Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses which circulate in all parts of the world.
Signs and symptoms
Seasonal influenza is characterized by a sudden onset of fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle and joint pain, severe malaise (feeling unwell), sore throat and a runny nose. The cough can be severe and can last 2 or more weeks. Most people recover from fever and other symptoms within a week without requiring medical attention. But influenza can cause severe illness or death especially in people at high risk.
The most effective way to prevent the disease is vaccination.
WHO recommends annual vaccination for:
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- Children aged between 6 months to 5 years
- Elderly individuals (aged more than 65 years)
- Individuals with chronic medical conditions
- Health-care workers.
Wash hands by washing with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
Cover Your Mouth and Nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or wear a face mask.
Don’t Touch Your Face with unwashed hands since it’s the easiest way for germs to enter your body.
Smiling and laughing can help boost your immune system.
Stay hydrated, Eat Healthy and balanced meals to strengthen your immune system.
Exercise boosts your immune system and speeds recovery from illness.
Stay Home until your fever is gone for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medicine.
Most people recover from the flu on their own. You do not need to go to the hospital if you get the flu, but you should take the following steps to protect yourself and avoid infecting others:
- Rest, drink plenty of liquids and take medications you would normally take to treat your symptoms.
- Stay home from work or school. Do not return until you have been free of fever for 24 hours.
- Avoid close contact with other people. Stay away from crowded public places and avoid close contact with household members.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.