Influenza (lat. influentia, literally - influence) - acute infectious disease of the respiratory tract caused by the influenza virus. Like any virus, it "knows how" to change - to mutate, and it does it with enviable constancy and success.Each new species is a strain that emerges on the basis of the described types, something a little new and it is this variability that allows the influenza virus to be elusive, irresistible and very dangerous.
Influenza is a group of acute respiratory viral infections - ARVI. The greatest infectious danger of a person with influenza is in the first 5-6 days from the onset of the disease.
The transmission path is aerosol. The duration of the disease, as a rule, does not exceed a week. However, with this ailment, complications such as otitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, cystitis, myositis, pericarditis, hemorrhagic syndrome can be observed. Especially dangerous is the disease for pregnant women, since it can lead to the threat of termination of pregnancy.
How can I get infected?
The source of spread of influenza infection is a sick person. Particular danger to surrounding people is its secretions in the form of saliva, sputum containing disease-causing virus, because patients with a diagnosis of influenza are recommended to wear a gauze bandage during the period of the disease. Getting into the human body, the virus begins to actively multiply. Usually it settles on the mucosa of the upper respiratory tract.
To defeat internal organs the ailment is not capable, it can lead only to the general intoxication of the body, the main signs of which are nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting. A person with a flu diagnosis is a danger to others only in the first five days of the disease. In the future, the virus ceases to stand out, even if the patient still has symptoms of the disease.
The entrance gates for the influenza virus are cells of the ciliated epithelium of the upper respiratory tract - nose, trachea, bronchi. In these cells, the virus multiplies and leads to their destruction and death. This explains the irritation of the upper respiratory tract cough, sneezing, nasal congestion.
Penetrating into the blood and causing viremia, the virus has a direct, toxic effect, manifested in the form of fever, chills, myalgia, headache. In addition, the virus increases vascular permeability, causes the development of stasis and plasmo-hemorrhages. May cause and oppression of the body's defense systems, which causes the attachment of secondary infection and complications.
Signs of the flu
The following signs are typical for influenza:
- temperature 40 ° C and above;
- persistence of heat for more than five days;
- a severe headache that does not go away when taking painkillers, especially when localizing in the occiput;
- shortness of breath, frequent or abnormal breathing;
- disorders of consciousness - delusions or hallucinations, forgetfulness;
- the appearance of hemorrhagic rash on the skin.
With all listed signs of influenza, as well as the appearance of other anxiety symptoms that do not include in a picture of an uncomplicated course of the disease, you should immediately seek medical help.
Symptoms of influenza in adults
The incubation period of influenza lasts from several hours to several days. During this time the virus manages to multiply and in large quantities enters the bloodstream, causing viremia.
With the flu, the symptoms make themselves felt by such signs: a sharp rise in temperature to high figures (39 to 40 degrees Celsius), aches in the joints, headaches and muscle pains. There may be hyperemia of the skin and sclera of the eyes, exacerbation of herpetic infection.
Then there are other symptoms of influenza in adults: nasal congestion with scanty discharge, perspiration and unpleasant symptoms in the nasopharynx. Some people under the influence of high temperature and intoxication disrupt the work of the digestive tract, there are dyspeptic disorders, diarrhea. In infants, the symptoms of influenza resemble bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections. In this case, a small child may have diarrhea, vomiting, pain in the abdomen.
With a favorable course, the disease lasts from five to seven days, but the body completely restores its functional state only after two to three weeks.
Prevention of influenza
In order not to think about how to treat the flu, the best way to avoid infection is to get vaccinated (vaccinated) every year, during the flu season. Each year, the vaccines are issued taking into account the expected strain of the virus. Vaccination is especially important for people at risk of contracting a severe form of ailment.
Also for the prevention of influenza it is important to isolate patients from those who have not fallen ill, using individual protection (gauze masks on the face) are effective, but ideally (in fact, it is difficult to strictly observe this regime).
Do not forget about good hygienic habits:
- Often, wash your hands with soap and water or a hand-washing product containing alcohol.
- Do not touch the eyes, nose, or mouth.
- If possible, avoid close contact with sick people.
- Do not use the same cutlery, glasses, towels and other personal things that other people use.
The medicine for influenza
The flu has a viral origin, therefore the basis of its treatment in adults is antiviral drugs: Cycloferon, Amiksin, which is also recommended as a prophylaxis in the so-called cold season.
In addition to the anti-influenza tablets, the patient is shown the use of funds aimed at enhancing the protective functions of the body (Interferon).
Treatment of influenza
With the flu, general recommendations include non-drug treatment, taking drugs to alleviate symptoms and antiviral drugs.
Non-medicament means of treatment include:
- Compliance with bed rest (5 days).During an acute period, refrain from reading, watching TV, working at a computer, so as not to overload the weakened by the disease organism.
- Copious warm drink. It is better that it was tea with lemon, rose hips, black currant, mors with cranberries. Such rich in vitamin C drinks, will help to remove from the body the toxins formed as a result of the vital activity of viruses.
- To suppress the spread of the virus in the body, reduce the severity of symptoms, shorten the duration of the disease and reduce the incidence of secondary complications, it is recommendedtake such antiviral drugs, like Zanamivir and Oseltamivir (Tamiflu).
- Antibiotics for influenza do not need to be applied. They are completely helpless against viruses, they are used only in the event of bacterial complications.
To remove symptoms of influenza in adults, such medicines are used:
- NSAIDs (reduce temperature, reduce pain). Recall that to reduce the temperature below 38 degrees is not recommended. The exception is small children and people inclined to convulsions. At the same time, it is strictly forbidden to knock down the child's heat with aspirin. With a viral infection, it can cause a complication - Reye's syndrome, which manifests itself as an epileptic fit and coma.
- Vasodilating drops- Nafosalin, Xylen, Galazolin, Sanorin, Otrivin facilitate breathing and relieve nasal congestion, but they can be applied no longer than 3 days;
- Treatment of pain in the throat. The most effective means (it is the most unloved by many) is the gargling of the throat with disinfectant solutions. You can use infusions of sage, chamomile, as well as ready-made solutions, such as furatsilin. Rinse should be frequent - every 2 hours. In addition, disinfectant sprays can be used: hexoral, bioparox, etc.
- Preparations for cough. The purpose of cough treatment is to reduce the viscosity of phlegm, make it liquid and easy to cough. It is important for this drinking regime - warm drink dilutes sputum. With difficulty with cough, you can take expectorant drugs, such as ATSTS, mukaltin, broncholitin, etc. Do not take medications alone (without consulting a doctor), suppressing a cough reflex - this can be dangerous.
How to treat the flu, additional recommendations that are easy to use at home:
- Eat more fresh plant foods, especially fruits - this will give extra strength to the immune system to fight the influenza virus.
- Sleep at least 7-9 hours. During illness, the body needs additional strengths to fight infection, which is why it is not recommended to overexert or overeat.
- Remember that antibiotics do not affect the flu virus in any way. If incorrectly applied, they, on the contrary, can lead to the resistance of bacteria to them.
- Keep the flu in yourself. Try not to contact personally with family members, colleagues and friends. Use a gauze dressing and phone.
- If flu symptoms worsen, do not go away, or you have chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, HIV / AIDS - contact your doctor. You may need additional medical help.
With extremely severe hypertoxic forms of influenza in adults (temperature above 40 ° C, dyspnea, cyanosis, severe tachycardia, lowering blood pressure), patients are treated in intensive care units. These patients are injected with an anti-influenza immunoglobulin (6-12 ml), antibiotics of anti-staphylococcal action (oxacillin, methicillin, 1 x 4 times a day) are administered.
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