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Influenza

Influenza is a viral disease that can be really troublesome. Typical symptoms include high fever, cough and sore throat. In addition, you usually feel completely exhausted and it hurts the body. Fortunately, for most people, the flu goes away on its own within a few weeks, so treatment is usually not needed.

Influenza in general

Influenza, also known as "true flu" is a contagious viral disease that affects the respiratory tract. It is caused by influenza viruses, and there are different types and strains of these viruses, including influenza A, influenza B, and influenza C. Influenza is common during the annual flu season and spreads easily from person to person.

Symptoms may include:

Influenza symptoms can vary in severity, but typical signs and symptoms include:

  • High fever.

  • Cough.

  • Sore throat.

  • Muscle and joint pain.

  • Fatigue and exhaustion.

  • Headache.

  • Runny or stuffy nose.

  • Chills and feeling feverish.

Influenza can be severe and lead to complications especially in people with weaker immune systems, older adults and infants. Common complications include inflammation of the lungs (pneumonia) and other infections. Influenza can also worsen existing medical conditions.

To reduce the risk of contracting influenza and its spread, annual influenza vaccination is recommended especially for people in risk groups such as the elderly, pregnant women and people with certain chronic diseases. It is also important to follow good hand hygiene and cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze to prevent the spread of infection.

Causes of influenza

Influenza is caused by viruses that spread through the air. Infection usually occurs through close contact with sick individuals or by inhaling virus particles that are spread when someone coughs or sneezes near you. This is why influenza is highly contagious and can easily spread in the community. People with a weakened immune system or underlying health problems are particularly susceptible to infection and may be at greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu. Influenza epidemics can occur in various places around the world and these are recurring events during the flu season.

Sometimes flu can cause pandemics, which are global outbreaks of flu.

Treatment

Treatment for flu varies depending on your state of health and the severity of the disease. Here are some common treatment methods:

  • Flu vaccine: The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season. The vaccine helps the body develop immunity against the most common strains of influenza and reduces the risk of becoming infected or developing serious illness. The vaccination is usually administered as an injection in the upper arm, but in some cases children and young people can receive it as a nasal spray.

  • Symptomatic treatment: If you become infected with influenza and otherwise in good health, the usual treatment is to relieve the symptoms. This may include taking pain relievers to reduce fever and muscle aches, drinking plenty of fluids and resting. Cough medicine can also be used if the cough is bothersome.

  • Antiviral medicines: People who belong to medical risk groups or are pregnant and who get the flu may sometimes need antivirals drug. These drugs, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza), can shorten the duration of the illness and reduce the severity of symptoms if taken early in the course of the illness. They are usually used under the supervision of a doctor.

  • Treatment of complications: If the flu leads to serious complications such as pneumonia or other infections, antibiotics may be prescribed for to treat the underlying infection. These complications can be serious and require medical evaluation and care.

Related tests and health checks

Health checks

Health checks


CBC Test
Complete blood count and B cells test

CBC Test

  • Health check that measures your blood status.
  • Analysis of blood cells that affect your general health.
  • Gives you the conditions to optimize your health.
  • Indication of possible diseases.

159 kr

Inflammation

Inflammation


HCR
High-sensitivity CRP

CRP

  • Measuring your CRP value.
  • Highly sensitive CRP test.
  • Identifies a possible (latent) inflammation.
  • Inflammation test.

99 kr