Influenza is a disease that affects the respiratory system, involving the nose, mouth, throat and lungs, causing symptoms such as dry cough, fever, malaise, nasal congestion, muscle aches and sore throat.
There are different types of influenza, also called influenza, such as avian flu, Spanish flu, tomato flu, and swine flu, depending on the type of virus causing the infection.
If you develop symptoms that may indicate flu, it is recommended to consult your GP for a full assessment and appropriate treatment, which may include the use of analgesics, fever reducers and anti-inflammatory drugs such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or metamizole. example. . Find out what flu medicine is.
The main symptoms
The main symptoms of the flu are:
- dry cough;
- Nasal congestion or congestion;
- Muscle pain;
- sore throat;
In addition, pregnant women, the elderly, and children who have influenza may also develop high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea because these groups have weaker immune systems and are more sensitive. Better understand flu symptoms during pregnancy.
To find out your risk for the flu, select your symptoms from the symptom test below:
This symptom test is a guidance tool only and should not be used as a diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a doctor.
Types of Flu
The main types of influenza are:
1. Common Influenza (H3N2)
Common influenza (H3N2) is a subtype of the influenza A virus that spreads easily from person to person through droplets released into the air when coughing and sneezing.
The main symptoms of common influenza (H3N2) are headache, high fever, headache, runny nose, nasal congestion, excessive fatigue and sore throat. Learn what the symptoms of the common flu are.
2. Bird flu
Avian influenza is a disease in birds caused by the H5N1, H5N8, H7N9, H9N2, H10N3 and H3N8 influenza A viruses and can be transmitted to humans through direct contact with infected birds or consumption of their meat.
Symptoms of bird flu are similar to those of regular flu, including fever, sore throat, malaise and dry cough. However, bird flu usually progresses more quickly, with a higher risk of complications such as pneumonia or bleeding from the nose or gums. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of bird flu.
3. Swine Flu
Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by the influenza A (H1N1) virus and can be spread through direct contact with infected pigs or through salivary droplets released into the air when someone with the flu coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of regular flu, such as fever, malaise, and headache, which usually appear 3 to 5 days after exposure to the virus.
4. Tomato Flu
Tomato flu is a disease that primarily affects children and causes flu-like symptoms such as high fever, joint pain and swelling, body aches, vomiting, and diarrhea.
In addition, tomato flu can cause red blisters similar to tomato blisters that affect the entire body and gradually increase in size. However, this disease is not related to the consumption of this vegetable.
The Spanish Flu was a pandemic caused by the influenza A virus between 1918 and 1920 that affected the world’s population. However, the disease disappeared between late 1919 and early 1920, and no cases of the disease have been recorded since. Learn more about the Spanish Flu.
Spanish Flu can cause simple symptoms such as high fever, muscle pain, severe headache and dry cough, or it can cause serious complications such as coughing up blood, nose and ear bleeding, fluid accumulation in the lungs, pneumonia and death.
6. Camel Flu
“Camel flu” is the popular term for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a disease caused by MERS-CoV, a member of the coronavirus family, that causes fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing, and may lead to complications such as pneumonia or Kidney failure.
How to confirm diagnosis
The diagnosis of influenza is made by a general practitioner by assessing the symptoms present and the person’s health history.
In addition, to confirm the diagnosis, doctors may order laboratory tests such as rapid molecular antigen analysis, PCR testing, and immunofluorescence testing to identify the antigen and virus.
How does transmission occur?
Influenza can be spread directly through respiratory secretions, sneezing, coughing, or talking from an infected person. These droplets contain viruses, and infection occurs when they come into contact with respiratory mucosa, such as another person’s mouth, nose, or eyes.
In addition, influenza transmission can also occur indirectly by touching a surface that has recently been contaminated with secretions from an infected person, such as a doorknob or a cell phone, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
The Difference Between Flu and Colds
A cold is a simpler infection that lasts 2 to 4 days and causes simple symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and runny nose.
Although the flu is a more serious illness, it can last 7 to 10 days and cause symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, and may cause complications such as diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia.
Difference Between Flu and COVID-19
In COVID-19, symptoms can last about three weeks and vary from day to day, starting with high fever, dry cough, loss of smell and taste, and may progress to severe symptoms, including eventually difficulty breathing. . The first week, more frequently.
Flu symptoms last one to two weeks and are characterized by a rapid onset of high fever, nasal congestion, and, less commonly, difficulty breathing. Learn how to differentiate between the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu.
What medicine should I take for a cold?
Treatment of influenza should be under the guidance of your GP, who may recommend antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or metamizole.
In addition, antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir may be needed, especially in people who are at higher risk for complications such as pneumonia or heart disease. Check out flu medications.
Mild cases of the flu in healthy people usually improve within two weeks without the need for antiviral drugs. In these cases, some homemade syrups with anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties, such as ginger or beet syrup, can also help relieve symptoms.
When flu symptoms persist for more than two weeks, it is recommended to consult a general physician or an infectious disease specialist because complications such as sinusitis, bronchitis, or pneumonia may develop.
How to prevent
Some tips to help prevent the flu are:
- Keep the room well ventilated and open doors and windows to promote air circulation;
- Wash hands often with soap and water;
- Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable cloth when sneezing or coughing;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
- Personal items such as cutlery, plates, glasses or bottles should not be shared;
- Avoid close contact with people with flu symptoms;
- Maintain a balanced diet and good fluid intake.
Additionally, getting a flu shot is the most effective way to avoid different types of flu viruses and their complications. Find out more about the flu vaccine.