Flu

The text is presented for informational purposes only. We urge you not to self-medicate. When the first symptoms appear, consult a doctor. Recommended reading: " Why not self-medicate?". Influenza is one of the acute viral diseases, which belongs to the category of SARS (acute respiratory viral infections), but does not identify them all. According to disappointing statistics, every year a huge number of patients die from influenza viruses around the world. This is due not only to the large number of strains of the disease, but also to the huge number of complications to which the disease can lead the patient. That is why awareness of the symptoms of this disease and the ability to distinguish it from other viral diseases helps to start rehabilitation measures in a timely manner and minimize the complexity of the course of influenza in each case.

The main difficulty in identifying the influenza virus every time is its possible mutation from one species to another. Annually emerging strains do not allow human immunity, developed as a result of a previous infection with this virus, to protect against the recurrence of the disease.

Seasonal epidemics often affect large numbers of children, the elderly and frail people. For pregnant women, the flu is very dangerous because it can cause irreparable harm to the fetus. Newborn children have innate maternal immunity to the virus, but if the mother does not have it, then the virus poses a high danger to such children. After an illness, a strong immunity is formed to the virus, however, the variability of influenza leads to the regular transfer of the disease when confronted with the source of the disease.

According to statistics, even the economic performance of a number of countries can suffer due to seasonal exacerbations of the epidemiological situation with influenza, which, due to its high contagiousness, can instantly infect entire communities. About 15% of the total population of the planet can get sick with various strains of the disease in a year, and 0.3% of them eventually die.

It is important to understand that influenza refers to SARS (the most extensive group of infections), but is not an identification of such a diagnosis. There are quite a few acute respiratory viral infections, the flu is one of them, but far from the only one. This must be clearly known in order to correctly choose the tactics of treating the disease. Also, one should not confuse influenza, SARS and acute respiratory infections (acute respiratory infections), which include not only viral infections, but also many bacterial infections. It should be fixed in the mass consciousness that influenza is one of the diseases of the SARS group, and all SARS belong to the category of acute respiratory infections, which, in addition to them, also includes bacterial infections. The diagnosis should always be a specific disease, and not the above groups of diseases. A feature of the flu is that after many other diseases of the ARVI group, a person feels great a week after the first manifestations, which cannot be said about the asthenic condition after the flu, in which symptoms such as cough, weakness, sweating and fatigue can persist for several weeks. This is due to a decrease in the immunological reactivity of the body, which in turn can lead to an exacerbation of chronic diseases or the occurrence of secondary bacterial complications. A person feels signs of asthenia for a very long time - post-influenza weakness - due to the fact that the virus changes the composition of human blood, lowering the number of leukocytes in it. Therefore, one should not rush immediately after the illness to join the usual working pace, but devote enough time to restore the body.

Typology of viruses

Viruses are intracellular parasites that are not adapted by nature to extracellular survival. This means that for the reproduction of the influenza virus, a human (or any living) organism is required. The influenza virus selectively infects the epithelium of the respiratory tract, mainly the trachea. Causing cell damage, it uses them to build new viral particles and spreads throughout the body, causing intoxication.

The most dangerous for humanity are 3 types of influenza viruses:

  • type A, which is most common in both humans and some animals, mutates and causes seasonal epidemics or pandemics;
  • type B, which is characteristic of morbidity only for humans, more common in children and usually does not form epidemiological situations;
  • type C, peculiar only to humans, little studied due to the mildness of symptoms and the absence of severe consequences, rare.

Each of the above types of virus can manifest itself in several strains, therefore, for a deeper understanding, it is necessary to consider the most common types of influenza in more detail.

The Spanish flu

During the First World War, the "Spanish flu" claimed the lives of more than 100 million people across the planet. According to statistics, about 4-5% of the entire then population of the planet died from it at that time. The Spanish flu at the beginning of the 20th century was spread throughout Europe, Asia and America, and got its name only because there was no censorship in Spain, and it was possible to openly write about the outbreak in the newspapers. In this country, about a thousand patients died every day from the epidemic.

Swine flu

The modern H1N1 influenza virus is called swine flu and is highly contagious among humans. The danger lies in the fact that with this type of virus, processes develop in the body that promote the reproduction of opportunistic bacteria, which often leads to bacterial complications that must be treated in a timely manner in order to avoid fatal outcomes.

