It is an illness, produced by a virus, more frequent in autumn and winter.
It tends to begin suddently, with a high fever (more than 38º C). Additionally, it tends to be accompanied by shivers, overall discomfort, headache, muscle and joint aches, watery eyes, cough...that tend to last between 5 and 8 days. It is passed from person to person through contact with the droplets ejected from the mouth or nose when couphing or sneezing, and can remain on the hands. It can be passed on to other people up to 7 days after the onset of the illness.
Sometimes complications may arise (sinusitis, otitis...) or it can worsen certain chronic diseases.
The flu is an infectious disease, produced by three different types of viruses: A, B and C. Among these three types, the most frequent are the first two.
This illness can affect anyone. There are groups, however, that suffer more intensely the flu effects. These consist of older people and also those with other health problems (diabetes, COPD, renal or hepatitis patients, etc.). In these cases, the illness can lead to complications and thus, it is recommended that this at-risk group be vaccinated.
Flu cases appear primarily towards the end of autumn and beginning of winter. The flu diagnosis is clinical and epidemiological, and it is not recommended to use antibiotics to fight the virus. In the case of having the flu, it is suitable to follow through with support measures, such as using fever reducers, bed rest and being well hydrated.
As far as flu prevention, the most suitable and effective measure is vaccination. It is important to note that the flu vaccine does not prevent the illness in all cases, but if it does arise, is less severe and with fewer complications. This vaccine has few side effects, except for hypersensitivity to chicken eggs, and it can be administered to pregnant women. Each year, during september and october, the Health Department of the Basque Government organises a campaign focused towards at-risk groups.
What can I do?
In the case of small children, if you observe:
In adults, if you notice: