Every year, like clockwork, the flu invades home and workplace. The flu is not just an unwelcome visitor, but is more serious than you may think. Take this quiz and learn how the flu can ruin your plans during the winter months.
What percentage of the American population gets the flu every year?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 5 to 20 percent of Americans get the flu every year. Health Canada estimates that 10 to 15 percent of Canadians are afflicted with the flu each year.
How many people die from the flu worldwide each year?
The World Health Organization estimates that approximately a quarter of a million to half a million people die of the flu worldwide each year. Approximately 36,000 Americans die from the flu each year.
What is the flu?
The flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus.
How does influenza spread in the body?
Once a virus reaches your body through the respiratory tract, it releases its genetic information into cell nuclei. The virus then replicates and takes over the function of cells.
What happens to respiratory tissue that is attacked by the influenza virus?
The replication process of the flu virus occurs in your respiratory tissue for several days before your immune system kicks into high gear. This leads to inflammation of the respiratory tissue.
What are typical flu symptoms?
Typical flu symptoms may appear similar to cold symptoms, but there are significant differences of degree. Flu symptoms include: fever, body aches, tiredness, coughing, sneezing and runny nose.
How does influenza become life threatening?
Flu symptoms on their own are not life threatening. The flu, however, weakens the immune system, leaving you vulnerable to more serious, life threatening infections.
What are serious complications of the flu?
Some people are at higher risk of developing serious health complications from the flu. Flu-related health complications include bacteria pneumonia, dehydration, sinus problems, ear infections, and worsening of pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and asthma.
The “stomach flu” refers to:
The term “stomach flu” is a misnomer. Vomiting, diarrhea and stomachaches can definitely be caused by a virus, but not the influenza virus.
In North America, which months are the most active flu months?
The flu season in North America runs from November to March, but the most active flu months are typically January and February.
What percentage of families with school-aged children are affected by the flu each year?
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about one third of families with school-aged children are affected with the flu each year. School-aged children are notorious for spreading the flu virus.
How far can flu infected droplets from sneezing or coughing travel?
The flu is highly contagious and is spread from an infected person's coughs and sneezes. Tiny flu-infected droplets from a cough or sneeze can travel up to three feet, or one meter, before landing on a surface.
How quickly will you feel symptoms of the flu after being contaminated?
It takes some time for the virus to replicate in your system and for you to start feeling the symptoms of the flu. This can take one to four days.
When is a person contagious and able to spread the influenza virus?
Adults are contagious from one day before symptoms appear to seven days afterward. Children can be contagious for even longer.
A pandemic involves:
Typically the flu virus stays somewhat localized to the country of origin. On occasion, however, a flu virus can spread worldwide, leading to a pandemic. The most devastating flu pandemic was in 1918.
Who is at greater risk of getting the flu?
Anyone is susceptible to the flu, but certain groups are also at greater risk of experiencing complications related to the flu. Groups at risk include: children under two, pregnant women, adults over 65 years of age and anyone with a chronic health condition.
What medication can treat the flu?
There is no medication that can cure the flu, but antiviral drugs can decrease the duration of the flu. Antiviral drugs include: Symmetrel, Flumadine, Relenza and Tamiflu.
How can you catch the flu?
You can catch the flu from either direct or indirect contact. Someone can directly sneeze or cough germs on you or you can receive germs from touching something an infected person had previously touched, such as a door knob.
You first experience symptoms of the flu when the virus:
You don't experience flu related symptoms right away. Only once the virus enters the bloodstream do you begin to feel early signs of the flu.
What are the different strains of influenza?
Strain A is the most severe and common. Strain B is less common and not as severe. Strain C is the least severe and of no particular concern.
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