Influenza - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment .MF .

August 12, 2017 17:52 | Infectious Diseases

at least once in his life faced with the flu, perhaps, everything.This is not surprising, because the flu - one of the most common infectious diseases that can cause massive outbreaks and even epidemics almost every year.Therefore, it is important to know the "enemy entity": the more dangerous it is, how to protect themselves from it, and how to most easily move.

Why flu is so common?Why every year all over the world a huge number of children and adults suffering from this ubiquitous disease, which can lead to very serious complications?

Influenza virus is very changeable.Every year there are new subspecies (strains) of the virus, with which our immune system is not yet met and, therefore, can not easily handle.That is why the flu vaccine may not provide 100% protection - there is always the possibility of a new mutation of the virus.

flu History

Influenza has been known to mankind for many centuries ago.First zadokumentirovanaya influenza epidemic occurred in 1580.However, even then nothing was kn

own about the nature of this disease.

pandemic respiratory infection in 1918-1920, which captured the globe, and was called "Spanish flu", most likely, was nothing more than a severe influenza epidemic.It is known that the Spaniard differed incredible mortality - lightning led to pneumonia and pulmonary edema, even in young patients.

reliably established the viral nature of the flu in England only in 1933, Smith, Andrews and Laidlaw, select a specific virus affecting mainly in the airways of the lungs of hamsters infected with flushing of nasal influenza patients and designated them as influenza A. In 1940, Francis andMadge discovered influenza virus, and in 1947 Mr. Taylor identified yet another new variant of influenza virus - S.

Since 1940, the opportunity to actively explore the influenza virus and its properties - the virus began to grow in chick embryos.Since then, the study of influenza in a big step forward was made - was discovered the ability to mutate, and revealed all parts of the virus that are capable of variation.An important discovery, of course, was the creation of a vaccine against influenza.

What is influenza

Influenza - an acute viral disease that can affect the upper and lower respiratory tract, accompanied by severe intoxication, and can lead to serious complications and deaths, mostly in elderly patients and children.

Influenza - a kind of acute respiratory viral infections (ARI), and infection of the process and all the major manifestations of SARS are similar.But the flu is much greater toxicity, often runs hard and leads to various complications.

influenza virus

for proper formation of representations about the disease and prognosis of the situation, it is necessary to understand its structure:

• RNA virus;
• influenza virus and has an internal surface antigens: internal antigens - NP (of which the capsid itself) and M (matrix layer and membrane proteins) - NP and M are the type-specific antigens, antibodies synthesized so that no significant protective effect.Outside of these structures is located lipoprotein envelope carrying external antigens - 2 complex protein (glycoprotein) - hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N)
• By antigenic structure of the influenza virus separated antigenically principle into types A, B, C, and the disease can be represented byone of antigenically distinct viruses (is that just 2 types of viruses recorded during epidemics and pandemics).Basically, epidemics caused by A and B types pandemic - A type.
• Influenza virus A is divided into 13 subtypes in H (H1-H13) and 10 subtypes by N (N1-10) - dangerous for humans first subtype 3 H 2 and the first subtype N.
• High variability has type A, there are2 variants of variability: antigenic drift and antigenic shift.Drift - point mutations in the gene controlling the H antigen and shift - complete replacement of one or both of the surface antigens, ie whole RNA segments, resulting in exchange of genetic material of human and animal influenza and this leads to the emergence of new antigenic variants, to whichno immunity, causing epidemics and pandemics. epidemics can occur when the drift, because the slightest change in the genotype of the pathogen, can "knock sense memory cells" of the immune system, and it appears that the majority of the population are non-immunized.

At the beginning of 2016 among the population of people circulating viruses like swine flu 2009 pandemic, the A (H1N1) pdm09, influenza virus strains A (H1N1) with genetic changes (for Influenza Research Institute data), which are transmitted from person to person, so calledcurrent flu purely "swine" is not entirely correct.

Reasons flu

source of infection is a sick man.Viruses are distinguished with saliva, sputum, nasal discharge - by coughing and sneezing.Viruses can get on the mucus of the nose, eyes or upper respiratory tract directly from the air, in close contact with the sick person;and can settle on surfaces and further exposed to mucous membranes by hand or by using a common patient hygiene.

The virus then gets on the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract (nose, pharynx, larynx and trachea), enters the cell and begins to actively proliferate.Just a few hours the virus affects almost the entire mucosa of the upper respiratory tract.The virus is very "love" is the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, and is not able to infect other organs.That is why it is wrong to use the term "intestinal flu" - Influenza can hit the intestinal mucosa.More often than not, what is known as intestinal flu - fever, intoxication, accompanied by diarrhea - a viral gastroenteritis.

is not well established due to some protective mechanism stops viral replication and recovery occurs.Usually after 2-5 days the virus is no longer released into the environment, ie,sick person ceases to be dangerous.

