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A 21-year-old female asked:

if the influenza virus is widespread in my area is it safe to go out and do normal things?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
Influenza: You should be immunized yearly. If you have not done this, do it now. If you are in contact with people who may be ill, wash your hands frequently. You cannot be guaranteed not to become infected, but you can reduce the risk appreciably with common sense. Stay away from people obviously ill. Good luck.
Dr. J. Lawrence Dohan
Dermatology 57 years experience
Go out. Do normal things. An airplane might crash on your house. While flu can make you sick, it is usually just a nuisance. If you become a recluse you become an invalid. Also get a flu shot.
Dec 25, 2014

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A 41-year-old member asked:

Is it possible to exterminate the flu virus for good?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
No: You may develop immunity to one or more types of influenza virus by having been infected or immunized, but this virus undergoes regular changes in its make-up and the new strain present in the community can infect you even if you are immune to other strains. On the other hand, if you are asking about recovery from infection, when you recover you will rid of that strain of flu virus.
A 32-year-old member asked:

What is the influenza type of virus?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Leander Po
Infectious Disease 18 years experience
Orthomyxoviridae: Influenza family of viruses (3 major ones- a, b, c) belong in the orthomyxoviridae family of single-stranded, segmented RNA viruses. Influenza a infects humans, birds, and certain mammals. It causes all flu pandemics. Influenza b virus is less common than influenza a, though it can infect seals. Influenza c virus infects humans and pigs, but is much less common, causing milder disease.
A 41-year-old member asked:

What are some free remedies for the flu virus?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Greer
Family Medicine 44 years experience
Rest,fluids,soup: The "flu" is a bad bug.We recommend getting vaccinated to prevent this illness.To treat for "free" try increasing fluids , resting (important to prevent spread) and chicken noodle soup.Why? Because if mom, wife, partner makes it for you there is someone trying to make you better and this helps recovery.By the way-where are you seeing flu now? Our surveillance isn't showing this anywhere now.
A 31-year-old member asked:

How do people get infected with the flu virus?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Robert Greer
Family Medicine 44 years experience
Many ways: Droplets.Someone coughs or sneezes in your vicinity and you inhale the virus.Hand touching is also a common method of transmission .Hand washing often is the most effective way to slow transmission.
A 45-year-old member asked:

For how long will the flu virus stay "viable" on objects?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Pulmonary Critical Care 31 years experience
It may: Sstudies have shown that influenza virus can persist in a viable form on "fomites" (door handles, keyboards, telephones etc., ), for up to 8 hours. That is why we always tell people to wash your hands. Other ways to avoid influenza are to get your vaccine annually, and use hand sanitize when in public to reduce transmission.

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Last updated Dec 25, 2014

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