Information on Influenza
Clinical manifestations of flu: headache, muscle pain, joints pain, sore throat, fever, dry cough, runny nose, nasal stuffiness, in some cases vomiting and diarrhoea.
How can one become infected with influenza virus? From a sick person, by airborne, air-dust transmission (airborne viral particles are transferred from a sick person to a healthy one during conversation, cough, sneezing) in case of close contact (at about 2-meter distance).
What is the period of influenza infectivity? The infectious period (a period when the patient is dangerous to others) of influenza A/H1N1 type may be within 7 days after the disease onset, but if the clinical symptoms of the disease continue – until no evidence of them.
How to prevent influenza?
- Avoid contact with persons with manifestations of influenza infection;
- Minimize visits to crowded places;
- Air the room often;
- Wash hands with soap for 20 seconds regularly;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
- Avoid hugs, kisses and handshakes;
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing with a disposable handkerchief, which throw away immediately after use, or cough, sneeze in your hand at the elbow level;
- If a person has symptoms of flu, keep a distance of at least two meters from them;
- Avoid frigorism;
- Follow nutritious high-vitamin diet. During an epidemic period children should take probiotics in order to enhance body resistance to viral infections.
What is to be done if a person is down with influenza?
- In cases of the first signs of the disease a patient should get to bed and call a doctor;
- The patient should stay at home, except when urgent medical care is required;
- Influenza patients are unsafe to others and should be isolated immediately. Their presence in public transport, child-care services and facilities and other crowded places is prohibited.
- The patient should be placed in a separate room or surrounded with a bed screen. Provide them with individual dishware, towel, body hygiene kit;
- Prevent contact of the patient with healthy family members, except those who take care for them;
- The person caring for the patient should wear a four-layer flu mask or a disposable mask which should be changed every 4 hours. After each contact with the patient and the objects used by them, wash hands thoroughly with soap;
- The mask should be either disposable, which is thrown into a rubbish bin, or for multiple usage, which after washing with soap should be thoroughly ironed. In case of permanent contact with the patient, the mask should be changed every 4 hours;
- Patient’s used bedding, clothes should not be armful carried, but in a special container (basket, etc.);
- Air the room several times a day;
- Clean the dwelling premises daily;
- The air in the premises should be of appropriate humidity;
- Use disposable nasal wipes and a bin for used napkins within grasp of the patient;
- Create comfortable conditions for the patient. Rest and bed care is very important for them;
- If a patient has a fever, give them antipyretic drugs (paracetamol or ibuprofen). Then call a doctor;
- Give them a lot of liquids (juice, still water, fruit drink, compote, etc.) before the doctor arrives;
- Cook nutritious high-vitamin food for the patient;
- Do not self-medicate. Adequate therapy for a patient is prescribed only by a doctor!
Urgent medical attention should be sought in cases of the following signs of the disease:
- Accelerated or difficult breathing;
- Blue skin around the mouth, on other areas;
- The presence of hemorrhages (even very small) on the body, nasal or other bleeding;
- High body temperature;
- Patient’s refusal to drink;
- Impossibility to wake up the patient or they are nonreactive for address;
- Superexcitation or convulsions;
- Vomiting, loose stool;
- Complaints of severe headache;
- Lack of urination or tears when crying.
Chief Specialist of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine
in Children Infectious Diseases,
holder of Habilitation degree in Medicine, Prof. S.O. Kramariev