What Is Influenza?
· According to the MedicineNet.com, influenza affects the respiratory tract and can be caused by several different viruses. The viruses that are responsible for influenza are usually broken down into the categories of A, B or C; each individually labeled according to its surface proteins. The viruses that cause influenza are unique to the winter season, and difficult to combat because the viruses often mutate (change) on a yearly basis. The effects of influenza often last for approximately one week.
Symptoms of Influenza
The most characteristic symptoms of influenza are weakness, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, fever (101 to 102 degrees), sneezing, and maybe a runny nose. Although a person with influenza feels very sick, it rarely leads to more serious complications, except for those at greater risk.
Zanamivir and oseltamivir can cause mild side effects, including nausea and vomiting; zanamivir, which is inhaled, can cause difficulty breathing in some cases. Most people are able to continue the medicine despite the side effects.
Treatment of symptoms
- Treating the symptoms of influenza can help you to feel better, but will not make the flu go away faster.
- Rest until the flu is fully resolved, especially if the illness has been severe
- Fluids — Drink enough fluids so that you do not become dehydrated. One way to judge if you are drinking enough is to look at the color of your urine. Normally, urine should be light yellow to nearly colorless. If you are drinking enough, you should pass urine every three to five hours.
- Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol® and other brands) can relieve fever, headache, and muscle aches. Aspirin, and medicines that include aspirin (eg, bismuth subsalicylate; PeptoBismol), are not recommended for children under 18 because aspirin can lead to a serious disease called Reye syndrome.