Influenza Â“The FluÂ” which is an orthomixo-virus is transmitted to the respiratory route.
This is an acute respiratory illness which effects the upper and lower respiratory tract caused by infection with the virus.
Although sporadic cases occur, in general during the autumn and winter period more severe cases appear. Antigenic type A and B disease produce clinically indistinguishable infections whereas type C is usually a minor infection.
In all likelihood, transmission occurs via aerosols generated by coughs and sneezes, although hand-to-hand contact may take place.
The morbidity and mortality caused by influenza outbreaks continues to be substantial.
Most individuals who die in this setting have an underlying disease that places them at high risk for complications of influenza.
The most prominent Â“high riskÂ” conditions are chronic cardiac and pulmonary disease as well as old age.
The incubation period is from 1 to 4 days and the onset is usually quite abrupt which can give the following symptoms:
Fever-Chills-Muscular pains-Headaches-Substantial soreness-Occasional nausea-General indisposition-Sore throat-Nasal stiffness-Dilated pupils-Flushed face-Redness to the eyes.
Influenza can cause Â“Necrosis of the respiratory epitheliumÂ” which predisposes to a secondary bacterial infection. The interaction is bilateral with sometimes bacteria activating influenza virus. Frequent complications that occur are: Acute Sinusitis - Otitis - Bronchitis - Pneumonia.
Pneumonia is the most common complication and can progress with persistent fever, dyspnoea and eventual cyanosis.
Many patients with influenza prefer to rest in bed, analgesic and cough medicines can be used, however sometimes the symptoms need antibiotic treatment which must be prescribed by your doctor so as to receive the correct type of antibiotic treatment for bacterial complications.
The influenza vaccine provides partial cover (85%circa efficacy) for a period of a few months to up to 1 year.
The vaccineÂ’s antigenic configuration changes yearly and it is based on prevalent strains from the preceding year.
The vaccine time is from October through until the end of November.
The vaccine is highly recommended to all people who suffer easily from the flu, the over 50 year old bracket of people and children/teenagers receiving chronic aspirin therapy, Asthma sufferers, nursing home residents, chronic lung disease sufferers, heart disease sufferers and health care workers.
Side effects from the vaccine are infrequent, if anything does occur it would only be slight redness or tenderness at the point of injection Â– fever could occur but very rarely.
In recent years a new kind of vaccine has been developed to protect the individual from pneumonia. This pneumococcal vaccine is strongly recommended for individuals over 55 years of age or who are at risk because of adversal conditions. It provides partial cover up to 95 % of efficacy for a period of three years.
Adequate immunity is achieved about 2 weeks after taking both vaccines. So before the flu gets you, try to prevent it with a vaccine.
The flu vaccine is now available; please contact DR Borsani at the Garden medical surgery
Tel & Fax:0034952819123 or Email gmsurgery @mercuryin.es. Questions about Bird Flu should be directed to your doctor.