Influenza is a highly contagious virus infection. It is common during the month of May and October. It affects kids, women and men across different parts of the globe. Children and the elderly are more prone to influenza according to a research done by health care providers across the globe. The infection is caused by influenza virus and can be managed using home remedies. Chiefly, there are three types of influenza including types A, B and C. There are also many other strains of influenza. The disease can be prevented and there is a new vaccine that is aimed at managing influenza viruses. The vaccine is prepared yearly because the viruses mutate over a specific season.
Causes of Influenza
Influenza is a highly contagious viral disease. Influenza viruses cause the disease and can be easily spread from one person to the other. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, there are high chances of infecting other people at home, in the office or at school among other places. Droplets in the air can transmit influenza. This is because influenza viruses enter your system whenever you inhale any air droplets.
Talking to a person who has the flu puts you at a high risk of developing influenza
Touching of objects used by a person suffering from influenza can cause the infection. This includes touching or sharing utensils used by a sick person.
It is easy to ignore causes of influenza and this is one of the reasons as to why the disease spreads within a short span of time. The disease is quite infectious right from the day a simple symptom starts. In adults, the disease is quite infectious within 3 5o 5 days. In children, it is quite infectious from day 7 to 10 of their illness. In elderly persons and those with poor immune system, the disease can infectious for a very long time. Therefore, it is imperative to take necessary measures to prevent the disease from spreading. Everyone is often at a risk of the infection and symptoms vary from mild to severe in different patients.
Symptoms of Influenza
Symptoms of influenza may vary a great deal from one patient to the other. The symptoms can also last for a short or longer period.
Aching muscles and pain in the joints
Loss of appetite
General body weakness and fatigue
Fever of 38 to 40 degrees Celsius
Sore throat and runny nose
Shivering, vomiting and diarrhea
Vomiting and diarrhea is common in children. Some of these symptoms last for less than a week or more than a week. They can mild especially if a person was vaccinated against the infection and in individuals with a strong immune system. These symptoms are mild and can be managed efficiently at home. However, influenza patients can also suffer severe symptoms that need medical assistance. If you have
Sudden dizziness and confusion
Persistent vomiting and diarrhea
Chest pains and shortness of breathe, it is imperative to seek medical help within the shortest time possible.
Influenza symptoms can be detected as soon as you contract the infection or after a day or two. When you suspect influenza, you can seek medical assistance for proper diagnosis. This is done based on your symptoms and is done by taking a sample of fluids at the back of your throat, blood sample or nasal secretion samples. Diagnosis is very crucial because it helps to determine the severity of the infection. The good thing is that the infection can be managed efficiently using home remedies.
Influenza Home Remedies
There are many home remedies for influenza. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself! Here are some of the home remedies that you can try.
- Rest– It can be managed by taking a bed rest
- Try This– Taking a cup of warm water and adding a few of drops of honey and lemon is an effective way to treat influenza. They help to soothe the body, relax muscles, relieve pain in joints and loosen phlegm thus, making it easy for the body to eliminate it. You can take 3 to 4 cups of the drink a day.
- Onion Juice and Honey– Onion juice and honey can be mixed in equal amounts to treat influenza. Take 3 to 4 teaspoons a day until the flue goes away.
- Fenugreek Seeds– A decoction of fenugreek seeds, fresh ginger juice and drops of honey is also effective in treating influenza. Boil the seeds until you remain with one third of original water quantity and add honey and ginger juice to make it palatable. The concoction should be taken once a day.
- Ginger Tea– Ginger tea is additional an excellent remedy for influenza. It has a soothing and relaxing effect on the body thus, alleviating symptoms of the infection. 2 to 3 pieces of ginger can be used to prepare ginger tea. Consume it at regular intervals till the flu goes away.
- Turmeric Powder– Turmeric powder and a glass of milk make an excellent remedy for flu. Mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk. Take two to three glasses a day. This will help to strengthen the liver, boost your immune system and alleviate symptoms of flu.
- Spicy Foods– Spicy food also helps to treat influenza. Spice up your food with turmeric powder, cardamom and ginger to alleviate symptoms of flu. Eat spicy food until flu goes away.
