What is the importance of early detection and prompt medical attention to fight the battle against Influenza?


Team Udayavani, Dec 7, 2023, 1:50 PM IST

Seasonal influenza, or flu, is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses, presenting a pervasive threat worldwide. Influenza is highly infectious and easily spreads from person to person.

The ease with which influenza spreads through cough and sneeze droplets, emphasizes the need for early detection and prompt medical attention to prevent flu. Generally, there is an increase in flu cases with seasonal variations such as monsoons and winters when the moist and cold climatic conditions are favorable for viral breeding.

There is no specific treatment for most of the viral infections, except a few like H1N1 that can be treated with oseltamivir.

Treatment often involves symptomatic relief. In fact, in most individuals, the infection subsides spontaneously with adequate rest and hydration and paracetamol if required. Considering the absence of a specific treatment for influenza, the natural course of recovery relies on robust immunity. The antiviral medication oseltamivir emerges as a potent drug in effectively combating various flu strains.

Administration of oseltamivir within 48-72 hours of onset of the infection effectively alleviates symptoms. However, the power of prevention cannot be overstated. Flu vaccines stand as a formidable defense against infections, offering a proactive shield. In this battle against influenza, timing is of the essence.

There used to be a general lack of awareness about influenza vaccination in the community. However, post-COVID pandemic, the trend is changing. For individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions, the use of tetravalent or trivalent vaccines becomes a strategic approach. A flu vaccine shot is highly recommended before the onset of winter or the flu season.

Early detection not only empowers individuals in their recovery but also plays a crucial role in curbing the spread of the virus within communities.


Dr. Hirennappa B Udnur, Consultant – Pulmonologist,

Manipal Hospital Hebbal

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