Viral influenza better known as the flu is a virus that affects the respiratory track and is highly contagious. Back in 1918, there was an epidemic that killed more people than World War 1. When you first get the flu, you may think that you are just getting a small cold. This can be just the start and before you know it, you are very sick and might need the help from your doctor. Different people get different symptoms and if you have the flu you might not get very sick.
Influenza was discovered over 2,400 years ago, but it was first discovered and named in 1918 by Veterinarian J. S. Cohen when he noted similarities in pigs and humans when they were getting sick. This was also when the first viral influenza caused more than 50 million people to die. The first recorded epidemic of influenza was in 1580’s in Europe. It started in Russia and wiped out populations on a very large scale. In 1944, Thomas Francis Jr. and his team of assistants worked with the Army to create the first vaccine used to stop the spread of the influenza. Once the flu starts it is hard to control and end, especially when it hits in schools. It also spread through hospitals and nursing homes. Viral influenza is more common among the young, elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
There are many different symptoms of the flu and not every one will get them all. Some of the viral influenza characteristics that you might have include: fever, chills, headache, achy muscles, dizziness, no appetite, being very tired, a cough, sore throat, runny nose, nausea or throwing up, being very weak, ear pain and the runs. Not every single person will get all of these symptoms but you will get some of them. When you start to get the cough is when you need to be very careful. Once you get a cough, it can then become either bronchitis or pneumonia and this could lead to a hospitalization. When you first get the flu, you may think that you are getting a really bad cold and can just sleep it away. If you are not better within three days, it may be time to go see your doctor.
Tips and comments
So if you suspect that viral influenza is going around your home or breaking out at your child’s school there are some things that you can do to help keep everyone safe. If you can get your flu shot every year. Some people insist that they still get sick after getting the shot, but it will be shorter lived than if you did not get the shot. Another thing to do is make sure that everyone washes their hands. This is especially important after using the restroom. One more thing is to make sure that children know to cover their noses when they sneeze or cough. Using the crook of your arm by the elbow is better than using your hand. Using a disenfectant around your house will also help to kill the germs that are present.