Influenza Outbreak Prevention
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Influenza Outbreak Prevention

Influenza or what people know as "flu," is commonly mistaken as common cold because of similar symptoms such as headache, colds, and fever. But influenza is a disease of the lungs and upper airways caused by infection with a variety of flu viruses. Flu viruses are classified as Types A, B, C; and are highly contagious. This can affect all ages and the risk for complications, hospitalizations, and deaths is higher among children and persons ages 65 years or individuals with certain underlying health conditions.
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Influenza or what people know as "flu," is commonly mistaken as common cold because of similar symptoms such as headache, colds, and fever. But influenza is a disease of the lungs and upper airways caused by infection with a variety of flu viruses. Flu viruses are classified as Types A, B, C; and are highly contagious. This can affect all ages and the risk for complications, hospitalizations, and deaths is higher among children and persons ages 65 years or individuals with certain underlying health conditions.

There are three types of flu: seasonal, pandemic, and bird (avian). Seasonal flu refers to flu outbreaks occurring yearly, mainly from June to September. Pandemic, on the other hand, refers to particularly virulent strains of flu spreading rapidly from person to person. Bird or avian flu refers to flu viruses found in wild aquatic birds such as ducks and shore birds.

Studies show that during the 20th century four influenza pandemics took place:

  • 1918 - Spanish flu, which resulted in 20-40 million deaths worldwide. This pandemic was considered severe.
  • 1957 - Asian flu pandemic which resulted in about 70,000 deaths.
  • 1968 - The Hong Kong flu pandemic which according to research resulted in nearly 34,000 deaths in the United States.
  • 1977 - Russian flu pandemic which was categorized as mild pandemic.

What is pandemic all about? Pandemic can be declared if more than 400 people per 100,000 of the population have flu or a flu-like illness every week. This is a global phenomenon in which people of all ages in the entire world are at risk for infection and illness. A pandemic will certainly occur though we do not know when, that's why it is very important for everybody to get prepared and be well informed before it's too late.

Influenza is very rampant during rainy season. Symptoms of this devastating disease include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throats, muscle pain, and runny or stuffy nose. It can lead to serious complications like bronchitis, pneumonia, and ultimately death. The influenza viruses can enter the body through nose, mouth, or eyes. They can be transmitted through sneezing, coughing, and talking.

Nobody is exempt from this illness, but everyone can have the chance to prevent its contamination. Consider these good health habits:

  • Avoid close contact with people who have flu. Influenza virus easily spreads when an infected person sneezes or coughs. When you are sick, stay at home and rest. Keep your distance from others to help prevent them from getting sick too.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to treat flu symptoms such as colds, sore throat, and cough.
  • Practice sanitation and proper hygiene. Always cover your mouth and nose with handkerchief or tissue when you sneeze or cough. Frequent hand washing can also help prevent contamination especially after handling or touching objects and surfaces in public areas like stair railings, shopping carts, toilet flush handles, etc. Wet wipes, hand gel, and alcohol are good substitutes just in case water is not available outdoors.
  • Avail yourself fresh air and take time to exercise or walk around as you relax.
  • Watch what you eat and if possible avoid junk foods and artificial sweeteners as these can reduce the ability of your white blood cells to fight viruses. Adding foods that are rich in antioxidants and micronutrients such as spinach, sweet potato tops, broccoli, and horse-radish (drumstick or moringa) leaves in your diet can strengthen your resistance against flu.
  • Observe proper time of sleeping and maintain a positive mindset. It is good for your brain and immune system.
  • Get a flu shoot. Vaccination is the most successful application of immunological principles to human health. This is considered to be completely effective in preventing influenza virus contamination. It should be given once a year preferably from February to June. People who work in poultry houses - handle or catch live poultry, sort eggs, or slaughter and clean poultry - are recommended to have regular immunization.

                 influenza vaccination

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Influenza is a threat to the entire family or even in the whole community. Following these health habits do not guarantee that you'll never catch flu. Active young people may be infected with influenza but infection is less severe than in older people. But then again the choice is ours. We can always remain healthy as long as we want to. Remember no one is excused from the influenza virus but if we choose to stay fit and healthy, no disease, not even flu can take away our energy.

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Comments (3)
Ranked #21 in Flu & Cold

A very interesting and informative read. The advice given in this article will help many people avoid getting the flu. Liked. Tweeted. Buzzed Up. Voted Up.

Great research....voted up!

another useful article. Sometimes I feel I should be doing useful articles instead of my DVD movie reviews.

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