What is Influenza?

Influenza, commonly known as ‘Flu’, is a viral infection. The flu attacks the lungs, nose, and throat. This flu is an infectious disease which is caused by an influenza virus. This virus spreads through the air from cough and sneezes. This virus can also spread by touching the mouth and then the eyes with the same infectious hands. Washing hands frequently reduces the risk of infection, because the virus is inactivated by soap. Influenza can also affect other animals like pigs, birds, and horses.


Flu is easily confused with a bad cold. Mentioned below are a few symptoms which differentiate flu from cold:

  • High fever.
  • Muscle pain: aching joints and limbs.
  • Cold sweats and shivers.
  • Fatigue.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.



Influenza is caused by influenza virus and spreads from one person to another through the air.


Generally, Influenza is not a serious condition, but for some people it can become a serious health issue. In elderly people, babies or young children, pregnant women, and people with long standing illnesses, flu can cause the following:

  • Weakening the immune system.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Bacterial pneumonia.
  • Ear infection.


Following are some measures that can be taken to prevent influenza

  • Getting vaccinated every year.
  • Washing hands.
  • Covering your mouth while sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid touching eyes.
  • Keeping yourself hydrated by increasing fluid intake.


How is it diagnosed?

It is difficult to diagnose Influenza on the basis of a clinical criteria. There are many overlapping symptoms produced by virus. However, our doctor at Medanta might use the following methods to d...

How is it treated?

There are very less treatment options available for influenza, and antibiotics have no effect on the infection. There are some antiviral medications which are effective but can only be useful if given early.


  • Antivirals

    There are two types of Antiviral drugs against influenza which are neuraminidase inhibitors and M2 protein inhibitors. There is nothing more than bed rest, and drinking water and fluids to treat the flu. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication. They can be effective for seasonal influenza. They are taken within 48 hours of flu symptoms.

When do I contact the doctor?

Consult a doctor, if you have high fever which continues for more than 3 days, along with persistent muscle pain, and you also find it harder to breathe.

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How does Medanta provide care?


Consult with experienced doctors

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