Influenza is a viral infection that affects
mainly the nose, throat, bronchi and, occasionally, lungs. Infection usually
lasts for about a week, and is characterized by sudden onset of high fever,
aching muscles, headache and severe malaise, non-productive cough, sore throat
The virus is transmitted easily from person
to person via droplets and small particles produced when infected people cough
or sneeze. Influenza tends to spread rapidly in seasonal epidemics.
Most infected people recover within one to
two weeks without requiring medical treatment. However, in the very young, the
elderly, and those with other serious medical conditions, infection can lead to
severe complications of the underlying condition, pneumonia and death.