In 1930, swine flu was discovered and studied by Richard Shoup. For the next 50 years, doctors observed outbreaks of this infection in Mexico, the USA and Canada among pigs. Infection of people at the same time occurred in extremely rare cases with very close contact with sick animals and was not like the swine flu that is familiar to people today.

Swine flu became truly dangerous for humans in 2009 as a result of a mutation of its two strains - human and animal. Such mutations occur very often, but the resulting type of influenza for humans does not always become dangerous. The new H1N1 strain has become dangerous for both pigs and humans (more than 200 thousand people worldwide have become victims of the pandemic).

The incubation period of swine flu lasts from 1 to 4 days, this is the time from the moment the virus enters the body until the first symptoms of the disease appear. High contact activity of the virus persists for 7 days, however, in the next 7 days, every sixth carrier of the infection also remains contagious, even if the visible manifestations of influenza have passed and the treatment has had a visible effect.

This contagiousness of swine flu and, as a result, its ability to create pandemics, is explained by two ways of transmission of this disease:

  • airborne or the aerogenic route implies the spread of the disease along with the smallest particles of saliva or mucus when coughing and sneezing at a distance of up to 3 meters;
  • the household contact route implies that a sick person can become infected through dishes, household items in a non-aggressive environment in which swine flu is able to survive outside the human body for several hours.

Absolutely all categories of people are susceptible to swine flu, but it is most dangerous for children under the age of 5, people over 65, pregnant women at any time, in a state of immunodeficiency, as well as in the presence of chronic diseases in the respiratory tract, cardiovascular system, endocrine region (for example, in diabetes mellitus), liver or kidneys.

In these categories of patients, the immune response in the body is reduced, and in addition, the virus is able to:

  • change the rheological properties of the blood, increasing the possibility of thrombosis;
  • be complicated by viral pneumonia leading to edema of lung tissues;
  • be complicated by nephritis, with the manifestation of renal failure, myocarditis.

The speed of development of swine flu in an organism, especially weakened by any of the above problems, leads to the fact that complications arise at lightning speed and are difficult to respond to therapeutic measures.

Hong Kong flu

Experts consider Hong Kong flu, which was previously considered dangerous only for birds, to be the most dangerous type of influenza A virus. After a mutation in 1968, the Hong Kong flu became dangerous to humans when its outbreak was first recorded in Hong Kong and claimed the lives of more than half a million people on the planet.

The last mutations of the Hong Kong flu were observed in 2014, and already in 2017, doctors came to the conclusion that this virus had become the most common in the world, since doctors identified this particular strain in 75% of influenza cases on the planet.

Children who, due to their age, do not have a sufficiently developed immune system and have not been exposed to this virus, are primarily at risk for the incidence of Hong Kong flu. However, even those adults who were ill with this virus in the late 60s are not safe, because due to its mutations, almost no one has immunity to the Hong Kong flu. Entering the human body through the nasopharynx, the virus spreads from the upper to the lower respiratory tract, which demonstrates the whole possible picture of complications with it - bronchopulmonary pathologies of a different nature.

Yamagata influenza

Yamagata influenza was known throughout Europe until 1988, when epidemics raged annually. Then this influenza type B was conditionally divided by experts into two lines - Victorian and Yamagatskaya. The Victorian virus in the vastness of Eastern Europe after 2000 was often sick, but the Yamagata line of influenza began to threaten only in the last year. The World Health Organization was not prepared for the emergence of such a strain and did not include antibodies to it in the vaccines that are proposed to be used to prevent influenza. In subsequent seasons, experts promise to take a more balanced approach to the issue of including various types of antigens in vaccines so that the Yamagata flu does not become the cause of an epidemic.

Avian influenza

The H5N1 influenza virus strain is an acute disease of birds that can affect the respiratory and digestive systems, resulting in frequent deaths. Bird flu is especially dangerous for the reasons that such strains have high rates of virulence, that is, the ability to be transmitted from individual to individual, and variability, that is, mutation.

The H5N1 flu was first mentioned in 1878, at that time being classified as chicken typhus and chicken plague. After scientists determined the viral nature of this disease and attributed it to influenza, the disease began to be called avian influenza, and then avian influenza. Today, the avian influenza virus is understood as Influenza virus A from the Orthomyxoviridae family with a characteristic set of antigens. There are 16 variations of avian influenza hemagglutinin (which is the letter H in H5N1), and 9 neuraminidase (letter N), resulting in 144 variations of modern avian influenza. Modern medicine has so far encountered only 86 variations, among which the strains with H5 and H7 are the most difficult for birds.

