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Influenza - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Definition:

Influenza is an acute febrile highly contagious disease caused by an RNA virus of the orthomyxoviridae family. It is commonly known as-the flu or the grippe.It is usually strikes between October and May. It lasts from three to five days and can be followed by fatigue for two or three weeks.

It is characterised by a runny nose, sore throat, headache, fever and aching muscles and joints. The flu is spread person to person through the air by coughing or sneezing. It is also spread by direct contact with infected people.
Influenza is an illness caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract. Compared with most other viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold , influenza infection often causes a more severe illness.

Causes for influenza:

The influenza is caused by three types of viruses - influenza A, B and C.Influenza types A and B are responsible for the respiratory disease that occurs almost every winter. Influenza type C usually causes a very mild disease often without symptoms.

This virus usually passed from person to person by airborne transmission (i.e., sneezing or coughing). But, the virus can also live for a short time on objects -- such as doorknobs, pens, pencils, keyboards, telephone receivers, and eating or drinking utensils.

Therefore, it may also be spread by touching something that has been handled by someone infected with the virus and then touching your own mouth, nose, or eyes Influenza virus is spread by inhaling droplets that have been coughed or sneezed out by an infected person or by having direct contact with an infected person's secretions.

Handling household articles that have been in contact with an infected person or an infected person's secretions may sometimes causes influenza.

Symptoms of influenza:

The flu is often confused with the common cold , but flu symptoms tend to develop quickly and are usually more severe than the typical sneezing and stuffiness of a cold .

Influenza usually comes on suddenly and may include these symptoms:

  • Fever (38 o to 40 o C).
  • Muscle Aches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Loss of Appetite.
  • Headache.
  • Tiredness (can be extreme).
  • Runny Nose.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Weakness.
  • Ear Infection.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Body Aches.
  • Indigestion.

These symptoms are usually referred to as "flu-like symptoms."

Influenza Home Remedies

Garlic: Garlic is an excellent remedy for influenza. It is useful as a general antiseptic and the patient should take as much as he can bear.

Bryonia - Take bryonia if cough, throat and chest pain, dry mouth and lips, very thirsty.

Saltwater Gargle - To relieve influenza, doctors recommends gargling with one teaspoon of salt mixed into an eight-ounce glass of warm water.

Peppermint Rosemary Elder Flu Remedy: This remedy is good for colds with flu Symptoms.

Chamomile Tea - To help yourself rest and relax, take a cup of chamomile tea twice a day.

Turmeric - Turmeric is valuable in curing influenza. A teaspoon of turmeric powder should be mixed in a cup of warm milk and taken three times a day. It will prevent complications arising from influenza, and also activate the liver which becomes sluggish during the attack.

Yarrow - To combat chills, try taking 30 drops of yarrow (Achillea millefolium) or elder (Sambucus nigra) flower tincture every four hours until your chills are gone.

Hot, Steamy Shower - The steam acts as a vaporizer, because it can provide a moist environment.

Cinnamon, Cayenne and Ginger - Use a warming tea made of Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Cayenne (Capsicum minimum) and ground Ginger (Zingiber officinalis).

Onion - Onion is also an effective remedy for influenza. Equal amounts of onion juice and honey should be mixed, and three or four teaspoons of this mixture should be taken daily in the treatment of this disease.

Horsetail Inhalations - Horsetail inhalations reduce swelling of mucous membranes.

Echinacea - Echinacea has been recommended to improve a person's immune system. Therefore also helps in curing influenza fast.

Vitamin C - Take Vitamin C to boost immune system and increase the number of white blood cells.

Go to Bed Early - Persons suffering from Influenza need lot of rest. But, if one goes to work while suffering from influenza - he should atleast go to bed earlier than usual. This will lessen the stress on your body and help it fight the infection.

Nux Vomica - Nux vomica is a remedy when a simple cold turns into influenza.

Cat's Claw - Cat's claw shortens the duration of the flu.

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