Influenza

InfluenzaWhat is Influenza?

Influenza, or flu, is an ailment which results from an infection brought about by influenza viruses. There are basically three types of these viruses. Types A, B and C.

 

The Types A and B, are those that have been known to create epidemics, and would usually occur during winter.

 

Type C on the other hand, is not known to cause an epidemic but could cause a respiratory illness, which is often considered as mild. Some of the strains of influenza that have alarmed the world population are the A H1N1 and the A H3N2.

 

The letters H and N indicate the proteins that are found on the virus’ surface. H is hemagglutinin and N is neuraminidase.

 

What Causes Influenza?

The only cause of influenza is the virus. Any of the existing influenza viruses could cause a person to suffer from such. One could contract influenza if he comes in contact with an infected person. The virus spreads through water droplets in the air. If an infected person sneezes or coughs, and you get to be around him and accidentally inhales, then you would also get infected by the virus. Aside from airborne transmission, the virus could also live for a relatively short period on various solid objects. Common places where these viruses usually stay are doorknobs, telephone receivers, keyboards, pencils, and on eating and drinking utensils. If you get to touch these things that were handled by an infected person, and you also touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with the same hand that you used in handling said things, then it is very likely that you contract the virus as well.

 

Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms of Influenza

Some of the symptoms of influenza are the following:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscular pains
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Feeling miserable
  • Inflammation in the nose, as well as in the throat
  • Cough
  • Runny nose and eyes

 

Remedies, Treatment and Cure for Influenza

It must be remembered that viruses only lodge themselves on persons who don’t have healthy immune systems. Hence, one way to prevent being affected by the virus is by making sure that you are healthy all the time. This can be done through eating the right foods and living a healthy lifestyle.

Useful Lifestyle Suggestions

  • Strengthen your immune system by avoiding stress. This would include being wary of any stress inducing situations like overworking oneself, sleeping late at night, or having so many worries and anxieties.
  • Exercise more. Exercising can strengthen your body. It also releases stress-fighting hormones that could abate stress.
  • Make your home a germ-free place. Make it a habit to wash your hands every time.
  • Maintain cleanliness. Make sure that your room would not be stuffy. A good ventilation is always needed.

Diet for Influenza

  • Drink juices made from fruits and vegetables. These have high vitamins and minerals content that could always boost the immune system. It is best to have them in juice or liquid form so that the body could absorb the nutrients faster as compared to having to eat them.
  • If you are already suffering from influenza but in the acute stage, a fruit juice diet will help your body become stronger. Having fresh juicy fruits every day would also be good. Some of these fruits are apples, pineapples, oranges, grapes and melons. Try to avoid bananas and other dried fruits.
  • Make sure that you only eat a well-balanced diet. Having some nuts, seeds and grains, together with fruits and vegetables could help you get back on your feet in no time.
  • Avoid condiments and those spices that everyone loves. Avoid pickles too, since they could lead to overeating.
  • For salad dressings, you could use lemon juice.
  • Stay away from foods that contain a lot of caffeine like tea, coffee, and sodas.
  • Try not to eat highly seasoned meat.
  • Also get rid of refined foods from your every day diet.

Useful Herbs for Influenza

  • Using long pepper is ideal in treating influenza. ½ teaspoon of long pepper powder, along with 2 teaspoonfuls of honey, plus ½ teaspoonful ginger juice, must be taken thrice a day.
  • Basil green leaves are also helpful. 1g of the leaves boiled together with ginger in ½ litre of water, until only ½ is left could be beneficial and could provide immediate relief.
  • Garlic and turmeric are also good in treating influenza. Garlic has been a known effective antiseptic and could be given to the patient as much as he could bear. 1 teaspoonful of turmeric powder, mixed in warm milk (1cup), and must be taken 3 times a day.
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