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Influenza Virus: What We Need to Know


Are you worried you might catch the flu this year? Have you had it and wish to beprepare next time? If the answer to these questions is YES, let us give you some background on this disease, information is always our best ally!


So, what is the flu?


The influenza virus, commonly known as “flu” is an extremely contagious respiratory illness. There are three different types of influenza virus that affect humans: A, B, and C. The first 2 are cause seasonal outbreaks, while the third type has shown milder respiratory symptoms (CDC).



What symptoms should I look for?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of the most common are:

· Cough

· Sore throat

· Headaches

· Runny nose

· Congestion

· Fever or feverish chills

· Muscle or body aches

· Fatigue (feeling tired)

· Vomiting and diarrhea (more commonly found in children)

Symptoms may vary from patient to patient, not everyone may have a fever, these are just some common things that could be sings of an influenza infection.


Wait, how can I distinguish the flu from just a cold?

Good question! They are both viral infections and have similar symptoms, however a cold normally doesn’t include fever as one of them. In addition, the influenza infection will appear suddenly.


What is the treatment? Should I just take antibiotics?

No! Antibiotics only work in bacterial infections, since influenza is a virus, the proper treatment is antiviral medicine. This will be prescribed by a provider.

However, here are some food options (recommended by healthline) to equip us to better fight the flu:

1. Broth

2. Chicken Soup

3. Garlic (enhances immunity)

4. Yogurt

5. Fruits that contain vitamin C

6. Leafy greens (can boost your immune system)

7. Broccoli (provides vitamin C and E)

8. Oatmeal (source of immune-boosting vitamin E)

9. Spices such as pepper and horseradish: to break up congestion



How does influenza spread?

“Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk” states the CDC. Those tiny droplets can then make their way into another individual’s system. So, a great prevention for the flu is to wash your hands often and to try to not touch your face. In addition, in the case of an outbreak, we recommend people wear mask to minimize the risk of infection.

Who is more vulnerable to influenza?

According to a study on Clinical Infectious Diseases, children have the highest risk of infection (with a 9.3%) followed by adults from 18-64 years (8.8%) and the elderly (with 3.9%) However, in the case of infection, children, the elderly, and immuno-compromised patients are at higher risk of suffering flu complications such as pneumonia, dehydration, and ear infections and sinus infections.


Thank you for joining us! Please comment down below what your favorite remedy or way to fight the flu is, we want to know!


Stay well,

By: Cristina Ortiz

Voda Integrative Medical Clinic Intern

Disclaimer: This article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any condition. Information provided is intended for educational purposes or opinions for the general healthy public. Always seek guidance from a medical provider before implementing any changes in your life. This is not intended for use as medical advice and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical

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