Influenza (Flu) 流感(英文)
Influenza (Flu) 流感(英文)
What is influenza ( flu )?
Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is caused by the influenza virus, which infects the respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs). Unlike many other viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, the flu causes severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people. The main way that influenza viruses are spread is from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes.
The influenza viruses :
Influenza types A or B viruses cause epidemics of disease almost every winter. Influenza type C infections cause a mild respiratory illness and are not thought to cause epidemics. The incubation period usually is 1 to 4 days, with a mean of 2 days. Studies show that most healthy adults may be able to infect others from 1 day prior to becoming sick and for 5 days after they first develop symptoms.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Influenza is a respiratory illness which can last a week or even longer. Symptoms of flu include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Children can have additional gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; but these symptoms are uncommon in adults.
Some of the complications caused by flu include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes. Children and adults may develop sinus problems and ear infections.
If you get the flu, get plenty of rest, drink a lot of liquids, and avoid using alcohol and tobacco. Also, you can take medications such as acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol/ Panodal/ Scanol to relieve fever and muscle aches associated with the flu. Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever. Three antiviral drugs are approved for use in preventing and treating the flu. These are prescription medications, and a doctor should be consulted before they are used. If your child gets secondary bacterial infections, such as sinusitis, pneumonia or otitis media, the doctor will prescribe antimicrobials for him or her.
Habits for Good Health :
These steps may help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses such as the flu:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you are not near water, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.
- If you get the flu, stay home from work, school, and social gatherings. In this way, you will help prevent others from getting infected with your illness.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often spread this way.