Infection and course of a flu (influenza)With a flu (influenza) it does not concern a classical cold, but by a virus released infection. It is contagious and usually shows a sudden onset of symptoms. Typical symptoms suggest flu.
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Signs and course of the disease
In contrast to a normal cold or a flu-like infection, the symptoms usually appear suddenly and strongly. The first signs include:
– High fever – fatigue and tiredness – sweating – chills – severe headache& Pain in the limbs – Sensitivity to noise and light – Sore throat – Tickly cough/dry cough – Dry throat – Swollen nasal mucosa – Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea – Dizziness – Watery eyes
Once an infection has occurred, it takes an average of two days for the first symptoms to become noticeable. As a rule, the flu begins with head-. Sore throat as well as a cold. On the second or third day, a high fever may appear. This moves around a temperature of up to 41 degrees Celsius. If there is only an increased body temperature of about 38 degrees Celsius, a pure cold is more probable.
The high fever lasts for a maximum of three to four days in the case of influenza. If the temperature rises again during the first few days, infection by bacteria can be amed.
Usually accompanied by fever, chills occur. Other symptoms, as mentioned above, follow. When the flu comes to an end, the symptoms slowly subside. Remaining can possibly still a coughing up with sectretauswurf.
How contagious is the flu?
The viral flu is highly contagious. For this reason, the patient should refrain from contact with other persons as far as possible as long as there is a risk of infection. The incubation period is the time frame between the infection. The outbreak titled by the first signs of disease. During this time, the virus enters the body. Spreads through the bloodstream to the respiratory organs. There it multiplies in the cells. Releases hundreds of new viruses.
The incubation period depends on the type of influenza virus, as they multiply at different rates:
– Seasonal influenza viruses: one to two days – Swine influenza A (H1N1): one to two days – Avian influenza (orthomyxoviruses): up to five days
Transmission of flu virus occurs through the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and the mouth and eyes. The infection can occur through different ways:
Droplet infection can result in transmission of the flu virus due to expelled droplets of secretion from the respiratory mucous membranes, such as through sneezing or coughing.
If these so-called expiration droplets get into the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose or eyes of third persons when inhaled, infection or transmission of the virus occurs.
The flu viruses find optimal conditions for transmission in dry room air. Therefore, the risk of infection is higher during the cold season. Particularly high in heated rooms.
Direct contact infection
Since the flu virus can remain infectious for hours in the air and adhere to surfaces, infection is not only possible through contact with the affected patient.
The influenza viruses can also be transmitted directly via objects such as doorknobs, if they have previously settled here. Transmission usually occurs through the hands, which touch mucous membranes of the mouth, nose or eyes after contact with the virus.
The flu viruses remain infectious on objects for up to two days.
Body and dust infection
The influenza viruses are also transmissible via skin dandruff, hair and dust particles. The infection occurs directly as in the case of contact infection.
Infection can occur via the saliva of the sick patient. The most common ways of infection include kissing as well as sharing a drink from a glass. The virus cannot be transmitted via body sweat or sexual intercourse.
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How long is flu contagious?
The risk of infection for other persons exists already 24 hours before the outbreak of the first symptoms.
This means that the patient does not usually know that he or she is carrying the influenza virus because no symptoms have yet appeared. Unknowingly, it can spread the flu virus to people who come into direct contact with the infected patient or with the flu virus in any way.
The increased risk of infection extends over the period of the flu illness. Possible transmission of the influenza virus to third parties only ends after complete recovery. Recovery is restored when all symptoms have subsided.
It must be taken into account that active viruses may still be present on objects due to previous coughing or sneezing. The more optimal the environmental conditions are for the flu virus, the longer it remains infectious.
This means that a patient can still become infected again, as well as third parties, up to 48 hours after health has been restored.
How long does influenza last??
Depending on the type of influenza virus and the general health of the patient, influenza can last for several weeks. Complications during the course of the disease are not uncommon in certain groups of patients. These prolong the duration of illness. Can cause additional diseases.
Irritable and dry coughs normally extend over a period of seven to 14 days.
Symptoms predominantly last between five and seven days. After 14 days at the latest, the flu should normally have subsided. Health to be fully restored.
Since influenza weakens the body as a whole, it is not uncommon for other bacteria to enter the body. These can trigger further illnesses. Significantly delaying the duration of illness.
As a rule, a complete recovery from influenza is to be expected, although depending on the severity of the course of the disease, performance may be weakened for weeks afterwards and there may be a loss of appetite.
The flu with the influenza virus is usually not a disease that poses a severe health risk. More serious complications usually occur because the weakened immune system makes it easier for other bacteria to enter the body.
Here they multiply, infect other organs and trigger other diseases there.
Certain groups of people are particularly at risk, as well as patients with existing underlying diseases, such as:
– Pregnant women – Infants as well as young children – Seniors – Chronic cardiopulmonary disease – Metabolic disease – Impaired or weakened immune system – Individuals without flu vaccine protection
Complications can lead to the following diseases:
– Inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) – Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) – Inflammation of the skeletal muscles (myositis) – Pneumonia – Pulmonary edema – Bacterial superinfections of the respiratory tract in a much more severe form, as in the case of influenza
Pneumonia can already be caused by influenza viruses. In this case, medical experts refer to primary influenza pneumonia.