In the external environment, bird flu is quite unstable, even with a small concentration of disinfectants, it dies, but it is perfectly preserved in a cold environment. In the wild, the virus persists in organisms of migratory birds that are resistant to it, and from them it spreads to poultry, which instantly become ill and most often die.

According to the forecast of the World Health Organization, the most anticipated and epidemiologically dangerous combination for mankind can be such a combination of avian influenza as H5N1, which is a highly virulent strain that enters the human body through direct contact with an infected bird. Avian influenza first struck people in Hong Kong in 1997, with more than 60% of those affected becoming victims.

Today, bird flu is widespread in Asian countries in the southeast of the planet. The percentage of people with flu and those with avian flu is very different in the direction of the prevalence of regular flu. However, scientists do not exclude the fact that the virus can mutate and begin to be transmitted to humans not only from sick birds, but also from infected people.

In this case, the epidemic will be very difficult to prevent.

Chinese virus

A variant of H7N9 avian influenza is currently distributed only in China, but American scientists do not exclude the emergence of an epidemic of this strain everywhere outside of this country. Such conclusions were made on the basis that experiments conducted on ferrets on the spread of H7N9 influenza among them showed that this virus would be actively transmitted among the human population. Due to the strongest mutations of Chinese influenza, the disease is quite pathogenic and shows significant resistance to traditional anti-influenza therapy. According to experiments conducted on virus samples taken in the body of a deceased Chinese man, it became clear that only a small part of them were amenable to treatment with antiviral drugs. The problem is that today it is difficult to determine the intensity of the spread of Chinese flu in the rest of the world. Current research indicates a weak pattern of transmission of such viruses from person to person, but mutation processes can greatly enhance such a pattern.

Michigan Influenza

Michigan Influenza is now considered a new strain of H1N1 swine flu. Previously, a similar strain has already been encountered among the world's population, however, it has not reached large-scale bursts of incidence, but scientists believe that they are possible in the very near future.

In recent years, experts have included protein fragments of this strain of the virus in influenza vaccines and strongly recommend that the population receive such vaccinations every year on the eve of a severe epidemiologically unstable season in order to prevent a pandemic. In addition to complications that are not always easily treated and pass without a trace, numerous cases of the incidence of a new strain of influenza lead to the continuation of the mutational processes of the virus and its further rebirth and spread even among those who have already been ill.

Routes of infection

Influenza viruses can demonstrate excellent resistance to adverse environmental conditions, and at low temperatures they can survive for up to several months. However, under room conditions, the virus can also survive for a short time: it can endure a couple of hours outside a human (or other living) organism. Influenza is sensitive to boiling, high temperatures, dryness, chemicals, ultraviolet, ozone.

The carrier-reservoir for influenza is the diseased human body. At the end of the incubation period and until the seventh day of illness, the concentration of influenza in the exhaled air and saliva of the patient is extremely high, then it decreases sharply, however, even after that, the patient can be contagious for another week.

The danger is erased atypical forms of the disease, when the patient's symptoms are mild, and the concentration of the virus in the body is quite high. Such a patient can infect much more intensively than during the normal course of the disease, since the patient will not guess that he is seriously ill. The advantage is that the influenza virus never becomes chronic.

The most common route of infection is airborne. In the process of breathing, talking, coughing, sneezing, the patient releases a huge number of viral cells into the air, which in the open air can perfectly survive for several minutes and reach another human body at a distance of up to 3 meters. Sometimes the flu is also transmitted through household items: dishes, towels and other items that were first used by the sick person, and then they fell into the hands of a healthy person. As soon as the virus enters the mucosal area, it actively begins to divide and multiply throughout the body until the immune system produces antibodies to this type of virus.

The incubation period of influenza depends on several factors, such as the strain, the number of viral particles that have entered the body, the immunity of the sick person, and others, and varies from 1 to 4 days. At the same time, the infected person is not just a carrier of the infection, but also its active distributor. The situation is especially difficult if the incubation period is prolonged, since in the first 48 hours after infection, the sick person most actively spreads the pathogen among others.

