health care  
 
All about influenza (flu) influenza transmission causes of influenza influenza virus risk factors for influenza complications of influenza symptoms of influenza diagnosis of influenza treatment for influenza influenza prevention influenza vaccine (flu vaccine)

How is influenza diagnosed?

Usually, a doctor will diagnose a case of the flu based on typical symptoms of fever, chills, headaches, cough and body aches. There are a variety of tests that can be used to detect influenza. Rapid (antigen detection) tests detect influenza but do not differentiate between types. Fluorescent antibody tests differentiate several different upper respiratory viruses as well as

differentiate between the types of influenza (A and B). Viral culture is able to differentiate between strains of a specific virus.

Respiratory illness caused by influenza is difficult to distinguish from illness caused by other respiratory pathogens on the basis of symptoms alone. However, during laboratory-confirmed influenza outbreaks, the majority of persons seeking medical advice for upper respiratory tract infections are likely to be infected by influenza. Laboratory confirmation will be required between annual influenza epidemics. Rapid diagnostic tests have recently become available that can be used to detect influenza viruses within 30 minutes. Despite the availability of rapid diagnostic tests, the collection of clinical specimens for viral culture remains critical to provide information regarding circulating influenza subtypes and strains. This is needed to guide decisions regarding influenza treatment and chemoprophylaxis and to formulate vaccine for the coming year.

More information on influenza (flu)

What is influenza (flu)? - Influenza (flu) is a respiratory infection caused by one of the influenza viruses that typically is spread by air or by direct contact.
How is influenza transmitted? - Influenza is spread through contact with droplets from the nose and throat of an infected person during coughing and sneezing.
What causes influenza? - The flu is caused by three types (strains) of viruses - influenza A, B and C. Influenza A is responsible for the deadly influenza pandemics.
What's the influenza virus? - The influenza virus is in a class of viruses known as orthomyoxoviruses, with myxo referring to the fact that they infect mucus membranes.
What're the risk factors for influenza? - All people 50 years of age and older are at increased risk for serious illness with the flu, or in contact with those at high risk, and should receive vaccine.
What're the complications of influenza? - Influenza complications usually arise from bacterial infections of the lower respiratory tract. Pneumonia is the major serious complication of influenza.
What are the symptoms of influenza? - Influenza can cause a variety of symptoms. Typical flu symptoms include headache, fever, chills, cough and body aches. Intestinal symptoms are uncommon.
How is influenza diagnosed? - Diagnosis of influenza (flu) is based on typical symptoms of fever, chills, headaches, cough and body aches. There are a variety of tests to detect influenza.
What is the treatment for influenza? - The main treatment for influenza (flu) is to rest adequately, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid exertion. Amantadine and rimantadine are effective against influenza A.
How to control or prevent influenza? - The preferred treatment for influenza, and most viral infections is prevention. The prevention can be achieved through vaccinations.
What's the influenza vaccine (flu vaccine)? - Vaccination is the principal measure for preventing influenza. Influenza vaccinations are given to millions annually.
Respiratory & lung diseases Mainpage

Topics in respiratory and lung diseases

Lung diseases
Occupational lung diseases
Asthma
Respiratory infections
Respiration disorders
Broncheal diseases
Pleural diseases
Lung transplant
 

Featured articles on respiratory and lung diseases

COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Emphysema
Asbestosis
Lung cancer
Mesothelioma
Silicosis
Pulmonary hypertension
Cystic fibrosis
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
Influenza
Bronchitis
Pneumonia


All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005