Influenza “La Gripe” is a virus attacking the respiratory route effecting the upper and lower respiratory tracts. Although sporadic cases can occur, in general the more severe cases appear in the autumn and winter months.
Transmission usually occurs via aerosols generated by coughs and sneezes, although hand-to-hand contact may take place. 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 blockage, dilated pupils, flushed face, redness to the eyes.
The mortality rate caused by influenza outbreaks continues to be substantial and pulmonary disease as well as old age are the highest risk conditions. The majority of
casualties have an underlying disease that places them at high risk for complications.
Influenza can cause a secondary bacterial infection. The interaction is bilateral with sometimes bacteria activating the flu virus resulting is Acute Sinusitis - Otitis - Bronchitis - Pneumonia. Pneumonia is the most common complication and can progress with persistent fever, dyspnoea and eventual cyanosis.
Patients with influenza prefer to rest in bed; analgesic and cough medicines can help to relieve the symptoms, however sometimes the use of antibiotics may be needed but they must be prescribed by your doctor.
As a preventive measure, the flu vaccine provides partial cover (about 85%) for a period of a few months to up to 1 year, that is because the antigenic configuration
changes yearly and it is based on prevalent strains from the preceding year. immunity is achieved in about 2 weeks The vaccine is highly recommended to the over 50’s, asthma sufferers, nursing home residents, chronic lung disease sufferers, heart disease sufferers and health care workers as well as children/teenagers receiving chronic
aspirin therapy, the side effects are rarely a slight redness or tenderness at the point of injection.
In recent years a new kind of vaccine has been developed to protect from pneumonia and it provides partial cover up to 95 % of There is a lot of “gripe” about! efficacy for a period of three years.
If you have not been vaccinated yet, you may still be on time at the health centre or make use of your SANITAS health insurance and ask a