The consequences of the flu

More than 800,000 people are infected by the flu virus every year. This even leads to fatalities, although in most cases (90%) these are elderly people over the age of 65 or people with underlying conditions. What actually causes the flu? And what can we do to prevent the flu?

What causes the flu?

The virus called the influenza virus causes the flu. Colds and flu are often confused because the symptoms are very similar. Only when there is a cold there is no deer influenza virus. Since this virus is found in snot, saliva and mucus, it can spread very easily through the air and hands. You only become infected if you inhale it or let it enter your mouth or nose in some other way.

The symptoms of the flu

Once you have been infected with the flu, it may take a few days before your body starts to respond. The flu lasts about a week and the incubation period, as mentioned earlier, is about two to three days. The flu virus will spread fairly quickly throughout your body. You may also experience discomfort throughout your body. These are the most well-known flu symptoms:
The flu symptoms

  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Cold shivers all over your body
  • Suffering from muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Little appetite
  • Feeling sick
  • Dry cough


Flu epidemic and flu pandemic

More than 800,000 suffer from the flu every year. It is mainly older people and people with a certain condition who are very susceptible to this disease. These people in particular have the greatest chance of dying. Young children and babies are also more susceptible to illness and are therefore more likely to catch the flu. It is therefore recommended to provide these risk groups with a new flu shot every year.

Flu epidemic

Every year there are several new types of flu from the type A virus. This comes in a form of an epidemic, meaning more people are affected by the disease than normal. Every year a new flu virus is different from the year before, which is why there are people who get the flu every year. The old flu shot simply no longer works and your own immune system is also not resistant to the new variants of the flu virus. Ultimately, your immune system will adapt to the new variant. How long this takes depends on the strength of your immune system.

Flu pandemic

If a new flu virus arises that spreads worldwide and also causes fatalities, it is called a flu pandemic. The most recent examples of this are still bird flu and swine flu. The latest variant infected hundreds of thousands of people and killed more than 2,000. The worst known flu pandemics with the most fatalities so far have been:

  • The Spanish flu: 1918 – 1919 (20 – 100 million deaths)
  • The Asian flu: 1957 (2 million)
  • The Hong Kong Flu: 1968 – 1969 (1 million deaths)


Tips against spreading the flu

When the flu is spread, it is through your hands or the air. The flu virus is found in mucus, saliva and snot. This is spread through sneezing, coughing and also talking.
Tips against spreading through your hands

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap regularly
  • Thoroughly clean objects that are touched regularly. This can vary from a remote control to a door handle.

Tips against airborne spread

  • Use your tissues once and then throw them away.
  • Sneeze and cough in a direction where no one is standing and hold your elbow in front of your mouth.
  • Try to ventilate your house as much as possible


read more

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  • What is a cold?
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