Practice diagnosing and treating flu

2021-03-25 12:00 AM

Influenza viruses are diverse. In general, the viruses that cause influenza are currently classified into 3 main lines called influenza A virus, influenza B virus and influenza C virus.


Influenza is sometimes known as the flu, is a disease caused by respiratory tract infections, easily spread and outbreaks into epidemics in each region. Symptoms are sometimes similar to that of a cold. In most cases, the disease goes away on its own after about a week. However, for those with poor health conditions or weakened immune systems, the disease can cause many dangerous complications. Furthermore, the severity of the disease is not always the same. During the 1918 Spanish outbreak, the flu killed millions of healthy young people. This is the worst influenza pandemic ever recorded worldwide. In the years 1918-1919, in the United States alone, more than half a million people died from influenza, and the number of deaths from this epidemic worldwide was more than 20 million.

In addition to the virus that causes influenza in humans, in the wild there are many viruses that cause influenza in pigs, horses, mammals, birds, poultry ... A new risk has recently arisen due to deformation of virus strains causing influenza. In 1997, for the first time in Hong Kong, it was discovered that a virus causing influenza in chickens had deformed and caused illness in humans. Up to now, there have been small epidemics in many countries around the world because the bird flu virus transforms into a virus that can cause illness in people. There is much debate about the possibility of direct person-to-person transmission. And if this does happen, the flu will become a terrible catastrophe for humans.


Influenza viruses are diverse. In general, the viruses that cause influenza are currently classified into 3 main lines called influenza A virus, influenza B virus, and influenza C virus.

Influenza A virus: is the most dangerous strain of virus, including many viruses that cause influenza in mammals and birds. The majority of human influenza cases are caused by viruses of this strain, with a very high risk of an outbreak.

Influenza B virus: is a strain of virus that can cause influenza in humans and birds, with milder symptoms than influenza A virus but also capable of developing an epidemic.

Influenza C virus: is a strain of virus that only causes influenza in humans. Very mild symptoms, similar to a cold, sometimes have no symptoms at all. This strain of virus did not develop into an epidemic at all.

After catching the flu once, the body becomes immune to the virus that caused the illness. However, because strains of A and B viruses are constantly changing, especially influenza A virus can often create new viruses, people who have had flu can still get sick again when exposed to the virus. New has changed differently than before.

Influenza A virus is more dangerous, often causes more severe symptoms and also makes people more debilitated.

Influenza viruses spread easily and quickly through the air as well as by direct contact with sick people, or sharing objects.


The disease develops rapidly, after infection with the virus, the incubation time is about 1-2 days. During this time, there are no symptoms.

Symptoms typical of onset are:

Shiver, feeling chills.

The fever is about 39 0 C high.


Muscle and joint pain, fatigue.

Ho khan.

Chest pain.

Sore throat.

A stuffy or runny nose.

Anorexia, not delicious.

Nausea or vomiting is sometimes present but is not accompanied by diarrhea.

In most cases, if there are no complications, symptoms will begin to subside after 3 days, and disappear after about 7-10 days. However, fatigue and cough can last for a few weeks or longer. Complications can be acute pneumonia (risk of death) or infection spreading to the larynx, trachea, bronchi, sinuses, middle ear ...

Flu often aggravates some existing illnesses, such as asthma (asthma), chronic bronchitis, chronic ear infections ...

If the body has a dormant Herpes simplex virus infection, the flu can trigger the virus to cause blisters around the mouth.


There is no cure. Treatment is mainly about monitoring and controlling symptoms.

Advise the sick person to get plenty of rest and avoid contact with others. Drink plenty of fluids, eat snacks, and try to digest a few times because the sick person usually does not eat much at a time.

Stay in warm water to relieve a sore throat. A steam boiler can help relieve symptoms in the lungs.

Use paracetamol with appropriate doses to alleviate symptoms, but never give aspirin to patients because it can increase the risk of Reye's syndrome.

Subjects with poor health, children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, people with heart disease, need to be carefully monitored right from the first symptoms. If possible, should be treated in the hospital to be able to promptly handle complications.

While not a cure for the flu, the following medications can help ease the severity and limit the disease's development:

The oral amantadine (Symmetrel) or rimantadine (Flumadin) pill can provide relief from influenza A virus illness but is ineffective against influenza B viruses, and is only effective when taken within 24 hours of release. show symptoms.

The oral oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and the inhaled zanamivir (Relenza) can be effective against both influenza A and B viruses.

When there are signs of superinfection, appropriate antibiotics can be used for treatment.

After recovering from the flu, bronchitis-pneumonia is common in frail or frail elderly, with suspicious symptoms of a cough with sputum, shortness of breath, chest pain, or persistent fever. Treatment with flucloxacillin 500mg orally, 4 times a day.


The flu vaccine is a big challenge for all of humanity. It is one of the few diseases so common that almost no one has ever had it. And many of us often get sick with the flu many times in our lives. The average adult can get the flu 2-3 times a year, while children can get sick up to 10 times a year. Therefore, medical research efforts have focused more on finding a flu vaccine than on finding a cure for the disease.

Vaccines made from dead influenza A and B viruses are up to 70% effective in preventing illness, and much better at preventing serious complications of the disease. However, the current obstacles that cannot be overcome are:

Because of the rapidly changing strains of influenza viruses, the effective vaccines also need to be changed each year to respond properly to the viruses that are causing the illness. In other words, this year's very effective vaccine may not be effective next year, as the viruses that cause the disease have changed. Due to the need for such constant research and change, vaccines cannot be mass-produced at a low cost and timely enough to be supplied to the general public.

Also due to viral changes, the effects of the vaccine cannot last long but be limited to a short time. That way, to effectively prevent the flu, everyone must be vaccinated at least once a year. This makes the immunization solution less viable for the masses, due to the cost and availability of drugs.

Currently, medical studies have not yet solved these problems. As a result, the vaccine remains a preferred solution for a limited number of people, such as those with poor health, weakened immune systems, or high risk of complications.

Meanwhile, the possible solution for everyone is to prevent disease by limiting infection, taking good care of the patient to prevent complications caused by impaired health. Some people recommend using high doses of vitamins, especially vitamin C to enhance resistance. However, this solution has no scientific evidence about its effectiveness.