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Influenza (French grippe), influenza, is a highly contagious acute viral disease of the respiratory tract, characterized by a short incubation period (1-2 days) and a fast cyclic course (3-5 days). It affects all age groups of the population living in different geographic conditions. The causative agent of influenza (discovered in 1933 by the British virologists W. Smith, F.W. Andrews, P. Laidlaw) is a medium-sized virus (80-120 mmq in diameter); belongs to the group of myxoviruses. There are 3 antigenic variants of the virus: serotypes A and B, which cause massive epidemics, repeating at intervals of 2-3 years (for serotype A) and 3-4 years (for serotype B), and type C, which causes sporadic (single ) diseases of preschool children. A feature of viruses of type A and B is the continuous variability of their antigenic properties, accompanied by the periodic emergence of new subtypes that do not cause cross-immunity in patients.
The only source of infection is a sick person, less often a healthy virus carrier. Infection occurs through airborne droplets - when the patient coughs, sneezes, when talking to him. Moderate in intensity inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nasal passages, pharynx, pharynx, larynx and bronchi are accompanied by a pronounced picture of general poisoning of the body with endotoxin of the influenza virus. Intoxication causes a sharp breakdown, muscle soreness, general weakness, headache, increased irritability. Chills appear, the temperature rises; discharge from the mucous membranes of the nasal passages and pharynx, conjunctivitis, dry cough, sneezing, redness of the throat and tonsils, etc.; sometimes the sense of smell and hearing are disturbed. Complications of bacterial origin often develop (inflammation of the middle ear, tonsillitis, laryngitis, tracheitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, meningoencephalitis); as a consequence of general intoxication, dangerous damage to the cardiovascular system is frequent.
No matter how much information about this disease appears, many misconceptions about influenza continue to remain in the minds of some part of our population and seriously affect the possibility of prevention and speedy recovery.
For people with strong immunity, the flu is not terrible. Indeed, there are people who do not get the flu. This is due to the so-called genetic resistance. It is present in a person from birth. But right away it must be said that such resistance is very rare. Most often there is a risk of getting the flu, and here the immune status does not play any role. A person may practically not get sick and not catch a cold, but this is not a guarantee that the next flu epidemic will bypass him. Therefore, doctors recommend flu prevention to everyone, without exception.
Influenza is a common and common disease that should not be feared. A frivolous attitude towards this disease is a feature of the Russian mentality. Moreover, no one wants to think that the flu is not so terrible as its consequences: from pneumonia to death.
Influenza can be carried on your feet, you don't have to stay at home for a week People who adhere to this rule not only risk their lives and health, but can also infect others. Carrying the flu on their feet, such "shock workers of capitalist labor" run the risk of complications, which will take much longer to be treated than the flu.
It is absolutely useless to treat the flu - anyway, the disease will go away by itself. We all know the popular saying: "Without treatment, the flu lasts a week, with treatment - seven days." This ironic statement has its own grain of truth. Often treat the flu, don't treat it, the result is the same anyway. But only not if the therapy is started on time. Judge for yourself: we start taking medications when it gets really bad, when the temperature has been holding for several days, and because of weakness it is impossible to take our head off the pillow. As for the common cold, many people start treating it only after the nose stops breathing altogether. This is totally wrong. It is especially important to prevent the development of influenza. The most acute phase of this disease is observed on the first day after infection. The person is concerned only with minor symptoms. Then it is necessary to begin treatment. In this case, you can interrupt the disease without letting it develop, and all the troubles will end in a few days. Not only will such timeliness shorten the duration of the disease, but it will also reduce the likelihood of complications.
The flu can be cured in three days. Such a statement is naive. Even a drug that can cure the flu has not yet been invented. True, it is known that the influenza virus dies in an alkaline environment, so it is useful to inhale with baking soda (1 tsp per glass of boiled water) or drink alkaline mineral waters such as "Borjomi". You can also use a very effective folk remedy - it is used when feeling impending malaise. Take 1.5 liters of boiled water, add 1 tbsp. coarse salt, juice of 1 lemon and 1 g of ascorbic acid. Dissolve, stir and drink within 1.5 hours.
If you have the flu, you need to take antibiotics. This is fundamentally wrong. Because antibiotics are mainly prescribed for bacterial infections, it has absolutely nothing to do with influenza. Antibiotics are prescribed by a doctor for any foci of chronic infection in your body: bronchitis, sinusitis, pyelonephritis, etc. The only medications you need for the flu are antipyretics, pain relievers, and expectorants.
Vitamins will save you from the flu. Nobody argues, vitamins are great, but they won't save you from flu. The optimal solution will be complex therapy, which includes both antiviral drugs and vitamins.
With flu, the temperature should be very high. In fact, in milder forms of the disease, the mercury column behaves calmly. The main symptom is intoxication of the body, causing aches of the whole body, headache and muscle pain.
If the temperature is elevated, then it must be brought down immediately. This setting is known to very many. Only a few of us keep ourselves from wanting to take a high dose of antipyretics. And they act, by the way, absolutely right. After all, an increased temperature is nothing more than a protective reaction of the body. It is aimed at killing pathogens, creating unbearable living conditions for them. Indeed, the increased temperature contributes to the death of influenza viruses and facilitates the course of infection. Another thing is that some people tolerate fever very poorly. Severe weakness, palpitations, muscle pains, and joint aches appear. In this case, it is necessary to take antipyretic drugs, but you still should not bring down the temperature below 37.5. And one more detail: it is also not necessary to lower the temperature too quickly, in this case the state of health becomes even worse than it was before taking the antipyretic.
Vaccination will keep you from flu. Many people believe that it is impossible to get the flu after being vaccinated. In fact, this is not the case, the risk of infection remains, but it becomes significantly less. In this case, the type of vaccine plays a certain role, each of them gives its own percentage guarantee of safety. But on average, it is at least 80-90%.
Vaccination is contraindicated for people suffering from cardiovascular diseases. There is an opinion that people with diseases of the cardiovascular system do not tolerate vaccination very well. But it cannot lead to any complications. Moreover, people with heart problems must be vaccinated. The fact is that the flu itself gives rise to complications that most often develop in those who have problems with the heart and blood vessels.
The longer you are outdoors, the less the risk of getting the flu. The statement is not entirely correct, because on the street we meet a lot of people who are likely to have the flu. Another thing is that in the open air the risk of infection is relatively low. It grows hundreds of times in enclosed spaces where a lot of people gather.
If I temper, I won't get the flu. No one argues that it is good to be tempered, to have healthy mucous membranes and nasopharynx. But there is no one hundred percent guarantee that this will save you from the flu. The main method of prevention is not dousing with cold water, but vaccination.
Having been ill once, you can get long-term immunity. It has been established that the majority of adults have influenza antibodies in their blood due to past infection. However, the influenza virus is constantly changing, so the previously acquired immunity is untenable against the virus that has changed its properties. To reliably solve this problem, the World Health Organization has launched a special epidemiological surveillance program for influenza since 1947. Since then, modern vaccines have been created according to the principle: in the spring in Asia, the three most aggressive and common varieties of the virus (two types A and one - B) are allocated, and by the fall the correct and timely vaccine is produced. When using such a drug, protection reaches 98 percent.