What is flu?
Influenza, commonly known as flu, is an acute febrile highly contagious viral disease that is caused because of the flu virus. You must get flu treatment and complete rest before the condition becomes too complex. Flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness which can be spread either by the coughing and sneezing of an infected person or from an infected person if you come in close contact with them or even touch them. Flu viruses hit or attack our body by spreading through the respiratory tract. Many of the infected people get better and recover in 1 to 2 weeks, but few people develop serious and critical medical complications like pneumonia. The infected person can spread the flu infection before they are aware of the fact that they are infected. There is no perfect cure for the flu but you can get relief from flu infection with the help of flu treatments. Flu treatment can be obtained with the help of herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies and natural remedies.
Causes of Flu
You may at times wonder about the causes of flu. Flu Infections are usually caused by airborne transmission. To understand details on causes of flu you must first understand the basic flu facts. Knowing about the causes of flu can help you in preventing yourself from getting the flu and its symptoms. So, its very important to know about causes of flu and how they affect you and your loved ones.
The flu is very different from a cold. A cold can be caused because of 100 different viruses but flu is caused only by the influenza virus. Later, we will give details of the types of influenza viruses, which is the only cause of this contagious disease.
Firstly, flu is spread by inhaling a respiratory droplet from a flu infected person. The flu virus gets an opportunity to enter into individual individual bodies when they breathe in infectious droplets expelled by the infected person while coughing or sneezing.
Secondly, flu is spread by indirect contact with a contaminated object. The virus gets on the hands of the uninfected person while touching any object, which was earlier touched by an infected person. The flu virus enters into the body of an uninfected person by touching eyes, ears, nose, and mouth making him / her ill.
Flu can also be caused by the items infected with respiratory secretions.
Influenza virus attacks your respiratory tract that as a result causes soreness and rashes. These viruses frequently change with time. Because of the constant change in viral RNA, it is able to avoid the resistant system in our bodies.
Symptoms of the Flu
Before you go for the flu treatments check the symptoms of flu. Some of the flu symptoms are exactly the same as cold symptoms. Symptoms like stuffy nose, sore throat and cough are found in a cold as well as the flu. Symptoms which are found only in a flu infected person are:
• High temperature: Usually 100 F-103 F in adults and at times much higher in children
• Shivering and sudden sunset of chills
• Severe headache
• Complete Body pain
• Fatigue, weakness
• Nausea, vomiting
Symptoms of flu may continue for about a week or two but cough and weakness may persist for a long period.
Flu Virus Characteristics
Flu virus was first identified in 1930s. From that time onwards scientists have started classifying flu viruses into three categories normally Type A, Type B and Type C. These flu viruses are listed into different categories on the basis of their protein composition.
• Type A or Influenza A virus: This is the most prevalent type of flu that attacks every year. Influenza A virus is further divided into subtypes HA and NA, which is based on the two surface protein structures of the virus. Currently there are about 16 HA and 9 NA known. Recent subtypes of Influenza A viruses found in humans are H1N1 and H3N2.
• Type A or Influenza A flu virus is found in human beings and many different animals like:
Ducks – Chickens – Pigs – Whales – Horses – Seals
Influenza A is the most dangerous in comparison to the other two flu types.
• Type B or Influenza B virus: This type of flu virus mostly revolves around us humans and is less severe than Type A influenza. Both Type A and Type B are responsible for the seasonal epidemic of flu. It can be a serious health hazard but basically most of the cases are mild. Type B is not divided further into subtypes or subcategories.
• Type C or Influenza C virus: This type of flu virus is common and is only found in humans, pigs, and dogs. Type C or Influenza C virus causes mild respiratory infections. People normally do not become extremely ill from influenza type C viruses.
Various flu vaccines and shots are available to protect you from the Type A and Type B viruses. For the Type C flu virus no treatment or shots are available.
Who are at greater risk of getting infected by flu virus?