Clinical manifestations of the disease and its symptoms

The course of influenza is very diverse, depending on many factors. In mild cases, many symptoms resemble those of a cold. The typical influenza in adults is characterized by a sudden acute onset.

Among the main most common symptoms of the disease, experts call:

  • fever;
  • occurrence of cough;
  • severe headaches;
  • muscle pain;
  • sore throat;
  • eye strain and soreness;
  • occurrence of rhinitis;
  • severe weakness;
  • malfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract.

Among all the above symptoms, only a high temperature differs in constancy, the rest of the symptoms may not occur in every case of the disease. At the same time, the patient’s body temperature rises very quickly, literally in a matter of hours it can overcome the mark of 39 degrees, sometimes reaching 40. Such temperature jumps are an expression of intoxication processes and a reaction of the human body’s immune response. Also, a characteristic feature of the flu is a decrease in temperature under the influence of antipyretic drugs only for a while, after which the temperature values ​​rise sharply again.

This picture usually lasts from 2 to 4 days with influenza, then the temperature becomes subfebrile.

The main lesion of the virus is the mucosa of the trachea with the formation of viral tracheitis, so cough is a common symptom of this disease. The characteristic feature of the flu-like cough is its intrusiveness and dryness, which makes it impossible for the patient to sleep. A cough does not occur immediately, at first it does not differ in productivity.

Muscle, headaches and body aches indicate active intoxication of the body that occurs before all manifestations of the disease. Burning eyes and photophobia can also occur with the flu. Various catarrhal manifestations of mucosal inflammation in the upper respiratory tract can be expressed in a runny nose, sore throat, or may be completely absent. As a rule, if such phenomena occur 2-3 days after the onset of the disease, this indicates a secondary bacterial infection. In childhood, such phenomena are much more common.

Sometimes the flu can also be accompanied by uncharacteristic symptoms - gastrointestinal upset, for example. High temperature can lead to sweating, increased heart rate, skin flushing, increased blood pressure.

In the active phase, lasting 3-5 days, all the symptoms of the disease are very pronounced. After this, the symptoms begin to noticeably weaken, the catarrhal symptoms disappear completely, leaving behind only severe weakness, which may not leave the patient for up to 14 days. The temperature after 10 days should completely return to normal on its own. If on the 3-5th day new symptoms are added to the clinical picture, this indicates the occurrence of complications and the addition of a bacterial infection, which must be treated with antibacterial drugs.

Forms and stages of the course of the disease

The disease begins with an incubation period. For type A influenza virus, it is usually 24-48 hours, and for type B, up to 4 days. The first thing that a sick person feels is a sharp rise in body temperature to 39-40 degrees. At the same time, chills and weakness come on sharply, there are pains in the joints and muscles, headaches. At the end of the first day (occasionally on the second), the temperature rises to critically maximum values. By this time, other symptoms of the disease are also actively manifested, which in each case may be different. More pronounced in adults, as a rule, are the following clinical symptoms - dizziness, malaise, nausea, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances. In children, catarrhal symptoms are more active - rhinitis, unproductive cough, soreness in the throat and nasal sinuses. Sometimes patients of different ages may experience loss of consciousness, nosebleeds, meningeal symptoms. In mild and moderate forms of the disease, such symptoms actively disturb patients for up to 3-5 days, and then gradually disappear. In more severe forms of influenza, this symptomatology remains pronounced after the 5th day of illness, in addition, new symptoms may be added to it, which often indicate the occurrence of bacterial complications. One of the most common specific influenza manifestations is segmental pulmonary edema, which manifests itself in moderate to severe forms of the disease. In the most difficult cases, it transforms into hemorrhagic pneumonia.

The flu is very acute. The feverish five-day stage greatly depletes the body. When it ends, the body temperature drops sharply, first to subfebrile, and then to normal levels. About 70% of patients after 7 days of illness cease to release a high concentration of the virus into the environment and become potentially safe for others, however, in 30% of people, contagiousness can persist for up to 2 weeks.

If, after the temperature has stabilized naturally without the use of antipyretics, the temperature begins to rise again, this is evidence of complications that must be paid attention to and seek medical help.

2-3 weeks after influenza, the patient may still experience increased fatigue and muscle weakness, which is an example of asthenic syndrome after a severe infection.

