Flu, also called influenza medically, is one of the common infectious diseases in people. Contagious via coughing and sneezing, influenza can be uncomfortable to a person and it usually lasts for about a week. As a result, it may affect that person’s activities of daily living. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for influenza.
Influenza or flu is caused by the influenza virus types A, B, and C. According to Concentra, viruses A and B are responsible for the disease seasonal outbreaks. Type A is common in various animals like chickens, ducks, horses, and pigs while type B is only common in people. The mode of transmission is via coughing or sneezing, as well as touching a surface or article contaminated by the virus. As per the publication, a person is considered contagious from the first day of symptom appearance up to seven days after the illness.
Signs and Symptoms
Flu presents a number of signs and symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, these include cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue. In children, vomiting and diarrhea are considered common associated symptoms, as compared to adults.
Since flu is caused by a virus, the management is usually symptomatic or symptom dependent. Thus, antibiotics or antibacterials are not prescribed, unless a symptoms like cough becomes bacterial in nature. Home remedies can also be applied as part of the management for the disease.
Eating soup is one of the effective remedies for flu. According to Health Line, studies published in the medical journal “Chest” indicated that consuming a bowl of chicken soup with vegetables can delay neutrophil movement in the body. In anatomy and physiology, neutrophils are types of white blood cells that help protect the body from infection. As per the publication, the delayed movement of these blood cells let them stay in body areas that need healing. Moreover, chicken soup was found to be efficient when it comes to reduction of upper respiratory symptoms. Since it is liquid, it also helps hydrate the body and counter fever, if present.
One remedy for flu is wearing wet socks to bed. As per Best Health Magazine, this remedy helps manage fever and clear congestion. The principle is by drawing blood to the feet which boosts blood flow. As per the publication, the feet are warmed in hot water while cotton socks are soaked in cold water. They are wringed out and slipped on prior to sleep. Then, dry wool socks are worn over the wet ones. According to the publication, it is expected that the wet socks are warm and dry in the morning while the person feels more comfortable.
Steam is another remedy that can make a person feels better while he has flu. According to Wellness Mama, it helps relieve nasal congestion and soothe the sinus and the throat. The person just has to boil one to two cups of water in a large pot. Once done, the pot is removed from heat. Next, two teaspoons of rosemary, thyme, and oregano are added and the pot is covered for five minutes. Once done, the person leans over the pot and covers his head with a towel to hold in the steam, which is breathed to relieve discomfort. This remedy can be done for about 15 minutes.
Flu or influenza is one of the most frequent communicable diseases in children and adults and the disease process adversely affects a person’s health status and daily activities. In this regard, home remedies and symptomatic management can be done, along with medical consult for proper assessment, planning, intervention, education, and evaluation.