What You Need To Know About Influenza?

Causative agent
Influenza (flu) is an acute illness of the respiratory tract caused by flu viruses. It is usually more common in periods from February to July in Guangzhou. Three types of flu viruses are recognized, namely A, B and C.
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Clinical features
For healthy individuals, seasonal flu is usually self-limiting with recovery in 2-7 days. Symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle pain, fatigue and headache; some may also have vomiting and diarrhea.
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Cough is often severe and protracted but fever and other symptoms generally resolves in 5-7 days. However, flu can be a serious illness to the weak and frail or elderly people, and may be complicated by bronchitis, chest infection or even death.
Mode of transmission 
Flu viruses mainly spread through droplets when infected people cough, sneeze or talk. The infection may also spread by direct contact with the secretions of infected persons.
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Incubation period
Usually around 1-4 days
Infectious period
Infected persons may pass the viruses to other people 1 day before and up to 5-7 days after they develop symptoms. The period may be even longer in young children or severely immunocompromised persons.
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Management
1. Have adequate rest and drink plenty of water;
2. Refrain from work or school when having symptoms of flu;
3. Seek medical advice if symptoms persist or deteriorate;
4. Antibiotics which target bacterial infection but not viral infection will not cure influenza or make recovery faster;
5. Antiviral agents may reduce severity and duration of illness but must be used under doctor’s prescription.
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