People with chronic diseases, poor immune systems, elders and small children are at a greater risk for coming in contact with the flu. In a priority of cases flu is mild but unpleasant. If the flu symptoms worsen then it can cause serious complications. Below are those that are most susceptible to severe consequences of the flu and flu complications:
• If you are an elderly person (above 50 years of age)
• If you are a new born baby or a young child
• If you are pregnant
• If you are suffering from heart or cardiovascular disease
• If you are suffering from Asthma or bronchitis
• If you are suffering from kidney disease
• If you are a diabetic
• If you are using steroids
• If you are taking cancer treatment
• If you are anemic
• If you are a HIV positive
• And last but not the least, if your immune system is poor
Basic tips which you must remember when infected with the flu
When you are infected with the flu, along with flu treatment you must also take extra special care of yours. We all know that flu is caused by a virus, so antibiotics will not help us in recovering from viral infections. If you have a headache, body ache or muscle ache then you can take a painkiller, it may help you get some relief.
Some basic things which should be done when infected with the flu are:
• You must stay at home until and unless you have fully recovered
• Avoid coming in contact with anyone
• Get plenty of rest
• Cover and keep yourself warm
• Drink lots of liquids, like water, chicken broth, and other fluids
• Avoid alcohol
• Avoid Smoking
• Avoid Tobacco
• Eat light food
• Wash your hands at least three times a day
• Use alcohol based hand sanitizer to get rid of germs
• Take a sauna or hot bath
• Wear the flu mask to prevent yourself from catching flu infection or to prevent spreading the virus to others when you're sick
Prevention is the first step in flu treatment. You must take certain precautions so that you may avoid the flu infection. There is a famous saying "prevention is better than cure" so we must take preventative actions like
• Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing. After using the tissue throw it away and wash you hands with warm water and soap for at least 15 seconds.
• Use antibacterial cleaners to clean hands and surfaces. You can also use alcohol based hand sanitizer.
• Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth without cleaning your hands thoroughly and ensuring that your hands are germ free. Dirty hands can easily transmit the virus from your hands into your body.
• Get your annual flu shot, especially those people who have poor immune system and other serious complicated diseases.
After taking all the precautions, if you still become ill then you must begin flu treatment. There is a long list of basic flu treatment, which you can take along with the doctors' advice.
• The most important step for treating yourself is getting a lot of rest. Flu takes all your energy and you become weak and tired. Resting can help you in boosting up your immune system.
• Drink lots of fluids. Your body becomes dehydrated when you fall ill, so consuming a lot of fluids is essential.
• Take Antibiotics. It will help you in treating as well as preventing yourself from the bacterial infections and other flu complications.
• Take a painkiller if you have some headache or body ache. Painkillers help you get some relief from the aches.
• Antiviral flu treatment:
Tamiflu – Relenza – Flumadine – Symmetrel
With the help of these antiviral medications you can decrease the duration of the illness and their symptoms. Medicines are taken for improving symptoms of flu.
Some important flu treatments with the help of home remedies and natural cures are:
• Flu treatment using Long Pepper:
Take half teaspoon of the powder of long pepper. Mix it well with two teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of ginger juice. Take this mixture three times a day; it will help you alot if you take it in the initial stages of your illness. It also helps you to avoid severe complications.
• Influenza treatment using Garlic
Garlic has an antiseptic property which is used as a superb remedy for flu.
• Influenza treatment using Turmeric
Take a teaspoon of turmeric mixed well in a cup of warm water and religiously take it three times a day. It helps a lot in boosting your immune system, activating liver when it becomes sluggish and also anticipates complications of flu.
• Influenza treatment using Onion
Onion is a useful solution for flu. Mix equal amounts of onion juice and honey, and take this solution three times a day.
• Influenza treatment using Ginger
Ginger is the best remedy for flu. Take a teaspoon of ginger juice and mix it with a cup of fenugreek decoction, if required add honey for taste. This solution helps a lot and increases sweating which reduces fever.
• Influenza treatment using Grapefruit
Grapefruit is a useful remedy as it tones up your body and the digestive system.
• Influenza treatment using Basil Leaves
Basil Leaves are also useful remedy for flu. Boil one gram of leaves with ginger in about half a liter of water until half of the water is left. This solution provides immediate relief.
The flu symptoms can be cured with the help of vitamins, herbs, homeopathy, and some other foods. Natural flu remedies and other flu treatments can help you in reducing pain and suffering that comes along with the flu infection.