What is influenza?
Influenza (or flu) is an extremely contagious, acute viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is easily transmitted through coughing and sneezing, as droplets containing live virus are released. Influenza outbreaks occur every year from autumn to early spring, particularly from November to March.
Type A viruses are usually more common than Type B viruses and are associated with more severe influenza outbreaks, whereas Type B infections are usually milder.
When it is necessary to use the influenza test
The influenza test is necessary whenever there are flu symptoms:
• Sore throat.
• Runny nose.
• Nasal congestion.
• Dry cough.
• Pain in the joints, muscles and eyes.
• Pale skin.
• Red and watery eyes.
• Vomiting or diarrhea, especially in children.
Influenza is likely to cause more serious symptoms in pregnant women than in women who are not pregnant. Changes in the immune system, heart and lungs during pregnancy make pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum) more prone to serious illnesses such as influenza virus. Pregnant women with flu are also more likely to have serious problems for their developing baby, including premature delivery.
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