Achoo! Do you really know much about influenza and pneumonia?

John Miller

Influenza is often simply called _____.

Influenza is an extremely common disease throughout the world. English speakers typically just call it the "flu," and it most often strikes during, you guessed it, flu season.

Both the flu and pneumonia affect which part of the body?

Both the flu and pneumonia affect the body's respiratory system. Symptoms range from annoying sniffles to full-on life-threatening issues of all kinds.

The flu is caused by what?

Influenza is caused by any number of flu viruses. Some strains are much more serious than others.

What's one easy way to battle the flu?

Come on, it's just good behavior. Wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day. Not only will you safeguard your own health, you'll protect your friends and family, too, you filthy animal.

If you're inadvertently exposed to the flu, you'll know within _____ whether you caught the disease.

It can take up to four days for flu to find a foothold in your body and then begin to manifest symptoms. So if you know you've been exposed, don't go traipsing into a hospital where there are a lot of vulnerable people.

The vast majority of children who die from pneumonia live where?

Developing countries often lack the health care facilities for treating pneumonia. As a result, most child deaths from this illness occur in these poorer nations.

Can the flu turn into pneumonia?

You bet. If you aren't careful about managing your case of the flu, it can definitely turn into pneumonia and then, as they say, the game is getting out of hand.

What's the best way to prevent the flu?

Doctors are adamant that patients receive flu vaccines each year. For vulnerable populations, vaccines sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

What causes pneumonia?

Pneumonia refers to the inflammation of the respiratory system. It can be caused by either bacteria or viruses.

How does pneumonia often cause death?

When your lungs fill with fluid, they can't perform their primary job of transferring fresh oxygen to your blood. Without oxygen, your body shuts down and then dies.

What's a common and effective treatment for pneumonia?

To be clear -- pneumonia is not always caused by bacteria. But when it is, antibiotics can be very effective in treating the infection.

Which disease kills more people per year?

Pneumonia is a bonafide reaper of human lives. Each year, it may kill roughly four million people around the globe.

True or false, does pneumonia kill more children under the age of 5 than any other disease?

Pneumonia is such a common word that sometimes its ubiquity masks its horrors. It kills more young children around the world than any other disease -- thousands and thousands each day.

About how many deaths does the flu cause annually?

Numbers are anything but exact, but some researchers think that, worldwide, the flu kills around 400,000 people each year.

The flu is mostly spread through which means?

Cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough! If you have the flu, droplets from your mouth and nose may very well spread the disease to other people.

How easy is it for your doctor to diagnose the flu based on your symptoms alone?

A multitude of illnesses can cause flu-like symptoms. That's why they're called flu-like symptoms. So no, from symptoms alone it's very unlikely that your doctor can say you have the flu.

True or false, can adults spread the flu even before they exhibit symptoms?

Adults are often contagious for a whole day before they show signs of the flu. It's one of the reasons that the flu is so insidious and hard to combat.

A "Spanish" version of ______ killed tens of millions of people in the early 20th century.

The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic is still one of the scariest events in modern history. An exceptionally virulent strain of the flu struck about 500 million people and then killed perhaps 5 percent of the world's entire population. And it happened right on the heels of World War I.

What's one lifestyle choice that can prevent pneumonia?

Smoking is perilous to your health in so many ways, and it can cause pneumonia, too. Quitting smoking is one of the fastest ways to improve your overall health.

Which segment of the population is particularly vulnerable to the effects of the flu?

The very young and very old, as well as anyone with any sort of serious health complications, may be extra vulnerable to the flu.

After coming down with the flu, for how long are most adults contagious?

Typically, adults are still contagious for about a week after the onset of the flu. That's why it's so important to stay home from work or school when you're really sick.

What's one thing that happens to your body during pneumonia?

It's gross, right? The little air sacs in your lungs fill with pus and liquid. As you can probably imagine, this makes it much harder to breathe.

What's one giveaway symptom of pneumonia?

If your lungs are filled with disgusting pus, you're going to be coughing. And coughing. And coughing. Welcome to the hell that is pneumonia.

Pneumonia vaccinations are usually needed _____.

If you opt for a pneumonia vaccination, it's typically needed just once. Sometimes, a booster shot will increase the vaccine's effectiveness.

What's one common way for a doctor to diagnosis pneumonia?

You don't need a fancy scan to detect pneumonia. Your doctor can spot this lung problem using X-rays.

What is "community-acquired" pneumonia?

Pneumonia can definitely be spread from person to person in a home or neighborhood. Community-acquired pneumonia is the most common form of the disease.

True or false, do the majority of flu cases wind up as pneumonia?

It's pretty rare for the flu to escalate to full-blown pneumonia. Take care of yourself when you're sick, and you're much more likely to dodge pneumonia.

What is "walking pneumonia"?

A lot of people with severe pneumonia are bedridden. So those blessed with milder versions are able to get around. They have "walking" pneumonia.

If the flu DOES lead to pneumonia, what's often true?

In the rare event that the flu leads to pneumonia, watch out -- these cases of pneumonia tend to be severe. It's a situation where medical intervention is a very good idea.

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About This Quiz

The flu and pneumonia wreak havoc on human societies. Sometimes, they mean a few sick days. Other times, they kill people by the scores. What do you really know pneumonia and influenza?

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