What is influenza?
Influenza, or the seasonal flu, is a common respiratory and lung infection that is easily transmissible among humans. Most people recover from the flu in approximately one week. The flu, however, can be associated with more serious complications such as pneumonia, especially among children, the elderly and people suffering from chronic disease.
How is influenza transmitted?
Influenza is mainly spread from person to person via coughing and sneezing. People often contract the flu by touching objects or surfaces contaminated by the virus and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose. A person can be infectious the day before symptoms appear.
Is influenza treatable?
Certain antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu, can be used to help prevent or to treat influenza. Physicians can also treat the symptoms should the need arise. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. The best protection against influenza is a yearly flu vaccination.