— September 21st, 2019
As the fall season is starting to transition, the temperature varies everyday from warm to cool, colder and the next day its warm again. The body is trying to adapt to these sudden and frequent changes. There are people that have slower and weaker adaptation causing vulnerability to cope with the change. Our body has natural fighting and coping mechanisms against external elements and if it fails, it will cause higher risk for imbalance leading to illness.
Influenza is the most common viral infection that attacks our body especially during this season when our body is vulnerable with adaptation.
According to National Advisory Committee on Immunization, although it varies every year, it is about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths caused by influenza per year.
Groups that are considered high risk of influenza includes older adults age 55 and over, adults of any age with heart or lungs medical conditions, immunocompromised or lower immune system adults, residents in senior care facilities and pregnant women who are on their second and third trimester.
Symptoms typically manifest suddenly, with cough common colds, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, headache and sore throat. Normally, symptoms will subside in 7 days. In some cases, complications may occur which will lead to bacterial pneumonia that require antibiotic treatment and in severe cases may need hospitalization.
Prevention is the main goal in the management of influenza. Flu vaccine is given annually around mid October, before exposure to the virus. The vaccine is used as a medium to help the body to fight against flu virus and to decrease the risk of transmitting the virus to the groups who have less ability to cope with the effects of the illness.
Supportive management is focused on relieving symptoms and preventing complications. Rest, hydration, proper diet, antipyretics for fever and analgesics is used for aches and pain. Drug therapy such antiviral medication is prescribed to prevent or lessen symptoms of the flu virus.
During flu season, it is recommended that people with chronic illness and compromised immune system to avoid crowded, closed places. Frequent hand washing is very important. If you are sick with active symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and fever, stay home to prevent the spread of the virus. Collaborative effort is required to ensure a flu free community.
Geri Health Home Care is active in promoting health and wellness within the community. Read more of our blogs about health tips and strategies. We empower possibilities. Contact us today at 416-431-6266.
National Advisory Committee on Immunization: https://immunize.ca/resources/national-advisory-committee-immunization-naci-about-naci