Influenza is one of the most common diseases caused by the virus of the same name, and is included in the ARVI group. According to the World Health Organization, it causes 3-5 million complications every year.

What types of flu await us in 2020, and how to protect ourselves from them, we will tell further.

How to recognize?

Experts predict the peak incidence this winter in February. According to WHO forecasts, these will be three main strains – “Kansas”, “Michigan” and “Phuket”.

But how do you know that you have one of them? Pay attention to the characteristic symptoms:

  1. Short incubation period. Some strains manifest themselves within a few hours after entering the body. The rest also need a little – 2-4 days.
  2. A sharp deterioration in the condition and an increase in temperature up to 38 degrees (and above), accompanied by signs of general intoxication: body aches, chills, general weakness. At the same time, the temperature is often not confused by the usual medicines.
  3. Dryness in the nasopharynx, increased sweating, lack of appetite.
  4. Pain in the eyes, conjunctivitis is possible.
  5. Often there is no cough and runny nose at the beginning of the disease (in many cases, a dry cough appears on days 2-3).

The feverish state usually lasts for 2-6 days, after which a period of improvement begins.

In immunocompromised people and children, this virus can cause additional symptoms such as:

  • vomiting, diarrhea;
  • blanching of the skin;
  • shortness of breath;
  • chest pain.

If they are identified, you should immediately seek medical help. After all, it is worth remembering that the flu is one of the most insidious diseases, which often entails a number of complications. The most common of which are pneumonia, myocarditis, meningitis, renal failure.

How to fight?

The first thing to do if you suspect you have the flu is to see your doctor. Modern diagnostic methods help to determine an accurate diagnosis, and, depending on this, prescribe treatment.

It is also very important to stay in bed and stay at home until you feel better.

To date, the only effective drug that can affect the influenza virus itself is oseltamivir (trade name Tamiflu). But he will be able to prove its effectiveness only if taken in the first 48 hours from the onset of the disease.

If you decide to cope with the illness yourself, then folk methods will come to the rescue:

  1. Vitamin C. He, of course, is not a panacea, but it can alleviate the symptoms and slightly shorten the duration of the disease. Where to look for ascorbic acid? First of all, in fresh vegetables and fruits – citrus fruits, apples, persimmons, cabbage, greens. Rosehip tea will also be a great help.
  2. Rinse the nose and gargle. Decoctions of herbs are great for this. The simplest is chamomile. For him, 1 tsp of dried chamomile flowers pour 1 tbsp. boiling water, let cool and rinse the nose up to 5 times a day.

For the throat, sage is suitable (brewed, like chamomile). It has an anti-inflammatory effect and helps relieve swelling of the mucous membranes. But note that the rinse solution should be warm, and after the procedure, it is not recommended to eat for half an hour in order to prolong the antiseptic effect.

  • Drinking plenty of fluids is an obligatory treatment item. Fruit drinks, teas with raspberries, currants, as well as lemon and ginger are perfect for this. The latter perfectly tones, restores strength, and also has a diaphoretic effect.

Separately, it should be said about the intake of antibiotics. In this case, they are useless, since they are aimed at fighting bacteria, not viruses. Their appointment is justified only when the flu is complicated by bacterial infections.

In order not to get sick

What can be done to meet this unpleasant disease as rarely as possible? There are two types of prevention – specific and non-specific.

Specific is vaccination. Rospotrebnadzor reported that the type A (H1N1) virus is most often fixed in Russians, and the vaccines available today meet all the requirements for protection against it.

The results of vaccination in 2018-2019 indicate that the risk of developing a severe form and complications has been reduced by half.

If you have already been vaccinated the previous year, then the chances of getting sick this winter are quite low. But the maximum level of protection can only be achieved if the vaccine is administered once before each epidemiological season.

The viruses that cause influenza are constantly circulating in the environment. Their peculiarity, which is dangerous, is the ability to mutate and adapt to new conditions.

That is why doctors emphasize the need for annual revaccination. Indeed, having developed immunity to one to one type, the body may not resist its other strain.

Non-specific prophylaxis implies compliance with hygiene rules:

  • upon arrival home, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water;
  • do not touch your nose, lips, eyes with dirty hands;
  • carry out systematic wet cleaning in the house and at the workplace.

It is also important to monitor a balanced diet, avoid crowded places during an epidemic, and give up diets and excessive physical exertion during this time.

Well, do not forget that dressing for the weather and getting a good sleep is also an excellent help to the body in increasing its defenses.

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