- Well Balanced Diet- Additionally, a well balanced diet is an excellent way to alleviate influenza. Your food should boost your immune system; strengthen bones, liver and other normal functions of respiratory organs. A balanced diet will fight influenza viruses thus, treating the infection.
- Cold tea- Cold tea made of equal parts of peppermint, sambucus nigra and yarrow is one of the most effective herbal remedies for influenza. It should be taken before one goes to bed. If used before influenza develops it helps in stopping it all together. It is important to note that when taken, this remedy increases body temperature and one may start sweating.
- Echinacea- This is another effective herb in the treatment of influenza. However, this herb may react with other drugs. Therefore, it is important to always ensure that you are not on other medication before you start using it.
- Chamomile- This herbal remedy has also been used for many years in curing influenza. It helps in loosening mucus and healing the throat. It also facilitates opening of bronchial tubes and nasal passages.
- Onion- Onion has also been used and proven effective in healing influenza. It works by killing bacteria and healing the damaged cell in the mucus membrane. This herbal remedy works very fast. If you are suffering influenza in an acute stage, you can inhale its steam for about 15 minutes. You can inhale this steam for approximately a week before going to bed.
Diet for Influenza
Diet plays a crucial role in preventing and treating influenza. It is important to incorporate food that boosts your immune system in your diet to treat the infection. With a strong immune system, the body will be in a better position to fight influenza viruses more efficiently. Good food also helps to relax and soothe your body when infected with influenza. It makes it easy for you to manage the symptoms to a greater extent. For this reason, it is imperative to be keen on your diet to treat and prevent flu.
A good diet for influenza should contain fresh vegetables and fresh fruits. When suffering from flu, you will lose appetite. Fruits and veggies restore your appetite and are rich in vitamins that help to fight influenza viruses. If you have a sore throat and you find it difficult to swallow fruits, consider fresh fruit juice, vegetable juice and soup. A broth is also an excellent option if you have sore throat.
Take plenty of chicken soup. It helps to manage flu symptoms. Take the soup for 3 to 4 days. Include milk in your diet after taking soups, broths or juices. These should be taken during the initial stages of influenza. However, as the symptoms decrease, it is imperative to include solid food in your diet. Ensure it is balanced with proteins, carbohydrates, good fats, fresh vegetables and fruits. Spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kales should be included in your diet. Oranges/juice, ginger, garlic, lemon, peppers, carrots, broccoli, grapefruits and onions should be taken in handy when suffering from influenza. They alleviate symptoms of influenza and help to prevent future infection.
While diet is crucial in preventing and treating influenza, the choice of food you settle for also plays a crucial role in determining whether you get rid of the disease or not. Avoid sugars and sweetened food, refined flour and bakery products including cakes, avoid alcoholic beverages, preserved food, processed meat and red meat, coffee as well as aerated and caffeinated beverages.
Ensure you diet is well balanced and do not skip meals to treat influenza. Vegetables and fruits or fruit juices help to restore your appetite. Milk is whole and it is important to include it in your diet. A well balanced diet supplies the body with essential nutrients, boosts your immune system and prevents fatigue.
Prevention of Influenza
Influenza is a highly preventable infection. It is contagious and if any member of your family is infected, it is imperative to prevent spread of the disease. Throw used tissues in a rubbish bin.
Influenza vaccination is available for those aged 6 months and above. It is aimed at protecting you against influenza viruses. A medic will always offer the vaccination as long you do not have any medical condition that prevents you from getting a jab. It is always recommended if you are at high risk of influenza and its complications.
Disinfect all items used by a sick person. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching the items.
For a sick person, you can prevent spread of influenza by covering your face when you cough or sneeze. Stay at home until you fully recover. Let sick children stay at home.
Proper diet is also an excellent way to prevent influenza. Eat a well balanced meal and incorporate a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. It will boost your immune system and the body will be in a better position to fight influenza viruses. Note that prevention is always better than cure. However, should you develop any symptom of the infection, ensure it is checked to prevent complications because it can be fatal in some situations.
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