The name “influenza” originated in 15 century Italy, from an epidemic attributed to the “influence of the stars. “The first pandemic or worldwide epidemic was in 1580. At least four pandemics of influenza occurred in the 19the century, and three occurred in the 20 century.
The pandemic of “Spanish “influenza in 1918-1919 caused an estimated 21 million deaths worldwide. The first pandemic of the 21stcentury occurred in 2009-10.
Influenza is commonly known as the flu. It is a very common viral disease of the upper respiratory tract. It is caused by 3 types of influenza virus. These are mainly A, B, C. These viruses are of the family of Orthomyxoviridae. Infection with type B influenza is usually milder than with type A. Influenza C is common but rarely causes disease. It easily infects swine.
Three types of hemagglutinin in humans (H1, H2, and H3) have a role in virus attachment to cells. Two types of neuraminidase (N1 and N2 ) have a role in virus penetration into cells. Diseases are mostly caused by influenza A.
Seasonal Variation of Influenza Virus
Although influenza A which is called the H1N1 virus predominated through mid-January, as the season progressed.
- An interesting fact is that H and N in H1N1 derive their name through further categorization of the Influenza A viruses. The subtypes are determined by the antigenicity of the surface glycoproteins, the hemagglutinin(H), and neuraminidase(N).
- Avian influenza was first identified in Italy in 1878 and was initially known as the fowl
- Avian influenza can be traced to five host-specific virus groups i. e. ancient equine, recent equine, gull, swine, and human.
This infection in birds caused by avian strains of influenza A. The natural reservoir of the virus is wild waterbirds in which the infection is generally avirulent, so it is also considered as “low pathogenic avian influenza virus”(LPAIV) strains causing little, or no evident symptoms. These LPAIV strains may be readily transmitted to poultry species (chickens, turkeys) which are more susceptible to infection
Influenza virus mainly contains a particle which is also called a virion. This virus acts as a foreign body, and most of the antibodies are made against these antigens.
This flu virus can easily spread through contact and is transmitted from person to person by droplets released after sneezing and coughing. It can also be transmitted by direct contact i. e. by touching
door handles and then touching the eyes or nose. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
A most important thing is to note that most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 days after becoming sick. Children can transmit influenza to others for 10 or more days.
Influenza viruses mainly infect epithelial cells in the upper respiratory tract. In severe cases, this virus can reach the lungs and cause pneumonia.
The incubation period for influenza is usually 2 days but can vary from 1 to 4 days. Influenza illness can vary from asymptomatic infection to severe.
Symptoms include (this is also called “classic influenza”)
- Dry cough
- Extreme tiredness
- High fever (usually 101-10 degrees Celsius). The onset of fever is often so abrupt that the exact hour is recalled by the patient.
- Muscle aches
- Muscular pains affect the back muscles.
- Nausea, vomiting, and
- Diarrhea, eye pain and
- Sensitivity to light
- Non-productive cough
- Running nose or stuffy nose
- Severe fatigue
- Sore throat
- Stomach symptoms like
- Systemic Symptoms and fever usually last from 2 to 3 days, rarely more than 5 days. They may be decreased over time.
Aspirin should not be used for infants, children, or teenagers because they may be at a risk
for contraction Reye syndrome (this is associated with severe vomiting and confusion, which may progress to coma due to swelling of the brain, following influenza infection.
The complication of Flu include
- Bacterial pneumonia
- Ear infections
- Sinus infections
- Worsening of chronic
- Bronchitis and other chronic pulmonary(lung) disease
- Worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma or
- Diabetes, inflammation of the heart
The virus can be isolated from the throat and nasopharyngeal swabs obtained within 3 days of onset of illness. A minimum of 48 hours is required to demonstrate the virus, and 1 to 2 additional days to identify the virus type. Complement fixation and hemagglutinin inhibition are the serologic tests that are most commonly used.
- Clean surfaces frequently.
- Wash your hands
- Wear a facemask.
Homeopathic Remedies for Influenza
Homeopathic medicines for flu is given below:
Take Gelsemium if you have heavy, droopy eyes, feel weak and tired, with aches and chills up and down your back, and want to be alone. In general, there is a great tiredness. Paralysis of various groups of muscles around the eyes, throat, chest, larynx, hands, and feet. Lack of muscular co-ordination. There is great sneezing, fullness at the nose. Watery discharge from the nose. There is acute coryza with dull headache and fever. Moderate fever is seen with trembling. The patient wants to be held because he shakes so much. Pulse slow, full, soft, compressible, Chills up and down. Chill, without thirst, along the spine. Headache may begin at the back of the neck and skull. A hot head and face, but with burning headache without any real sense of thirst.
- At 10 am
- Bad news
- Before a thunderstorm
- Damp weather
- Thinking of his disease
- Bending forward
- Continuous movement
Dosage: Take one dose of Gelsemium 12x or 6c three to four times a day for up to eight doses.
It is a very good remedy for low fevers with extreme prostration. There is an indescribable sick feeling. It is a specific remedy for epidemic influenza. All the secretions are offensive- like breath, stool, urine, sweat. Chills, with pains and soreness all over the body. Heat all over, with occasional chills. Chill around 11 am.
- Humid heat
Dosage-Give 30 potencies 3 times a day.
It is a good remedy if symptoms include a headache, cough, constipation, thirst, and irritability. This remedy is often prescribed when a person feels very hot and dry, is a thirst for cold drinks, and experience aching all over. The patient feels grumpy and feels miserable with the flu. The patient has chills with external coldness, dry cough. The patient has internal heat. Sour sweat after slight exertion. The patient has an easy, profuse perspiration. The patient has a headache, muscle aches, and cough or stomach pain. The patient has a dry mouth with a thirst for long cold drinks.
- Any motion
- Hot weather
- Cold drinks
- Lying on the painful side
Dosage-Take one dose of Bryonia 3OX or 9C three to four times a day for up to three days.
4- Eupatorium perfoliatum
It is a perfect remedy for fever, where there is muscle pain along with fever. It is adapted for worn-out constitutions which are always tired. Perspiration relieves all symptoms except headache,
Chill between 7 to 9 a. m., preceded by thirst, great soreness, and aching in bones. There is nausea, vomiting of bile at eh end of chills or hot stage along with throbbing headache. Knows chills are coming on because he cannot drink enough. There is a deep ache in the bones and muscles along with great exhaustion. Desires cold food and drinks, which are vomited as they warm in the stomach. The patient has a yellow tongue. There is tremendous aching as if the bone is broken.
Dosage: Give 200 doses 3 times a day for 6 days.
5- Ferrum phos
It is a remedy for the early stages of fever, where there is a great weakness. The patient is very nervous, sensitive, anemic with flushing of the face so the patient has rosy cheeks. Pulse soft and flowing, nor anxious restlessness is marked. Chill daily at 1 p. m. It is given in the early stage of fever. The patient has sensitive eyes and a strong thirst with vomiting after eating.
- At night and 4 to 6 am.
- Right side
Dosage-Given in 200 potencies 3 times a day for 5 days.