Influenza , commonly called the flu , is a respiratory illness that affects the nose , throat and lungs . It is caused by a virus that is easily transmitted from person to person . Seasonal influenza is an annual influenza that affects people in Canada during the winter , between November and April .
seasonal influenza viruses change slightly from year to year .
Various strains of influenza virus circulating around the world every year and new strains can emerge and spread . Most healthy people recover from influenza without severe complications . As with other viral diseases , antibiotics do not work against influenza viruses .
Antiviral drugs can be used for the treatment or prevention of influenza .
Influenza lowers the body’s ability to fight other infections . This can lead to bacterial infections , such as pneumonia , and even death , especially in the elderly , children ( 6-59 months ) , pregnant women , Aboriginal people , and people with chronic medical conditions .
How Widespread influenza occurred
Influenza spreads rapidly among people . The virus is transmitted from person to person when an infected person coughs , sneezes or talks . Small drops of water ( droplets ) containing the virus can get into the eyes , nose or mouth of someone close to him .
Viruses can live on hands and then passed to the surface through touch . The virus can live on hard surfaces such as door handles , telephones , lights , computer keyboards , desks up to 48 hours , and on soft surfaces such as clothes for 8-10 hours .
Infection can occur when people touch surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching their own mouth , nose or eyes before washing their hands .
People typically develop symptoms of influenza within four days after infection .
People contagious for seven days after symptoms begin . Children, especially young children , people with weakened immune systems and those with severe disease may be infectious for a longer period , ie, up to 10 days .