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Flu, or influenza, is a respiratory illness caused by a viral infection. It is highly contagious and is transmitted through droplets released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.

Relieve the symptoms!

What are the symptoms of flu?

Flu is characterized by a sudden fever, a cough (generally dry), aching muscles and joints, headache, sore throat, general unwell feeling, nasal congestion, and runny nose.

The cough may be severe and may last for up to two weeks or more. In most cases, the fever and other symptoms clear up within a week. Some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea, although this is more common in children than in adults.

Most people who get the flu will experience a mild illness and will recover in less than two weeks. However, some people are more likely to develop complications from influenza that could result in hospitalization and, sometimes, death.

Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications.

Flu may also exacerbate chronic health problems. For example, people with asthma may get asthma attacks during a bout of flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may find that their symptoms worsen due to having influenza.

Those at highest risk of complications of serious illness are pregnant women, children under 59 months, elderly people, and patients with chronic illnesses (heart, lung, kidney, metabolic, neurological development, liver, or hematological diseases) or a compromised immune system (due to HIV/AIDS, cancer, chemotherapy, or corticosteroid therapy).

Types of flu virus

There are four types of seasonal flu viruses: A, B, C, and D.

There are four types of seasonal flu virus: A, B, C, and D, with various subtypes, or strains. The types that cause seasonal epidemics are type A and B flu viruses, while the type D virus mainly affects livestock and does not seem to infect or cause illness in humans.

Some strains of the type A flu virus, like the H5N1 strain, also known as “bird flu“, occasionally cross over into humans and cause serious illnesses. Experts trace these strains carefully and try to predict how they might mutate and affect people.


What is the treatment for the flu?

Flu can be treated with antiviral drugs.

Experts recommend rapid treatment for patients who have or are suspected of having flu and have a high risk of serious complications, such as people with asthma, diabetes (including gestational diabetes), or heart failure.
It is important to remember that the flu is a viral infection and therefore cannot be treated with antibiotics.

People who are not at risk or complications should receive symptomatic treatment, i.e. treatment to relieve symptoms such as fever. If their symptoms get worse, they should seek medical advice.


How can fever be prevented?

The most effective way to prevent this illness is through vaccination. It is a good idea to get an annual flu vaccination. The most widely used types of vaccines worldwide are injectable inactivated vaccines.

The WHO recommends annual flu vaccination for:

  • Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy.
  • Children aged 6 months to 5 years.
  • People aged 65 or over.
  • People will chronic illnesses.
  • Health care workers.

As well as vaccination, there are things you can do to help prevent catching the flu:

Lavarse las manos

Washing your hands frequently and drying them properly.

Higiene Respiratoria

Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throwing the tissue in the bin.

Síntomas Fiebre

Staying at home as soon as you notice a fever or other flu symptoms.

Contacto con enfermos

Avoiding contact with sick people.

Contacto con los ojos

Trying not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.

FAQs about flu

How can you distinguish between flu and cold?

The flu and the common cold are respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. Because these two types of diseases have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to distinguish between them b