Suffering From Influenza

November 26, 2012

For a couple of days, I have been sufferred from heavy flu. I never thought before that my last week activities has dropped my stamina. After my aunt's funeral, two days later, I went to my cousin's wedding at Malang. On the way to Malang with my wife by motor bike, our journey was stopped due to heavy rain at Lawang, just about 20 Kms from the destination.

We stucked from a store waiting for the rain to stop. We continued our journey with small drops of rain in our head, but not for a km we stopped again due to heavier rain. Finally, the rain did stop after a long wait at a gas station. The journey that normally takes an hour and half, we took until 3 hours.

It has been a month since last rainfall in my own city of Sidoarjo, that only for 20 minutes. The hot temperature in Sidoarjo everyday is 35 °C (95 °F), so the rain in Lawang was cooled our body. That is the main reason with the flu I was getting.

What is Influenza?

Influenza, an infectious disease caused by a virus of the influenza group. Influenza epidemics have been known since ancient times. An extensive world wide outbreak occurred in 1918-19, resulting in the death of an estimated twenty million people.

There are three distinct influenza virus types, A, B, and C.

  • Influenza A
    It occurs in epidemic cycles every 2 - 4 years. The pandemic of Asian flu in 1957 was caused by a variant of the A virus. The 1968 epidemic of the so called Hong Kong Flu was a new A virus. The outlook was relatively mild compared with those of 1957 and 1968.
  • Influenza B
    The epidemics occur every 4 - 6 years. Influenza B develops slower than Influenza A, but faster than Influenza C.
  • Influenza C
    Rarely produces disease, but can be severe and can cause local epidemics. It usually causes mild disease in children.

The continued struggle with recurring epidemics reflects the ability of the virus to change. The influenza virus probably enters the body through inhalation of droplets discharged from the mouth, or nose of infected person.

After an incubation period of one or two days, the illness appears suddenly with chills, fever, pain behind the eyes, headache, lassitude, prostration, and severe muscular pains. There may also be coughing, congestion of the eyes, sneezing, or bleeding from the nose.

A fairly high fever usually persists for two to three days. The patient ordinarily recovers within a week, but fatigue, depression, and a tendency to perspire easily may persist for one to two weeks. The influenza infection is ordinarily not fatal itself, but death may occur from complications, particularly bacterial pneumonia. The use of antibiotics has decreased deaths from such infections.

Influenza vaccines can prevent illness in about 70% of those immunized. The virus which makes up the vaccine is grown in chick embryos, and then inactivated by formalin. People suffering from heart disease, chronic lung problems, and diabetes should be immunized each winter. But for those who allergic to egg, should not receive the vaccine.

There are no drugs that can cure influenza. Amantadine hydrochloride is sometimes used, along with time honored bed rest, to relieve symptoms. Amantadine does not kill the virus or prevent other person from becoming infected, and it should not be given to children.

The Natural Way of Treatment

Despite of no drugs that can cure influenza, you may relieve the symptoms by using several ways below:

Having Good Rest
Having a good rest does not mean you have to be on a bed for days. You could still do many activities, including go to work like I did.

Sleep may activate the immune system, and having good rest will make our body more comfortable, and boost immunity against diseases. The more quality of sleeping that you have, the more stamina you wil gain. The more stamina your body has, will relieve the influenza symptoms.

Multi-Vitamins
Some doctors would not prescribe vitamins along with antibiotics. It may because your medical records, and some patients with high hypertension are not allowed on taking multi-vitamins. Multi-vitamins might improve your stamina despite all that you did not get from your foods.

Garlic
Based on my previous post about garlic, it has been used as natural stamina booster since many years ago. And garlic also has been used to treat fatigue, preventing and fighting the common cold.

Sunbathe
It is not for intention to get a suntan, but having direct sunlight will get your body more natural vitamin from the Sun. As you know, Sun is the source of vitamin D, especially the Sun light before 9 am. After the first 3 hours in the morning, the Sun light will only burn your skin.







Reference:
Encyclopedia International
Influenza by Harold Neu, M.D.,
Associate Professor of Medicine, and Head, Division of Infectious Diseases, Columbia University.

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