Influenza –achallenge conquered

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Year on year passed by with my mother falling ill around winter arrival and I had to rush her to our family doctors for medicines. This cycle used to repeat itself again around change in season from winter to spring summer. I failed to understand, what could be the problem, was it lack of immunity, old age, or something else. That’s when I attended the bloggers meet last week on Influenza awareness where senior doctors Dr.Mukesh Gupta and Dr.UdayPai shared their knowledge on Influenza, its symptoms, treatment and prevention. It is worthwhile to share a bit about the doctors who shared their rich experiences with us. Dr. Mukesh Gupta, an award winning Gynaecologist/ Obstetrician, practicing in Mumbai and holds a rich experience of 16 years in his field and Dr. UdayAnanthPai, a highly qualified pediatrician with 29 years of work experience in strategy and business development, consulting, research and analytics, project management and developing strategies for global pharmaceutical, healthcare and nutrition businesses and products.Also present at the event, was the gorgeous Genelia Deshmukh who shared a few personal experiences.
I am happy to share some interesting learning from the meet which I feel is integral in our fight against Influenza. Good information about influenza is also available on mothersagainstinfluenza which is one of the most credible sites on Influenza.
Basically, Influenza OR the flu is a contagious respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs, which can cause mild to severe illness, and the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
The most common symptoms include: runny nose, a high fever, sore throat and cough, muscle pains, headache, and feeling tired. These symptoms normally begin two days after exposure to the virus and last about a week or less.And in kids,there may be nausea and vomiting, but these are not common in adults.

Influenza is a very contagious disease and its virus can survive for more than 3 dayson most surfaces and spreads easily via coughing and sneezing or even by shaking hands with an infected person.

Influenza is especially prevalent and risky in children up to 5 years and pregnant women, in fact Dr Mukesh specifically mentioned, “Go take a flu vaccine, even before you can get pregnant as only a healthy body can bring a healthy baby, preconception vaccine is important” and  as Dr.UdayPai said, “You yourself can give your child a flu! So moms, please get yourself vaccinated”

A few years back, Swine Flu OR H1N1 as people knew, was an epidemic that created panic among the world’s leading countries and today Swine Flu is not worrisome at all. So is the case with all types of flu, the treatment as well as prevention is simple and safe. To avoid flu, vaccination is the safest and most recommended source of prevention.     

Theflu vaccines easily available in the market. In case, you are looking for a doctor who can guide you better or help with vaccine, visit mothersagainstinfluenza.into get the details of the doctor near you.

There were quite a few misconceptions that were cleared as well; I am outlining a few out here for your information.

Flu vaccination is not required to be taken every year.

Fact: Flu viruses evolve rapidly and the previous year’s vaccine may not protect you this year. New flu vaccines are developed and released every year to keep up with the constantly adapting viruses, hencevaccination is required annually

If you and your child are healthy, you do not need to get the influenza vaccine. 

Fact: Even healthy people are at risk for getting sick from influenza and Vaccination is necessary every year

The flu is nothing more than just a bad cold

Fact: While the symptoms are similar, Influenza should not be confused with a bad cold. Influenza is more serious than the common cold and in mild cases cause high fever, head and body aches, coughing for days, severe fatigue and in some cases it is fatal.

You should not receive the flu vaccine if you’re pregnant. 

Fact: It’s the reverse;Influenza vaccination is the best and safest way for pregnant women to protect themselves and the baby from flu. Pregnant women are more prone to severe illness from the flu, including hospitalizations. Genelia Deshmukh had a word of advice for pregnant women, “No mother should be worrier, she should be a warrior” stay healthy and strong for your child.

I hope you have now a much better knowledge than before on Influenza which is simple to treat as well as prevent. Do give your comments below and for more details visit

"Disclaimer: I attended a discussion on influenza awareness facilitated by Abbott IndiaLimited. Any opinion expressed in this blog is my personal opinion and not the opinion ofAbbott India Limited. Abbott India Limited does not assume any liability for the content of theblog. The blog post is not meant to be a replacement for a doctor consultation, nor is it a medicalrecommendation or prescription of treatment for babies having Influenza. Any reader of this
blog or their family members suffering from Influenza should specifically consult his/her doctorfor the same and follow the suggested course of treatment."

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