Flu – La Grippe?
What is Flu?
Flu is a viral infection affecting the nose, the throat and the lungs. Flu virus is causing sickness and may cause hospital stay. There are different forms of Flu Virus, and, we observe the appearence of new forms from time to time.
What is the Flu Virus H1N1?
The Flu H1N1 is a different form, compared to Seasonal Flu.
What are the clinical signs?
Majority of the infected people feels a general tiredeness accompagned by high fever, headache, a dry cough, throatache, nasal flow as well as muscles ache. Some persons, especially children, can have stomach problems and diarheas. The cough can last from two to many weeks.
How the Flu is Spread?
Genreally, Flu infected persons cough, sneeze and have flowing nose. This generates small drops containing the virus. Healthy persons can be affected by the virus either by contact with these drops (breathing), or by contact with contaminated areas (door handles, stairs and escalators banisters, lifts buttons, computer keybords, …). Infected persons can transmit the flu during a period starting from one day before the start up of the clinical signs and up to five days after the sickness ans some times more with children and persons with immunity defficiency.
How to prevent Flu?
Flu Vaccination is the best way to prevent Flu. This recommendation is valid more particularly for people surrounding youg infants, persons with immunodeficiency as well as persons affected by chronic diseases such as Asthma.
It is also recommended to wash hands often (liquid soap or Hydro Alcoholic solutions) and avoid any contact between hands, eyes, nose and mouth.
What to do in case of contamination?
Health Authorities recommend infected people to stay home and avoid any close contact with with surrounding people (minimum four feets). Schools may ask infected students to return back home. In case of massive infection, health authorities may decide to close school. It is recommended that infected people use disposable tissues when coughing or sneezing. These tissues should be systematicaly throughn to trash bin after use by infected person.
There are different types of protection masks. Please request advice from your Doctor for more details.
How do we treat Flu?
There are antiviral medicines. They are not a substitution to vaccines. Please refer to your Doctor who we will do the necessary exams and prescribe, if necessary, the appropriate medicines.
Antiviral should be administered, for efficiency reasons, as early as possible, and, if possible, no later than two days after starting having symptoms.
Dr. Nawar Tayara
Pediatrician and Pediatric Pulmonologist