What is Influenza?
Influenza is a type of respiratory infection that is caused due to viruses or germs. Influenza is also called Flu. It affects the body parts of the respiratory system, such as the nose, throat, and lungs.
Influenza is one of the most highly contagious diseases. It spreads most during the winter season.
Influenza is not a severe disease. Patients generally recover in 2 or 3 weeks. It may lead to severe lung disorders and infections if proper care is not taken.
However, the good news is that there has been a decline over the last year. The demand for Flu shot 2021 has also declined.
Causes of Influenza:
Influenza is caused by the spread of respiratory droplets from an infected person to another person. These droplets travel in the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks in public. The transmission of these infected droplets can happen through any surface or from the infected person. Winter is also considered a Flu season. where most cases of Flu take place.
Those with a weak immune system tend to be more exposed to such infections and get infected easily. At the same time, those who have encountered and recovered from Flu in the past will have developed antibodies in their bodies to fight against the infection.
Symptoms of Influenza:
Most of us get confused between Flu and Cold because many of the early symptoms of both diseases are the same. Flu starts suddenly and quickly. Flu has the following symptoms
2. Dry Cough
4. Running Nose
5. Loss of Appetite
6. Muscle Ache
7. Eye pain
These are the standard and first-stage symptoms of Flu. Those with such symptoms tend to recover from Flu quickly after proper treatment and medication. But some other severe symptoms can increase the risk of complications and need an emergency doctor consultation.
Following are the symptoms which require an urgent doctor treatment:
1. Chest pain
2. Difficulty in breathing/ Breathlessness
4. Severe muscle pain and weakness
5. Current medical conditions worsening
Treatment for Flu:
Most of us can generally treat Flu at home by following the advice of the doctor. It is important to consume homemade food and liquids. Staying home is a better option to prevent the spread.
Home remedies along with some over-the-counter medicines are enough to treat the Flu.
Proper medication consisting of pain relievers can help in fixing body pain and muscle ache experienced during Flu.
Flu can be prevented altogether by taking a Flu jab. In fact, Flu shot 2021 has played a very important role in preventing Influenza.
Is there a decline in Flu cases?
According to the study of Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total number of people suffering from Flu from September 2019 to January 2020 was about 130000, but the number was reduced to 1316 for the period September 2020 to January 2021.
It can be seen that there was a considerable decline in Flu cases in just one year. The number got reduced to only 10% as compared to the previous year. What was the reason for such a massive decline in Influenza cases?
Reasons for the decline in Influenza
Covid 19 is one of the primary reasons for the decline in Influenza cases. Everyone started wearing masks and practiced social distance. This brought a halt to the spread of influenza from one person to another. Constant washing and sanitizing of hands due to the fear of coronavirus further terminated the spread of the virus.
Flu Shot 2021 also helped in building a better and robust immune system. Even if there was exposure, individuals did not contract the disease.
We keep getting exposed to Influenza at some point in our lives. Flu may not be a severe disease, but it still needs proper care and treatment from getting it so that it does not lead to a serious health condition. The global outrage of the coronavirus has led to the development of sound and healthy habits. The immune system of individuals has improved. All of this has contributed to the decline in Influenza cases.
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2. Couch, R.B., 2000. Prevention and treatment of influenza. New England Journal of Medicine, 343(24), pp.1778-1787 https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM200012143432407 Accessed on 24 August 2021