Influenza – Update

As you know Influenza is widespread in Arizona as well as in most of the United States. What you may not know is that there are at least 2 different influenza A strains (H1N1 and H3N2) as well as more influenza B activity than usual.  This is the most influenza that I have seen since I began practicing.  I want to reinforce that there are many opportunities to get sick this cold and Flu season.  Many of you tend to call every illness flu as do many Doctors.  Influenza is a respiratory virus and does not have stomach  or intestinal symptoms.  We are still seeing RSV as well as the common cold or the Rhinovirus.

It is interesting to contemplate the cause of the seasonal variation or occurrence of influenza outbreaks.  In the US influenza normal occurs between November and March.  The duration of the flu out break is normally 2 months and we are only 1 month into this years season.  The incubation period for influenza after exposure is 2 days and the peak shedding of the virus is for the first 3 days of the illness.  You may continue to shed the virus for 5-7 days after you contract the influenza virus.

It is believed that in the Northern Hemisphere that influenza in more active with the lower absolute humidity that is typically seen in the winter.  Also with the warmer temperatures seen in home and workplaces the virus will thrive.  Trying to keep your relative humidity in your home at or above 40% may be helpful.  Keeping your mucous membranes moist will help as well.

Review the influenza links that I have posted before.

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