Mild to moderate influenza can be self-treated at home, but more severe cases are best left to clinicians, especially if the patient has a history of cardiovascular or other chronic conditions. In this case, there is a high risk of severe complications, which are, for the most part, the cause of frequent deaths from influenza.

Influenza is a very undesirable infection for pregnant women at any stage of childbearing, as it is a frequent cause of miscarriages and is fraught with intrauterine infection of the fetus. If a nursing mother becomes ill with a similar virus, then the issue of weaning the child from the breast should be decided based on how quickly the mother developed the disease and whether the child managed to be in contact with her during the incubation period. Since it is often impossible to find out, experts do not advise weaning the baby from the breast, since it is highly likely that he is also already infected and only with mother's milk will be able to get the antibodies he needs to recover. If it is possible to assume that the baby has not been in contact with a sick mother, weaning him from the breast can be a method of protecting him from a serious infection.

The consequences of the disease

As already noted, a large percentage of deaths from influenza is associated not with the infection itself, but with its subsequent complications. Complications from the cardiovascular or nervous systems, kidneys or lungs are far from uncommon in this case.

The most dangerous influenza complications that occur very often are:

  • viral pneumonia, which is very difficult to treat even in hospital medical conditions;
  • myocarditis and pericarditis, that is, inflammatory processes in the heart muscle and sac;
  • meningitis and encephalitis;
  • liver and kidney failure;
  • loss or infection of the fetus during pregnancy at any time.

In addition to the above, there are other complications that can occur when the bacterial flora overlaps the viral one in parallel with the general symptoms of influenza in the first acute stages of the disease, which complicates the process of identifying complications and leads to to the severity of their course. Such complications include purulent and catarrhal otitis media, sinusitis, laryngotracheobronchitis, focal pneumonia.

Various complications in young children are long and difficult. If bacterial pneumonia joins the virus, the patient's condition often becomes critical, the state of health deteriorates significantly. All this, as a rule, occurs during the acute stage, leading to an increase in the intoxication syndrome, a strong increase in body temperature, increased shortness of breath and deepening cough.

The most complex neurological complications of influenza include meningoencephalitis, meningitis, neuralgia, neuritis and other pathologies, which, if not treated in time, very often lead to death.

Diagnosis of the disease

If doctors diagnose influenza during the period of the epidemiological activity of the virus, then the diagnosis is most often made on the basis of already existing data on the epidemic and the clinical picture. If the specialist has doubts about whether the patient has the flu or acute respiratory infections, the doctor studies the order of occurrence of intoxication and catarrhal symptoms in the context of differential diagnosis. With the primacy of catarrhal, in most cases, the patient suffers from acute respiratory infections, and with intoxication primary manifestations - influenza. The flu is also indicated by the symptoms of tracheobronchitis, hemorrhagic syndrome and the initial stages of pneumonia.

To diagnose influenza during the season when there is no epidemic of this virus, specialists resort exclusively to laboratory research methods:

  • immunoluminescent method for detecting influenza antigens in smears of the mucous membrane of the nasopharynx (performed in the first 2 days after the onset of the disease);
  • retrospective of the complement fixation test and the hemagglutination inhibition test in the patient's serum (performed in the active stage of influenza and 3-4 weeks after its onset);
  • RIF diagnostics for antigen detection;
  • PCR diagnostics for the detection of RNA viruses in the patient's biological fluid (urinalysis);
  • auxiliary virological diagnostics.

It is imperative to distinguish the onset of influenza from other influenza-like severe illnesses that have similar early symptoms. For example, influenza must be differentiated in relation to the occurrence of infectious mononucleosis, typhus, leptospirosis. If a patient differentiates from influenza but has initial signs of pneumonia, the patient should be referred to a pulmonologist for a consultation and chest X-ray.

Treatment of the disease

Medical products (preparations, medicines, vitamins, medicines) are mentioned for informational purposes only. We do not recommend using them without a doctor's prescription. Recommended reading: " Why can't you take medications without a doctor's prescription?". Influenza, unlike other acute respiratory viral infections, must be treated with antiviral and symptomatic drugs. Also, folk remedies may be suitable for symptomatic treatment. It is only important to soberly assess at what stage a particular disease is and whether it is complicated by a bacterial infection, for the treatment of which antibacterial drugs are used.

