What you should know about flu as the rainy season begins

(Edited Press Release)

The rainy season has come. At times, it would be inevitable to expose yourself to the harsh and abrupt changes in weather—a common factor that may lower your resistance against communicable diseases that spread during this time of the year.

Influenza, more commonly referred to as flu, easily spreads especially during the rainy days. It is a respiratory illness caused by specific viruses that target the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. If it would not be properly contained, it could be a major health risk across the country.

Flu viruses have four types: A, B, C and D. Among these strains, viruses A and B circulate and cause seasonal epidemics. However, in tropical countries like the Philippines, outbreaks are irregular and are occurring throughout the year. Flu, a contagious disease, can easily be transferred that infected patients can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away.

Signs of infection
The symptoms of flu are often mistaken with that of common colds. While these two diseases have similar manifestations, colds is milder than flu. However, complications of flu can lead to bacterial infections and pneumonia—leading to inevitable hospital confinements.

Signs of flu which are rare with common colds include headaches, body pains, and fever. It is imperative for us to be able to distinguish the symptoms of flu and take the necessary precautions to avoid any health complication. Patients are highly encouraged to check their symptoms with their physicians.

Most doctors advise patients who have already experienced flu to still to get vaccinated, as the yearly strains vary. Aside from this, the erratic weather can contribute to the rise of flu-like diseases, with the rainy season and the cold weather presenting the highest occurrence of such cases.

Health warnings
Various government-health agencies have started releasing warnings and education campaigns against flu. One of those is the Department of Health-Cordillera, which has already cautioned the public to take precautionary measures as they have seen a spike in influenza-like illness for the first quarter of this year in its region, compared with last year’s numbers. With a record of almost 500 cases more than last year’s in Cordillera alone, this infectious disease should be a health priority for Filipinos.

To avoid contracting the viral disease, get a flu shot, which should be available at the nearest health facility to you. Keep a distance (about 3 to 6 feet away) from any individual who manifests the symptoms of the infection. If you can’t help it, at least keep proper hygiene by keeping your hands sanitized all the time, especially when you are eating or rubbing your nose. Best of all, keep your resistance high by living a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritious and balanced meals, and taking Vitamin C daily.