Flu symptoms

The incubation period for flu is very short - from infection to the first symptoms of the disease takes on average from a few hours to 2 days (A, C), at least up to 4 days (influenza B).

Influenza always starts badly - the patient can pinpoint the start of symptoms.

By severity isolated influenza light, moderate and heavy currents.

In all cases, in varying degrees, there are signs of intoxication and catarrhal phenomena.Furthermore, 10.5% of the cases there is also a hemorrhagic component.

Intoxication has the following symptoms:

  • primarily high fever: in mild temperature does not rise above 38 ° C;with influenza of moderate severity - 39-40ºS;if severe - can rise above 40 ° C,
  • chills,
  • headache - especially in the forehead, the eyes;severe pain when moving the eyeballs,
  • muscle pain - especially in the legs and lower back, joints,
  • weakness,
  • malaise,
  • appetite loss,
  • may be nausea and vomiting.

Signs of acute intoxication are usually stored up to 5 days.If the temperature keeps longer likely to have any bacterial complications.

catarrhal phenomena saved an average of 7-10 days:

  • Rhinitis.
  • Sore throat.
  • Cough: when uncomplicated is usually a dry cough.
  • Hoarseness.
  • pain in the eyes, watery eyes.

hemorrhagic phenomena:

  • Minor haemorrhage or vasodilatation sclera
  • haemorrhages in the mucous membranes: it is noticeable in the mucous mouth, eyes
  • Nosebleeds
  • It is a characteristic feature of the flu - redness of the face at the general pallor
  • The appearance of hemorrhages in the skin - a sign of extremely poor in terms of prognosis.

The flu AH1N1 possible diarrhea.

Flu symptoms that require emergency call:

  • temperature of 40 ° C or higher.
  • Saving heat for longer than 5 days.
  • Severe headache that does not go when taking painkillers, especially in the localization in the neck.
  • Shortness of breath, rapid or irregular breathing.
  • Confusion - delusions or hallucinations, unconsciousness.
  • cramps.
  • appearance of hemorrhagic rash on the skin.

When all these symptoms and the appearance of other disturbing symptoms, which are not included in picture of uncomplicated influenza, should immediately seek medical attention.

Who carries heavier flu

Individuals suffering from chronic diseases with cardiovascular diseases: especially congenital and acquired heart disease (especially mitral stenosis).
Individuals with chronic lung disease (including asthma).
Diabetics.
patients with chronic kidney disease and blood.
Pregnant.
Elderly people over 65 years, since in most cases they have a chronic disease in varying degrees.
Children under 2 years of age and persons suffering from immunodeficiency, are also prone to develop complications of influenza.

Complications of influenza

Viral complications of influenza

Primary viral pneumonia - a very serious complication of influenza.It is caused by the spread of the virus from the upper respiratory tract down the bronchial tree and lung lesions.The disease progresses steadily.Intoxication with the expressed in the extreme, there is shortness of breath, sometimes with the development of respiratory failure.There is a cough with scanty sputum, sometimes with blood.For viral pneumonia predispose heart disease, especially mitral stenosis.

toxic shock - an extreme degree of intoxication with impaired functioning of the vital organs: in particular the cardiovascular system (there is a pronounced quickening heart rate and a critical drop in blood pressure) and kidney.The first manifestation of an infectious-toxic shock.

myocarditis and pericarditis - a flu complication encountered during a pandemic "Spanish flu".At present, very rare.

bacterial complications of influenza

The flu is significantly reduced natural resistance to other infections.All reserves of the body spends to fight the virus, so bacterial infections are attached to the clinical picture very often.Especially in the presence of any chronic bacterial diseases - all of them after suffering flu tend to escalate.

  • Bacterial pneumonia.Usually after 2-3 days the acute course of the disease, after improvement, the temperature rises again.It appears cough yellow or green.It is important not to miss the beginning of the complications and time to begin treatment with antibiotics properly selected.
  • otitis media, sinusitis, frontal sinusitis.Bacterial inflammation of the nasal sinuses and the ear are probably the most frequent complications of influenza.
  • glomerulonephritis - an inflammation of the renal tubules, which is accompanied by a decrease in kidney function.
  • meningitis, encephalitis - inflammation of the membranes and / or brain tissue.It occurs most often in patients at risk, mostly suffering from immunodeficiency.
  • Septic state - state, accompanied by hit and the subsequent multiplication of bacteria in the blood.Critical condition, often ending in death.

