The flu season started, and it hit a lot of people during the holidays. The virus still circulates and causes even more cases of disease and death, and it’s so different from the other seasonal varieties. And the vaccines are somewhat weak.
We’ve written this article to give you a few facts about the flu.
What is the flu, actually?
Influenza, as most people don’t know it, is a contagious respiratory infection that’s caused by the influenza virus. Among symptoms, we find fever, headache, chills, running nose, coughing, sore throat, malaise, muscle aches, and tiredness.
What is it with winter and the flu strike?
The flu works full time, but it only spikes in the cold of the winter. And people don’t really know why. Scientists believe that this happens because of the changes in the human behaviors and biology. When the temperature drops outside, people stay inside with their windows closed. Indoors, people may breathe in the germy air and be in contact with sick people.
It cannot be that big of a deal
But it actually is. The seasonal flu epidemics cause about 5 million cases of disease every year globally and about 500.000 dies. Only in the US, about 710,000 go to the hospital and we’re talking about 56,000 deaths annually.
This happens especially to children, old people, and those people who have a compromised immune system.
How long is a person contagious?
The virus gets into our cells and makes copies of itself (that’s hardcore). It runs in your system for about four days, then the symptoms begin. For adults, it takes about 3 to 7 days to get well.
However, you need to keep in mind that people can be infectious from a day before showing the symptoms, and it can get to 7 days after the symptoms disappeared.