Common, early influenza symptoms are chills and fever. These may quickly progress after first appearing 24-48 hours following initial exposure and infection.
Influenza virus has two main types (A and B) each with many different strains. It is spread through contact with infected persons or surfaces, or also through airborne droplets expelled from an infected person.
Pneumonia is a common severe complication of influenza infection. Influenza sufficiently weakens the immune system to allow this secondary condition to progress.
- body aches
- sore throat
- runny nose
Diagnosis is typically through physical examination and observation of the common influenza symptoms. In special cases laboratory examination of blood or mucus can be performed to confirm diagnosis.
Treatment is typically through simple means of bed rest and rehydration. Antiviral drugs can also be used. Fever and aches can be relieved with off the shelf pain killers (children should not take acetylsalicylic acid).
Prevention measures are advanced with many public vaccination programs available. Good hygiene and isolation of infected individuals can also help control the spread of the virus.