Treatment of influenza

Drug-free treatment of influenza

Peaceful, better than bed rest for 5 days.It is not necessary during the acute period of the disease (as if it did not want) to read, watch TV, work on the computer.This drains the already weakened body, prolongs the illness and the risk of complications.

Copious warm drink at least 2l per day.Better rich in vitamin C - lemon tea, infusion of rose hips, fruit drink.Drinking plenty of fluids every day, a sick man holds detoxification - ieaccelerated clearance of toxins, which are produced as a result of virus activity.Antiviral therapy

Intranasal interferon: leukocyte 5 drops into the nose 5 times a day Grippferon 2 - 3 drops of 3 - 4 times a day for the first 3 - 4 days.
influenza γ-immunoglobulin administered to patients suffering from immunodeficiency
Rimantadine - an antiviral agent.Treatment rimantadine is better to start on the first day of the disease, and at least no later than 3 days.NOT recommended taking the drug to children under 12 years of age, pregnant women, persons with chronic diseases of the liver and kidneys.NOT effective in "swine flu".The treatment lasts 3 days.
Oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Treatment should begin on the first day of the disease.The advantage is the possibility of oseltamivir use in children under 12 years of age and be effective against the virus AH1N1 .The course of treatment - 3-5 days.

Non-specific drug therapy for the flu

- Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs: paracetamol, ibuprofen, diclofenac.These drugs have anti-inflammatory action, reduce body temperature, reduce pain.You can also receive these drugs as part of medicinal Coldrex type powders, Tera -. Flu, etc. It should be remembered that the lower the temperature below 38 ° C is not necessary because it is at that body temperature in the body are activated defense mechanisms against infection.Exceptions are patients who are prone to seizures, and small children.

children aspirin is contraindicated. aspirin during viral infection can cause severe complication - Reye's syndrome - a toxic encephalopathy, manifested seizures and coma.

- Antihistamines - This drug, used to treat allergies.They have potent anti-inflammatory effect, thus reducing all signs of inflammation: nasal congestion, mucosal edema.The preparations of the first generation of this group - diphenhydramine, suprastin, tavegil - have a side effect: cause drowsiness.second-generation drugs - loratadine (Claritin), fenistil, sempreks, zirtek - this effect do not possess.

- Drops for a nose.Vasoconstrictive nasal drops reduce swelling, relieve congestion.However, it is not as safe a drug as it may seem.On the one hand, during the SARS be applied drops, to reduce swelling and improve the outflow of fluid from the sinuses to prevent the development of sinusitis.However, frequent and prolonged use of vasoconstrictive drops dangerously against the development of chronic rhinitis.Uncontrolled administration of drugs causes a significant thickening of the nasal mucosa, which leads to dependence on drops, and then to constant nasal congestion.Treatment of complications - surgery alone.Therefore it is necessary to strictly observe drops use mode: not longer than 5-7 days, no more than 2-3 times per day.

- nasal lavage.Against the common cold and for the prevention of upper respiratory tract diseases, and complications applied nasal lavage.However, most solutions for treatment of nasal sprays imply finished nose irrigation procedure, rather than directly lavage.Unlike Irrigation washing may reduce a thick consistency nasal secretions, but does not solve the problem with their removal along with harmful bacteria.After irrigation mucous dries quickly, which further aggravates the cold, provokes edema.Washing also helps to reduce inflammation, improve nasal mucosa of work and reduce the development of complications of the disease.Modern technique involves rinsing the nasal passages with special antiseptic.For example, the components of the preparation "Dolphin" get to the sinuses, diluting mucus clots and naturally taking them out.

- Treatment of sore throat.The most effective means (it is the same thing disliked by many) - is gargling with disinfectant solutions.You can use infusions of sage, chamomile, as well as ready-made solutions such as furatsilin.Rinse should be frequent - every 2 hour.In addition, you can use disinfectant spray: Geksoral, bioparoks etc.

- Preparations for cough..The goal of treatment of cough - snizat viscosity of mucus and make it liquid and easy to cough.Also important for this drinking regime - warm drink liquefies phlegm.If you have difficulty with expectoration can take expectorant drugs such as ACC, mukaltin, bronholitin etc. Do not independently (without consulting a doctor) to take drugs that suppress the cough reflex -. It could be dangerous.

- Antibiotics - should not be used.Antibiotics are completely powerless against viruses, they are used only in the event of bacterial complications.