Influenza: information about the disease in questions and answers

1. What is the cause of the flu?
The causative agent of influenza is a virus of three types A, B or C.
The main types of influenza viruses that are most often found leading to a disease are A and B. The most dangerous in terms of the severity of the disease and the development of complications, as well as fatal outcomes, are influenza type A (strain A (H1N1), A (H3N2))
Type C influenza virus disease has mild or asymptomatic course.
2. How long does it take from the time of infection to the appearance of the first symptoms of influenza?
The incubation period of influenza ranges from several hours to 4 days, an average of 2-3 days.
3. How long is a flu patient considered contagious?
A person becomes contagious 1 day before the onset of the clinical manifestations of the disease. The patient is most contagious the first 3 days of the disease. Over the course of 7 days, the ability to spread the virus gradually decreases.
4. How severe is the flu?
Increased attention to the prevention and timely treatment of influenza lies in the high likelihood of developing life-threatening complications, among which the most common are severe bacterial pneumonia leading to death.

Extrapulmonary influenza complications: bacterial rhinitis, sinusitis, otitis, tracheitis, viral encephalitis, meningitis, neuritis, radiculoneuritis, liver damage, myocarditis, toxic allergic shock.
Most often, deaths with influenza are observed among children under 2 years of age and older people over 65.
5. Is there a reliable remedy against the flu?
A reliable and effective remedy of preventing influenza is an annual vaccination. Vaccination allows you to protect the human body from influenza in case of its timely implementation: 2 weeks before the rise in the incidence rate.
6. What is the alternative to influenza vaccination if it is not possible to implement for medical reasons?
In case of impossibility of vaccination, the following preventive measures should be taken:
after each trip on public transport, when you come home, you should wash your hands thoroughly. If there is no opportunity to wash your hands, it is recommended to have antibacterial wet wipes or an antibacterial gel with you.
do not touch the face, the mucous membranes of the mouth and nose with dirty hands.
avoid crowded places.
if you feel unwell and the first signs of the disease have already appeared, in public places, use a mask in order to exclude the spread of infection among people. With the mask, healthy people can protect themselves from infection by visiting public places in the midst of an epidemic.
If you do get sick, don’t go to work or study, leave your sick child at home. This will not only reduce the possibility of the spread of infection, but also reduce the likelihood of complications, including life-threatening ones.
7. What to do if there was contact with a person who has the flu?
If you are at high risk for influenza, consult your doctor to prescribe preventive drugs.
In this case, you need to monitor your health. When symptoms of malaise appear, consult a doctor and follow his prescriptions.
8. Is it possible to catch the flu twice in a season?
Yes, it is possible if a person has not been vaccinated against influenza and both cases of infection are caused by different strains of the virus.

9. Can I get vaccinated with a drug purchased last year?
It is necessary to be vaccinated against influenza with a drug released this year, prepared specially for this epidemic season, taking into account the forecast of epidemiologists. The vaccine composition includes those strains of the virus that are expected this season.
10. Who should get the flu vaccine first?
children from 6 months age;
pupils in grades from 1 to 11; students in professional educational organizations;
adults working in certain professions and positions (employees of medical and educational organizations, of transport and utilities services);
pregnant women;
adults over 60;
persons liable for military service;
persons with chronic lung, heart and vascular diseases, with metabolic disorders and obesity.
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