In the United States, thousands of Americans fall victim to the flu between the months of November and April. Many people confuse the common cold with the flu but there is a vast difference between the two.
The Flu is a respiratory illness that is caused by a virus either through the nose, throat, or lungs. The infection can range from mild to severe.
How Does the Flu Spread?
The flu is highly contagious and can easily spread from person to person. It is an airborne virus that easily spreads through coughing and sneezing.
You can also catch the flu by coming in contact with germs by touching an object or a surface such as doorknobs, computer keyboards or cellphones and then transferring that virus to your body by touching your nose, eyes or mouth.
Influenza is easily spread in public or crowded places such as offices and schools. Those that have been exposed to the flu virus may not see any symptoms for 5 to 10 days.
The influenza virus is categorized into three types – A, B, and C. Type A and B are considered to be the main reason behind the outbreaks of flu. While influenza type B virus mainly affects humans; type A is also found in various animals and can also pose a serious problem for humans. Type C influenza rarely infects people. And even if it does, it causes mild illness such as mild upper respiratory tract infection and cough.
Symptoms of Influenza
In the beginning, flu symptoms include coughing, sneezing and shivering. As the infection develops, the infected person may experience loss of appetite, muscle ache and fever. Some of the other symptoms include:
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose.
Symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and nausea are more common in children, and are not typically found in adults.
Why is the Flu Widespread in the Winter?
Flu outbreaks are more common in the winter months than they are during summer. The relative humidity in the air quality inside is very low during the winter as compared to the air quality outdoors during the summer. Hence, the influenza virus persists for a longer period of time.
Cold weather and harsh winters force people to stay indoors for warmth, so they inadvertently come into closer contact with other people. Proximity to an infected person in a closed atmosphere makes you prone to catching the flu.
Safeguard Yourself Against the Flu Virus
Prevention is the best cure! Safeguard yourself against the flu by following these helpful tips:
• Get a flu shot every year.
• Cover your nose and mouth every time you sneeze or cough in order to prevent other family members from catching the infection.
• Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
• Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol.
Use a personal air purifier to protect yourself from exposure
• One of the most effective ways to prevent catching the flu is to use a personal air purifier.
• Personal air purifiers emit healthy negative ions that eliminate viruses and create a zone of clean air so that you stay healthy.
If you do catch the flu, follow these steps for a quick recovery:
• Take the proper medication as prescribed by only your doctor.
• Get plenty of rest and sleep.
Take precaution and safeguard yourself before the start of flu season. Wear a personal air purifier around your neck to breathe cleaner, healthier air and protect yourself from exposure to allergens and viruses. The constant flow of negative ions will help to keep away the influenza virus, as well as, other pollutants that will make you sick.
Stay safe and keep healthy!