Winter months usually have cold and dry conditions which are a prime factor for the spread of flu. The flu virus quickly spreads through the air when the temperature and humidity are low.
Symptoms of flu
The symptoms of flu may vary according to age, health condition and the environment.
Flu usually occurs more suddenly than a cold. The common symptoms include fever, chills, persistent cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle and body aches, headache and fatigue. Children more than adults are prone to have vomiting and diarrhea too.
Sings that the flu is getting severe are to be taken seriously. In younger children, it may show signs of fast and troubled breathing, bluish tint to the skin, fever, refusal to drink fluids. In adults, the symptoms may include breathing trouble, fever, pain and pressure in the chest, dizziness and severe vomiting sensation.
How to stop the flu virus from spreading?
Here are a few tips to stop the spread of the flu virus and prevent infections.
You can set the room temperature to warm (above 20 o Celsius). Meanwhile, keep your rooms relatively humid at 50% humidity.
Get your flu vaccines
The best possible way to ward off the seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year with the right vaccine. In India, the flu season starts as early as November and lasts till the end of April.
There are different groups of people who will need yearly flu vaccination to remain healthy during its peak season.
The groups include children aged between six months and five years, pregnant women, people over the age of 50 years and older, people with chronic medical conditions, those working in hospitals and health centers since they often come in contact with infected patients, caretakers who look after the elderly or children below six months and those who are living with high-risk groups.
Every year new flu vaccines are produced according to the flu strains that are expected to be prevalent. Therefore make sure the flu vaccine is the right one and not from old stock.
Treatment for flu
Usually, antiviral drugs are used to lessen the symptoms and shorten the sick time. These are prescription medicines in various forms such as pills, liquids and inhalers and sometimes IV solutions.
It is noted that the drugs should be administered as early as possible and they work best when given at least within two days of getting sick.