What is flu (influenza)?
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death.
The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
. Sore throat
. Runny nose
. Sometimes vomiting and diarrhea
It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
Complications of the flu:
. Sinus and ear infections
How the flu virus spreads?
Person to person by droplets, airborne, or touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it.
People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away during cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Is the flu contagious?
Yes, most healthy adults may be able to infect other people starting from 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.
This means that some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms.
How to protect yourself from influenza?
. Get vaccinated
. Wash your hands with soap and water
. When sneezing or coughing, cover your nose and mouth
. Stay home if you are already sick until the fever goes away (within 24 hours), and get antiviral medicines if needed
. Eat healthy balanced meals
. Exercise to boost your immune system
What are the types of influenza virus?
There are 4 types of influenza A, B, C, and D.
Human influenza A and B viruses cause seasonal epidemics of disease that commonly peak in Qatar between October and February.
Dose the vaccine cause flu?
No, but similar to most vaccines, some people experience mild side effects, including a slight fever, aches, and pains which usually disappear within 1 to 2 days without treatment.
Who should get the vaccine?
All people, especially that at high risk for developing flu-related complications:
. Children younger than 5 yrs.
. Pregnant women
. Old people over age 65 yrs.
. Health care works
People who have medical conditions including:
. Bronchial Asthma
. Chronic lung disease
. Heart disease
. Neurological conditions
. Blood disorders
. Endocrine disease such as diabetes
. Kidney disorders
. Liver disorders
. Metabolic disorders
. Immunocompromised patients
. Less than 19 yrs., and receiving Aspirin
. Extreme obesity