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The common cold and more

flushotThe flu is a very common and widespread contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, these cause some discomfort but they can also cause  severe illness, and even death.

Various forms of flu are common all over the world. Those most susceptible to flu viruses and complications are the elderly, children, people with weak immune systems and other health conditions. Every year in the United States an average of 5% to 20% of the population get the flu.  Over 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and about 36,000 people die from flu.

The benefits of a strong immune system

The principal reason that people become ill after coming in contact with an influenza virus is that their immune system is unable to defend the body.  Healthy people with strong immune systems are less likely to become infected, and when coming in contact with a new strain of flu virus, any sickness is mild and they recover quickly.

Symptoms of Flu include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • extreme tiredness
  • dry cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle aches
  • Stomach symptoms, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea may occur but are more common in children than adults

Complications of Flu
Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of other chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Children may get sinus problems and ear infections.

How Flu Spreads
Flu viruses spread in respiratory droplets caused by coughing and sneezing. They usually spread from person to person, though sometimes people become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. Transmission begins 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 days after becoming sick. That means that you can pass the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

How to avoid the flu
People are less likely to become affected by flu viruses when:

  • they are physically fit and healthy
  • have a strong immune system
  • Flu shots - vaccinations against the flu are partly effective as they only protect from a few strains of the many strains about.

The elderly and those with weak immune systems may use herbal or homoeopathic immune system boosters or products like Buccaline Berna, an oral anti flu vaccine.


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