Uncomplicated influenza is treated on an outpatient basis. The main criterion for a speedy recovery and the absence of the development of pathologies will be the strict bed rest of the patient. In this case, the diet should be easily digestible, with an increase in the amount of fluid consumed due to severe dehydration of the body with an increase in temperature.

Effective antiviral agents help to block the reproduction of virus cells in the human body at the first symptoms of influenza, and also enhance the production of an immune response, which facilitates the course of the disease. In addition, antiviral agents are perfectly compatible with antibiotics and symptomatic agents to reduce influenza manifestations. They prevent and prevent the occurrence of complications. Antiviral and anti-influenza drugs include two groups of drugs: neuraminidase inhibitors (Oseltamivir and Zanamivir) and adamantanes (Amantadine and Rimantadine).

In addition to antivirals, immunomodulatory agents can also be used, for example, Dibazol, which also contributes to the rapid development of an immune response to the virus in the body.

In parallel with antiviral drugs, it is necessary to take antipyretics to reduce the risk of seizures and shock. The best drug in this case would be paracetamol or a combined composition based on it.

If a patient suffers from a dry, paroxysmal cough during influenza, then symptomatic cough suppressants can be recommended - Omnitus, Codelac-neo. When coughing with viscous, difficult to separate sputum, mucolytic drugs are indicated - Lazolvan, Acetylcysteine.

A scratchy throat can be overcome with menthol lozenges and lozenges based on eucalyptus. Dryness in the nasopharynx can be eliminated with intranasal herbal drops with oils or moistened with seawater sprays. Often, in the treatment of influenza, it is recommended to use antihistamines, which reduce the manifestations of various reactions in the body to the virus. It is also very important to maintain the immune system during the period of illness by taking complex vitamin preparations that enhance the protective functions of the body. All drugs are taken in medium therapeutic dosages according to the patient's age, which can only be adjusted by a doctor depending on the patient's condition.

Prevention of morbidity

Preventive anti-influenza procedures are reduced to several basic actions. Firstly, if there is already an infected person in the environment, then it is necessary to isolate him from the rest of the team for at least a week. Such patients need to be monitored by a doctor at home in order to save them from having to visit medical facilities and spread the infection there. If it is necessary to move around the city, patients must use gauze masks to prevent infection of others. Also, masks must be used at home, so as not to infect other family members.

If there is a risk of an influenza epidemic due to a large number of cases within one team, they resort to such a concept as quarantine, that is, the separation of healthy people for up to 2 weeks until the situation with the incidence stabilizes.

Specific influenza prevention measures include vaccination, which is usually carried out at least a month before the expected start of the epidemic, so that the body has time to develop antibodies. The protective antibody titer is fully formed 14 days after vaccination. It is especially important to be vaccinated for people under the age of 14 and over 65, patients with chronic cardiovascular pathologies, pulmonary diseases, metabolic syndrome, doctors who, by the nature of their activities, must actively communicate with the sick. It is also important to get vaccinated in a timely manner when planning a pregnancy, since the flu can very negatively affect the process of bearing a child and childbirth.

Non-specific means of preventing influenza include taking various pharmacological agents such as multivitamins and immunomodulators. However, such drugs are not drugs with proven effectiveness in terms of precisely preventing morbidity. Such drugs are more likely to help you get over the flu easily and without complications, as they will strengthen the immune system and help it fight viruses more actively. A similar, but even easier effect, may have folk remedies for prevention. Drinking tinctures of echinacea and ginger is good for the immune system, but they are unlikely to help avoid the body's reaction to the influenza virus encountered.

Influenza tips

If a person has the flu, the main rule of his behavior should be strict bed rest and restriction of any physical activity and contact. A weakened body is not able to resist other bacteria, cold air and other everyday everyday "difficulties" that people in a normal state do not even pay attention to. Therefore, without observing bed rest, you can easily get complications even while at home. At the same time, the restriction of communication is necessary both for the people around the patient in order to prevent the spread of the disease, and for the patient himself in order to prevent other bacteria from entering the weakened body.

Also, for the sick person, it is necessary to provide a protective regime in terms of light and harsh sounds, since intoxication of the body can lead to lacrimation, photophobia and other irritating factors.

Regarding the easily digestible food mentioned above, it should be added that in medical circles it is called “table number 13” for influenza. Any diet must be supplemented with plentiful fractional drinking of honey or herbal tea, decoctions of lime blossom or rose hips, compotes, juices, fruit drinks and other drinks.

