Monday, June 22, 2020

Essential knowledge for flu prevention

In autumn and winter, the friends around me get flu, how to prevent it?

1. What causes flu?

Influenza is an acute respiratory infectious disease caused by influenza virus infection that is more harmful to humans. According to its nuclear protein and matrix protein, it is divided into four types: type A (type A) influenza virus (H1N1, H3N2 subtype, etc.) and type B (type B) influenza virus can cause seasonal epidemics, type C (C Type) Influenza virus only presents sporadic infection. Type D (type D) influenza virus mainly infects pigs, cattle, etc. and no human infection has been found. Influenza A viruses can be divided into various subtypes according to the protein structure and gene characteristics of hemagglutinin and neuraminidase on the surface of the virus. Currently, there are 18 (H1-18) and 11 (N1-11) subtypes of HA and NA found, respectively.

2. What are the symptoms of flu?

Influenza generally presents with acute onset and fever (in some cases, high fever can reach 39-40°C), with chills, chills, headache, muscle, joint pain, extreme fatigue, loss of appetite and other systemic symptoms, often with sore throat, Cough, there may be nasal congestion, runny nose, discomfort behind the breastbone, flushing of the face, mild congestion of the conjunctiva, vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms.

Mild flu is often similar to the common cold, but its fever and systemic symptoms are more obvious.

Severe cases can present with extrapulmonary manifestations such as viral pneumonia, secondary bacterial pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, shock, disseminated intravascular coagulation, cardiovascular and nervous system, and various complications.

3. How to judge whether you have flu? What is the diagnosis method?

The symptoms of influenza are the main basis for routine clinical diagnosis and treatment. If you have fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, body pain, headache, chills, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms, you may have influenza. However, due to the lack of specificity of flu symptoms and signs, it is easy to be confused with the common cold and other upper respiratory tract infections. The diagnosis of influenza depends on laboratory diagnosis, and the detection methods include viral nucleic acid detection, virus isolation and culture, antigen detection and serological detection.

4. How to treat flu?

People with mild infections can isolate themselves at home to keep the room ventilated. Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water. The diet should be easy to digest and nutritious. At the same time, closely observe the changes in the condition. Once there is a persistent high fever, accompanied by severe cough, dyspnea, consciousness changes, severe vomiting and diarrhea, you should see a doctor in time. Pregnant women, children, the elderly, and patients with chronic diseases are more likely to develop severe illness after being infected with influenza, and should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

Neuraminidase inhibitors such as oseltamivir are effective treatments for influenza. The use of anti-influenza virus drugs in the early stage, especially within 48 hours of onset, can significantly reduce the incidence of severe influenza and death. Antiviral drugs should be used under the guidance of a doctor.

5. How is influenza spread?

Influenza patients and hidden infections are the main source of infection of seasonal influenza. They are mainly spread through droplets of respiratory secretions, and can also be spread through direct or indirect contact through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nasal cavity, and eyes.

The common incubation period is 1-4 days (average 2 days), and it is infectious from the end of the incubation period to the acute stage of onset. Generally, the infected person can excrete the virus 24-48 hours before the clinical symptoms appear, and the detoxification amount increases significantly 0.5-1 days after the infection, and reaches a peak within 24 hours after the onset of the disease.

6. How to prevent flu?

Influenza vaccination is the most effective way to prevent influenza every year. September-November is the best time to vaccinate. Vaccination can significantly reduce the risk of influenza and serious complications of the vaccinee. Neuraminidase inhibitors such as oseltamivir, zanamivir, and paramivir are effective treatments for influenza A and B. The use of anti-influenza virus drugs in the early stage, especially within 48 hours of onset, can significantly reduce influenza The incidence of severe illness and death. Antiviral drugs should be used under the guidance of a doctor.

In addition, maintaining good personal hygiene is an important means of preventing influenza and other respiratory infectious diseases, including: washing hands frequently; during influenza epidemic season, try to avoid going to crowd gathering places; after flu symptoms, cough and sneeze tissues and towels Cover your mouth and nose and wash your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as much as possible.

When family members have flu patients, they should try to avoid contact with each other, especially when there are elderly people and chronically ill patients at home. When parents of children with flu symptoms go to the hospital for treatment, they should also protect the children and themselves (such as wearing masks) to avoid cross infection. When influenza-like cases occur in collective units such as schools and childcare institutions, patients should rest at home to reduce the spread of disease.

7. If I have the flu, how can I prevent infection?

Daily precautions: Avoid gathering places and contact with each other; cover mouth and nose with tissues, towels, etc. when coughing or sneezing; wash hands with soap and water frequently; disinfect items contaminated with influenza virus.

Rest at home and try to avoid going out: You should go out for at least 24 hours without using antipyretics. You should wear a mask when you do go out, and wash your hands frequently to prevent contact transmission.

8. Who is susceptible to flu?

People are generally susceptible to influenza viruses. People with high risk of influenza complications include children, elderly people, pregnant women, medical staff, people with chronic basic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.

9. What is the difference between seasonal flu and pandemic?

01 seasonal flu

It is an acute respiratory infectious disease caused by influenza virus. At present, there are four types of influenza viruses known as A, B, C and D. The seasonal epidemics are type A (H1N1 subtype and H3N2 subtype) and type B ( Yamagata and Victoria) influenza viruses.

02 influenza pandemic

It means that when a new subtype or an old subtype of influenza A virus reappears, the population generally lacks corresponding immunity, resulting in the rapid spread of influenza virus among the population, thereby causing widespread pandemics worldwide.

10. Why are children more susceptible to flu?

Schools and kindergartens, as densely populated areas, often have students collectively infected with influenza. Children are more susceptible to influenza and other respiratory infectious diseases. The reasons may be as follows:

First, schools and childcare institutions are collective places. Children gather and have close contact in collective places. Once there is a flu case, it is easy to cause the spread of the disease and more cases;

Second, children are naturally infected with influenza virus or have fewer vaccinations, weaker pre-existing immunity in the body, and weaker cross-protection against influenza virus;

Third, children's own respiratory tract may be less developed than adults, and their own immune system is in a developing state, which is susceptible to invasion of respiratory viruses such as influenza and symptoms;

Fourth, children's personal hygiene habits are not very good, they can't completely cover their mouth and nose with coughing, wash their hands frequently, etc., resulting in an increased risk of disease transmission.

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