Influenza, commonly known as “the flu“, is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus.

Types of influenza virus & its spreading – Three types of influenza viruses affect people, called Type A , Type B, and Type C. Usually, the virus is spread through the air from coughs or sneezes. This is believed to occur mostly over relatively short distances. It can also be spread by touching surfaces contaminated by the virus and then touching the mouth or eyes. A person may be infectious to others both before and during the time they are showing symptoms.

Signs & Symptoms They can be mild to severe. The most common symptoms include:

  • high fever with extreme coldness
  • runny nose
  • nasal congestion
  • sore throat,
  • muscle pains & body ache especially joint pain
  • headache,
  • coughing,
  • Feeling tired.
  • Petechial rash

These symptoms typically begin two days after exposure to the virus and most last less than a week. The cough, however, may last for more than two weeks. In children, there may be nausea and vomiting, but these are not common in adults.

Complications of influenza It may include

  • viral pneumonia,
  • secondary bacterial pneumonia,
  • sinus infections,
  • Worsening of previous health problems such as asthma or heart failure.

Diagnosis — The infection may be confirmed by testing the throat, sputum, or nose for the virus. A number of rapid tests are available; however, people may still have the infection if the results are negative. A type of polymerase chain reaction that detects the virus’s RNA is more accurate.

Management – It includes prevention and treatment, which are as following. Prevention is done by – Frequent hand washing reduces the risk of infection because the virus is inactivated by soap. Wearing a surgical mask is also useful. Yearly vaccinations against influenza are recommended by the World Health Organization for those at high risk. The vaccine is usually effective against three or four types of influenza. It is usually well tolerated. A vaccine made for one year may not be useful in the following year, since the virus evolves rapidly.

Treatment – it includes Antiviral drugs such as the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir, among others, have been used to treat influenza.

Homoeopathic treatment – Here, is given number of medicines most commonly used in case of flu / influenza, but homoeopathic physician’s consultation must be done for accurate selection of medicine according to person’s individuality.

  • Arsenicum Album – It is given in case of flu where, marked restlessness and anxiety, hot face and cold body. The restlessness can lead to exhaustion and collapse. Vomiting and diarrhea may also be present, within chills and rigor follows the fever. The patient will be thirsty for small sips of water and want constant company. They may fear, they will die.
  • Belladonna – It is prescribed when, symptoms usually start suddenly, often frighteningly. The face will be hot, the skin red, the eyes glazed, and the pupils possibly dilated. The patient may complain of a throbbing headache and feel worse for motion and jarring, or for being bumped. The fever can be very high grade but with little or no thirst. Hands and feet are icy cold even though the body is hot. There may also be delirium with the fever. All senses are over-sensitive so the patient feels worse for light, being touched, and noise. Symptoms worse at 3pm.
  • Bryonia Alba – it is indicated, where onset of symptoms of flu are gradual rather than sudden in onset and progress slowly. The patient is irritable, the first to answering, and prefers to be left alone. All symptoms, such as severely aching muscles or joints, are worse by movement and better by rest and being still. The patient will be very thirsty for large, infrequent gulps of water. They also have dry skin, a coated tongue, cracked lips, or a left-sided headache. During the delirium of the fever, they may particularly ask to go home even though already there.
  • Eupatorium Perfoliatum — Influenza with a very high fever and severe aching in the muscles and the bones. The patient feels as if their bones are breaking or broken. They will be chilly, sometimes with rigors (shaking) and may desire cold drinks even though they will be chilled by them. They can be thirsty just before the chill and have a severe headache as the fever peaks. Symptoms worse between 7 to 9am.
  • Gelsemium — Gelsemium is one of the most commonly needed flu remedies. Symptoms develop gradually. The patient feels heavy, weak, lethargic, and dull. The weakness is accompanied by trembling. Limbs ache and shivers may run up and down the spine. They usually have a heavy headache that starts in the back of the head and radiates to the forehead. The headache may be relieved by passing urine. Eyelids will droop and there will be weakness and heaviness of the head and limbs.
  • Rhus tox. – It is selected where restlessness and aching limbs in which the patient must move almost constantly to ease pain, even when trying to sleep. The joints can feel stiff. The flu may be triggered by, or worsened by cold and damp. The fever is often preceded by a prolonged chilly stage and can be accompanied by fever blisters or cold sores on or around the lips.

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