Influenza

(Flu)

See also:

Definition

The flu (also called influenza) is a viral infection. It affects the respiratory system. It can cause mild-to-severe illness, and sometimes it can lead to death.
Virus Attacking Cell
IMAGE
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
The best way to avoid getting the flu is by being vaccinated every year.

Causes

The influenza virus causes the flu. Each winter, the virus spreads around the world. The strains are usually different from one year to the next. While less likely, it is possible to get the flu when it is not flu season.The two main kinds of influenza virus are Type A and Type B.Someone infected with the virus may sneeze or cough. This releases droplets into the air. If you breathe in infected droplets, you can become infected. You can also become infected through touch. If you touch a contaminated surface, you may transfer the virus from your hand to your mouth or nose.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your chance of the flu include:
  • Living or working in crowded conditions such as, nursing homes, schools, military forces, and daycare centers
  • Being physically or mentally disabled—people with disabilities may not be able to easily communicate their symptoms or may have trouble practicing preventive measures against the flu, putting them more at risk.
Certain groups of people are at a higher risk of developing complications from the flu. Risk factors for complications include:
  • Children younger than five years old
  • Being 65 years old and older
  • Being American Indian/Alaska Native
  • Having certain conditions, including chronic lung condition (such as asthma ); cardiovascular disease; kidney, liver, neurological, blood, or metabolic condition (such as diabetes)
  • Having a suppressed immune system such as HIV
  • Being pregnant during the flu season
  • Being younger than 18 years old and receiving long-term aspirin therapy—may be at risk for Reyes syndrome
  • Living in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
  • Obesity

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals



July 2015

A randomized trial found that fecal microbiota transplantation had a higher rate of remission in patients with active ulcerative colitis than those who recieved placebo. Fecal transplantation is believed to help the intestine develop a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut which can help the intestine recover and function more effectively.

dot separator
previous editions


June 2015


May 2015

Chewing Gum After Surgery May Improve Digestive Tract Recovery
April 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook