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Did You Know There Are Quick Tests for Infectious Diseases?Influenza virus: Q&A

How is the flu different from the common cold?

The flu is distinguished from the common cold by being more infectious and having more severe symptoms. Also, symptoms of the common cold are dominated by sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, and cough with a fever around 37℃ to 38℃; it does not involve severe systemic symptoms.

When should you get tested for the flu?

Given the connection with treatment, it is strongly advisable to get tested within 48 hours of the time symptoms develop, as this is when the influenza virus is multiplying. The viral load peaks between 24 and 48 hours after the development of symptoms.

What can be done to deal with dehydration?

Hydration is very important for someone with the flu, since a high fever, diarrhea, and vomiting can all cause dehydration, which can be life-threatening. Rather than just drinking water, consuming commercially available products with a good balance of sugars that facilitate absorption, such as rehydration solutions containing sodium and potassium (essential for maintaining water balance in the body) is an effective way to prevent dehydration.

What is the relationship between avian influenza and new strains of the flu?

Influenza viruses have been infecting and spreading through bird populations since long ago, and avian influenza is actually where flu began. For avian influenza to become a new strain of the flu, the virus must mutate within the bodies of birds, becoming a virus that is transmitted easily from person to person. It is also possible for avian influenza to spread to pigs and to then transform into a form that is easily spread to humans, at which point it could become a new strain of the flu that causes an epidemic among people.

Q&A about Infections