Release Date: 30 10 2019
Writer: SPECIALIST M.D. Nevil Aykın
Influenza and the common cold are the most common diseases in winter, although both are viral infections, colds are mild enough to survive, flu (influenza) is more severe. Therefore, they should not be confused.Influenza is an infectious disease which occurs mostly in October-April and causes epidemics that affect the whole world from time to time.It affects mostly children and the elderly, and is more severe in patients with hypertension, diabetes, heart failure, asthma, chronic bronchitis, liver and kidney failure, and in obese and pregnant women.Sometimes it can result in death. The cause of death is aggravation of the preexisting disease and acute respiratory failure.Symptoms; fever, weakness, anorexia, burning in the eyes, headache, common muscle pain, nasal congestion, cough, chest pain and burning, sputum and shortness of breath, often seen in children, vomiting and diarrhea in some people.
Influenza is an infectious disease. Adults are infective 1 day before the onset of symptoms until the 5th day after the onset of symptoms.For children, infectiousness can be more than 10 days.The infected person is infected by inhalation of the virus in the water droplets given to the air by sneezing or coughing of the infected person by the healthy person. Water droplets can remain in the air for two hours and infect people. Therefore, people working in close proximity to each other indoors or students in schools are especially at risk.Influenza can usually be over by resting at home and taking plenty of fluids. Also antipyretic or antiviral drugs can be used with the doctor check. However, if there are symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, change of consciousness, tendency to sleep, vomiting, bruising in the body, high fever lasting longer than 3 days, and severe fluid loss, hospital intervention is required.Because antibiotics are not effective in treatment, unnecessary use should be avoided.The flu vaccine should be used as a precaution to avoid infection.Since the vaccine's protection effect lasts for 1 year, it is necessary to re-vaccinate in autumn every year.For people older than 65 years, patients with diabetes, asthma, chronic lung and cardiovascular diseases, immunosuppressed people , for people older than 65 years, patients with diabetes, asthma, chronic lung and cardiovascular system disease, immunocompromised persons, those in close contact with those in the risk group, and individuals aged 50-64, medical personnel, pregnant women (from after four months) , infected with HIV, frequent travelers and those who wish to avoid the medical and economic adverse effects of influenza should be vaccinated. Closed and crowded environments should not be entered unless it is compulsory during the epidemic period, close contact with people with flu shouldn't be made, and the spaces should be ventilated frequently.Handkerchiefs should be used when coughing or sneezing, or the mouth should be closed with an arm.Flu viruses can also be transmitted by hand.Therefore, in order to minimize the possibility of contamination with common items such as telephone, control device, mouse and door handles or handshake, frequent hands should be washed during this period and surfaces should be cleaned with detergent.It is recommended that mothers who are infected with flu continue to breastfeed. However, they should frequently wash their hands and use a mask before contact with the baby.