Flu Pandemic

Stages of Seasonal Flu Symptoms

Introduction to Influenza

Influenza or flu is an infectious disease that affects birds and mammals. It is caused by the different strains of the influenza virus. It causes infection of the respiratory tract and may lead to a wide range of symptoms that have been enumerated below. The transmission of this virus, usually takes place through air from mammal to mammal. For example, when a person infected with the influenza virus coughs, he releases some of the viruses into the air. The same air may be inhaled by another person, leading to an infection.
Many strains of the influenza virus are highly pathogenic in nature and have caused 3 pandemics in the last century. Apart from them, seasonal epidemics of influenza are also known to occur throughout the world.
The most recent influenza threat has been in the form of the H5N1 virus that affects birds. Still in its emerging stage, this virus is yet to adapt itself to humans. However, it poses the greatest pandemic threat in today's world.

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Seasonal Flu Symptoms

Influenza can cause a variety of symptoms. Once a person has been infected with the flu virus, the symptoms start appearing within 1 to 4 days. Some of the seasonal flu symptoms are as follows:

People often confuse the seasonal flu symptoms with those of common cold. Flu symptoms are usually more severe than those of common cold and last for a longer period of time. Thus, one should not believe that one has flu, if one has fever. Statistics show that only 25 % of the people who have fever are suffering from flu.

Flu Diagnosis

Flu like symptoms can be caused by a variety of other conditions. Hence, a doctor cannot immediately say that a person is suffering from influenza, if he encounters such symptoms. Also, as there exist a number of subtypes of the influenza virus, the seriousness of the condition cannot be gauged without proper tests.
To determine the type of virus, a virus culture is performed on a swab from your nose or throat. Once this is done, accurate medication can be given.

What to do, if you encounter Seasonal Flu Symptoms?

A person often tends to ignore the flu symptoms, as they do not seem serious initially. However, to avoid the serious consequences, it is better to take some safety precautions. They are as follows:

Thus, if care is taken, serious effects of flu can be avoided.