What is Flu (Influenza)?

Influenza (flu) is a contagious viral respiratory disease caused due to the influenza virus. Its symptoms are fever, headache, vomiting, body pains, etc.

Influenza (flu), also known as seasonal flu, is a communicable viral disease of the respiratory system caused by the influenza virus. The flu is a highly transmissible viral infection, and the virus is transmitted by inhaling respiratory droplets from the infected person when they talk , cough and sneeze.

Flu season, which typically lasts from April to September, varies in severity and length. The most susceptible populations to this disease include young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems.


The flu symptoms include:

When to see a doctor?

Most people with influenza can manage it at home and rarely require medical attention. Call your doctor if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and feel you could get sick.


The flu is caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. When sick people cough, sneeze or talk, respiratory particles are released into the air and may infect the surrounding individuals. A person can also catch the flu by touching the lips, eyes, or nose with contaminated hands.

Risk Factors

The influenza risk factors are:

  • AgeSeasonal influenza targets young children from six months to 5 years old and adults 65 years old or older.
  • Weak immune systemThe immune system is affected by HIV/AIDS, poor nutrition, smoking, alcoholism, chronic steroid use, organ transplants, cancer, etc. This may raise the chance of contracting the flu and make complications more likely.
  • Chronic illnessesChronic ailments may increase the severity of influenza and lead to complications, including lung diseases,diabetes, heart disease, metabolic abnormalities, etc.
  • PregnancyPregnant women are more susceptible to influenza during the second and third trimesters.Also, women are more prone to experience influenza-related issues two to four weeks after giving birth.


The flu complications are as follows:


Get the annual flu vaccination, as it can reduce the severity of the infection and avoid hospitalization.

There are many vaccine options, including nasal spray and conventional jabs. The doctor could suggest a specific type of immunization depending on the health and risk factors.

Other prevention methods are:

  • Follow healthy habits, such as washing your hands with soap and water.
  • Use a disinfectant to clean surfaces and items like furniture and toys.
  • Covering your mouth while coughing and sneezing will help reduce the risk of infection.
  • Avoiding touching mouth, nose, or eyes with unwashed hands.
  • Sleep for eight hours every night.
  • Regular exercise helps boost the immune system.


Medical professionals will first assess the medical history and learn more about the symptoms to diagnose flu. There are various flu tests available. One of them is polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing which is more sensitive compared to other tests and may be able to determine the influenza strain.


Many people can take care of the flu illness themselves. Painkillers can manage headaches or body aches. You need to rest more and drink plenty of fluids to recover from the infection. In case of a severe disease or a higher risk of complications, the doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to treat the flu.

Do’s and Don’ts

Follow the below-given do’s and don'ts for influenza to prevent the disease and its severity.

Do’s Don’ts
Take flu vaccination Touch your face without washing or sanitizing your hands.
Wash your hands frequently to avoid contamination. Cough or sneeze without covering your mouth.
Eat a healthy diet Smoke and consume alcohol
Take medicines as prescribed by the doctor. Take medicines without consulting the doctor.
Take plenty of rest Drink less water

Care at Medicover

At TIRUMALA Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted group of doctors and healthcare professionals skilled at providing the best medical treatment to patients while showing compassion and care. Our diagnostic department is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and equipment to conduct the necessary investigations for diagnosing Influenza. Our excellent doctors follow a multi-disciplinary approach to identifying and treating the condition.



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