What is the flu?

The flu is a severe and contagious viral infection that affects the respiratory system and is produced by the influenza virus which can occur as type A, B or C. This virus is transmitted by air from person to person through respiratory secretions such as coughing or sneezing and enters another’s respiratory system via the nose or mouth. The flu can be a sickness that has a definable duration and/or light intensity, but it can be very serious for pregnant women, children under 2, adults over 65, people with other chronic pulmonary illnesses (asthma, COPD), heart disease, diabetes, nephropathy or a compromised immune system.

  • The symptoms?
  • General malaise
  • Muscle pains
  • Fever and cold chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat

Most of the flu cases last for a limited time and only require treating the symptoms with analgesics, rest and abundant liquids.

What would be the alarm signals?

Respiratory difficulty or the feeling of a lack of breath, rapid breathing, drowning sensation, state of confusion, and for children, especially the very small, irritability, continuous crying, refusal to eat or signs of dehydration. Differences with the common cold? The common cold causes only light fevers and never above 38.5o C. The feeling of general malaise is less intense, and the overall condition is less affected, but with greater nasal secretions.