The influenza viruses cause seasonal influenza, which is termed also as “the flu” and it leads to infection of the respiratory tract. The flu should not be confused with milder conditions such as the common cold. The former could cause serious ailments and in a few instances can even endanger life. These are a few kinds of flu viruses: Influenza A H1N1, H3N2, and Influenza B, to name a few.
Contagiousness of seasonal influenza
The seasonal influenza is extremely contagious. A person can contract this ailment even when they just breathe in the droplets that get ejected with the cough of the infected individual. The virus gets transmitted through physical contact and by touching contaminated surfaces, as well. People are advised to cover the nose and mouth while coughing, to stop the infection from spreading to others.
In 2019, the city of Hyderabad had a troublesome time due to seasonal illnesses, starting from June and going up to September. There were several cases of dengue, viral fever, and chikungunya, in these four months. It is observed during the last few years that; January has been the month where many cases of seasonal conditions were seen. This is more so with regard to infections of the upper respiratory tract such as allergies, asthma, and seasonal influenza.
The IDSP (Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme) and the National Centre for Communicable Diseases (NCDC) highlighted a crucial aspect, on many occasions. In Hyderabad, there shall be an outbreak of seasonal influenza in two phases. The first one is during the January-March period and the second phase will be there throughout the 3 months beginning from August and ending with October.
Seasonal influenza- Places of high risk
The NCDC has reported that, along with urban and semi-urban areas, the influenza is now attacking rural zones, too. Also, the speed and severity of transmission are alarmingly high in enclosed places with inadequate ventilation. So, locations like religious places, hostels, passenger flights, and armed forces barracks can be classed as danger zones.
Most of the affected persons recover after experiencing only mild symptoms and many of these people don’t even need to consult a physician. But, some profiles are more vulnerable, in the sense that they could develop grave complications and medical intervention is indispensable for them. They are:
- Aged people
- Pregnant women
- Individuals with heart disease, Kidney/Liver conditions, cancer
- COPD/asthma patients
Symptoms of flu
Considering the potential seriousness of seasonal influenza, it is important to be aware of the common symptoms. This will help in taking prompt remedial action.
- Soreness of throat
- Runny nose
- Headache and body pains
Let’s have a look at the primary measures to prevent the flu.
- Maintain distance from people displaying flu-like symptoms.
- Wash the hands frequently using water and soap. Instead, we can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- As far as possible, don’t visit crowded locations.
- Take the medications prescribed by your doctor, without missing even a single dose.
- Consume foods having all the required nutrients and drink lots of water.
- In case you experience discomfort such as breathlessness, dizziness, or severe spell of cough, immediately seek medical guidance.