There is a stereotype among the people that at the onset of the flu, it is necessary to drink vodka in a timely manner in order to “kill” the disease in oneself. Medical science categorically disagrees with this and assures that drinking alcohol with the flu is not only not useful, but also harmful. With frequent and abundant use of alcohol, intoxication may occur, which a weakened body may not be able to endure at all. Drinking alcohol can cause uncharacteristic complications that will have to be treated in parallel with the underlying disease.

Due to the fact that the flu has a viral basis, numerous toxic substances are actively excreted on the surface of the human body during the course of the disease. A large number of toxins enhances intoxication processes, so all human excretory systems work in this case in an enhanced mode. The skin, for example, removes toxins through perspiration. Accumulating on the surface of the skin, toxins mixed with skin sebum clog pores and worsen the patient's condition. Therefore, bathing during the flu season is very important to speed up the removal of toxins and the fastest recovery. Metabolic processes during bath procedures are accelerated, muscle tone is activated, and well-being improves. However, it is necessary to wash in such a way that at the end of the bath procedures there is no hypothermia of the body, and if the body temperature is too high, it will be enough just to wipe yourself regularly with a damp towel instead of taking a shower.

If a woman comes down with the flu while she is breastfeeding, this is not a reason to stop breastfeeding if she was in contact with the baby during the incubation period. The opinions of experts on this issue are divided. Many doctors believe that breastfeeding should not be stopped under any circumstances, since the baby will instantly receive antibodies to the infection from breast milk, which will help him not get sick or recover sooner. In any case, in each case it would be better to get the advice of a specialist who will help you choose the right breastfeeding behavior, but it is important to understand that it is not necessary to stop breastfeeding.

Influenza, like any viral disease, is acute until the immune system begins to produce antibodies to this virus in sufficient quantities. Therefore, the best prevention of any disease will be to strengthen the immune system with vitamins, sports and a proper lifestyle.

Sources
  1. Medical Council Journal. – Influenza and other acute respiratory infections.
  2. Information and analytical portal "Polit.ru". – Influenza pandemics in human history.
  3. Stanford University: human virology. – The Influenza Pandemic of 1918. ​​
  4. Medical Bulletin of Bashkortostan. – Influenza type a/H1N1 (swine flu).
  5. Journal of Antibiotics and Chemotherapy. – Study of the sensitivity of influenza a(H1N1) viruses that caused the disease in April-May 2009 to antiviral drugs in MDCK cell culture.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. – 2009 H1N1 Pandemic (H1N1pdm09 virus).
  7. Encyclopedia Britannica. – 1968 flu pandemic.
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. – 1968 Pandemic (H3N2 virus).
  9. Website of the World Health Organization. – Human infections with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.
  10. Website of the World Health Organization. – Avian influenza virus A(H7N9).
  11. Journal "Children's Infections". – Influenza.
  12. Portal for physicians Empendium.com. – Influenza.
  13. Journal "Ukrainian Medical Chronicle". – Etiopathogenetic prevention and treatment of influenza and ARVI: new opportunities.
  14. Clinician magazine. - Topical issues in the treatment of acute respiratory viral diseases.
  15. Journal of Epidemiology and Vaccine Prevention. - Antiviral drugs for the prevention and treatment of influenza.
  16. Medical Council Journal. - Influenza. Diagnosis, strategy for choosing antiviral drugs.
  17. Website of the World Health Organization. - Influenza.
  18. Website of the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare. – Influenza: symptoms and prevention.
  19. Research Institute of Influenza. A. A. Smorodintsev. - Prevention of influenza.
  20. Medical Center of the Administration of the Mayor and the Government of Moscow. - Attention - flu!
  21. Medicine JSC. – Influenza in adults: symptoms, causes and treatment.
  22. State Healthcare Institution “TGKBSMP named after D. Ya. Vanykin”. - HOW TO BEAT ARI AND FLU - PROFESSIONAL ADVICE.
  23. MSD MANUAL Professional edition. - Influenza.
  24. Website of the World Health Organization. - Influenza.
  25. State Budgetary Health Institution of the Sakhalin Region "Tomarinsk Central District Hospital". - SARS and influenza: signs, symptoms, treatment and prevention.
  26. Rospotrebnadzor website. - FLU and its varieties.