What is Flu? / Symptoms
Influenza or the flu is a viral respiratory tract infection that has the ability to land its viruses and infect the nose, throat, and, more often than not, the lungs. Classically, the flu presents with cough or cold almost universally accompanied by a fever.
Flu variation with regard to age
Unlike some other infections, flu does not take into account age and can spread in people of all ages. However, the underlying process of laying out and the tendency to cause severe infections vary with respect to age. A study published by Clinical Infectious Diseases under Oxford Academy reveals the percentage of annual attendees of flu in the United States. From 3% to as high as 11% of people are victims of the flu in each season and the figure averages out to rest at 8% cases yearly.
Clinical Case Studies
The CID study further highlighted the age groups affected by influenza. It is clear that children are odds-on to catch the flu and fall ill from it. However, on the other end of the rope, adults, specifically, who have lived through 65 years or more are least likely to get sick from the flu. The average data in the research shows a gradual decline in the percentage of getting infected as the age value gets higher. It is obvious that as people grow old, they develop a stronger immune system with the least vulnerability to the flu. Following is the Attack rate of influenza in different age groups. 0 to 17 years (Children) are 9.3%, 18 to 64 years (adults) are 8.8% and 65 years and older are at 3.9% chance of being a victim to the flu.
Flu in Children
In children and toddlers, it is a little tougher to identify the flu but often there are instances when there is headache, muscle ache, and a general feeling of fatigue. It can be difficult to determine whether a child has a common cold or influenza. The only certain way to know is through the tests. Most of the parents make that diagnosis based on the clinical symptoms. If a child is developing the above-mentioned symptoms at a time when influenza is prevalent in the community, it is very likely that he/she has the flu. At most children hospitals around the globe, there are two major populations of child patients at risk of either contracting the flu or worse yet, suffering the severe illness associated with the flu and those two populations are the youngest children typically under the pre-school age (0 to 5 years) and patients with some secondary chronic illness, for instance, a child with asthma prior to flu. The fruitful prevention from flu can be achieved at home. The mainstay of therapy around the treatment of flu are fever control and hydration. Keeping these under control can save a visit to the doctor.
Flu in Elderly
People at the age of 65 or more are the least likely to get infected with the virus but generally, older people have a less immune response to vaccines like influenza. However, higher doses of the flu vaccine are now given to people in that age group. A group of scientists at the UH Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine and Global health has been involved in studying such cases. According to their studies, it has led to a 24% decrease in hospitalizations, deaths, and severe disease.
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Frequently Answer Questions ( FAQ’s )
Which age group does influenza affect the most?
Children, specifically in the pre-school age, are most likely to get infected by the flu.
Can a virus be age-specific?
The age behavior evidence for the flu is comparatively lower than its continuous activeness throughout the year.
How many flu variations are there?
There are 4 commonly known variations of influenza. Commonly categorized as A, B, C, and D
How long is flu contagious?
The initial 3 to 4 days is when the flu is most vulnerable to spreading however in the case of adults the virus can be spread ranging from 5 to 7 days.