, they can’t speed recovery.