As a result of the government declaring a flu epidemic affecting all regions of the Czech Republic, Vaxigrip vaccinations are no longer available. At this point, the vaccination would not be effective as the body would not have a sufficient amount of time to develop the required antibodies.
Influenza is the most common acute febrile disease, which spreads rapidly within the human population and is caused by a constantly mutating virus. It affects 10% of the world's population annually, and as much as 40-50% during a pandemic. Because of its frequent occurrence, the lay public (and often experts as well) consider the flu to be a trivial illness. It is usually manifested by these clinical symptoms: fatigue, increased temperature, headache, cough, runny nose. Unlike a conventional viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, the flu is a serious illness, which can be fatal.
How long does the illness last and what is the incubation period?
The incubation period ranges anywhere between 1 to 3 days, where an infected adult can spread the disease for 3-5 days. In comparison, children can spread the disease for up to 10 days. The actual length of the disease usually ranges between 2 to 7 days. In high-risk groups, it can cause pneumonia and result in damage to nerve tissues or the heart. Children often suffer from an inflammation of the middle ear.
What are the common flu symptoms?
The main symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, malaise, chills, sensitive skin and a dry cough. Usually, the flu is not accompanied by rhinitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane inside the nose). Most people underestimate the severity of the flu and confuse it with catching a cold or an inflammation of the pharynx.
How to treat flu?
Treatment of uncomplicated cases of the flu can be done at home. The most important thing is to rest in bed, drink plenty of tea and use medication to suppress the symptoms of influenza, i.e. lowering the body temperature and reducing pain (analgesics, antipyretics). The role of medication is especially important when the body temperature rises above 38 °C or when a person suffers from headaches and joint and muscle pain. Generally speaking, if the cough lasts more than a couple days and is accompanied by high fever, pain or involves coughing-up blood, you should certainly consult your doctor and undergo further tests.
Is it possible to prevent the disease with a healthy lifestyle?
Ensuring a healthy lifestyle is of a great benefit to your overall health. However, if your body is subjected to a large amount of viruses, it is not possible to prevent the infection. People who lead active and healthy lifestyles are infected as well as those who do absolutely nothing to benefit their health.
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