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Influenza is the name of a virus and the infection it causes.
Although for most people the infection is mild, it can be severe and even deadly in those with compromised immune systems, including infants, the elderly, and people with diseases such as cancer and AIDS.Huge influenza epidemics in the past have led to careful monitoring of new strains of flu by the World Health Organizations and other national and international groups. In the 2009, a new virus known as the H1N1 (“swine flu”) caused international alarm, as healthcare systems attempted to prepare for an epidemic without knowing how to control the virus or how it would run its course. Antivirals were used to help susceptible populations, which were younger than is typical. In its first season, the virus was less severe and caused less mortality than is typical for most influenza outbreaks. Worldwide health organizations continue to keep careful watch, but fortunately, society is much better prepared for a serious flu outbreak than in previous years, due to more supportive medical care available and better ability to more easily coordinate a response to a flu outbreak.
Some nutritional and herbal recommendations for maintaining healthy immune function are also applicable for treating influenza.
Symptoms of influenza include fever, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Other symptoms include headache, chills, dry cough, sore throat, pain when moving the eyes, sneezing, and runny nose. The onset of symptoms is often rapid and intense.
Because family stress has been shown to increase the risk of influenza infection,1 measures to relieve stressful situations may be beneficial.
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2016.