It is estimated that there will soon be another wave of this disease in the cooler winter months when the virus will be more active. The initial event in influenza is infection of the respiratory epithelium with influenza virus acquired from respiratory secretions of acutely infected individuals. In all likelihood, transmission occurs via aerosols generated by coughs and sneezes, although hand-to-hand contact and other personal contact may help in transmission Influenza is an illness characterized by the abrupt onset of symptoms such as headache, feverishness, chills, body ache, or malaise, and accompanying respiratory tract signs, particularly cough and sore throat. It can range from a mild, afebrile respiratory illness similar to the common cold to severe weakness with relatively few respiratory complaints. In most of the cases, the patient has a fever, with temperatures of 38° to 41°C (100.4° to 105.8°F). A rapid temperature rise within the first 24 h of illness is generally followed by a gradual drop in temperature over a 2 to 3-day period, although, sometimes, the fever may last for as long as a week. Patients report a feverish feeling and chilliness, but true rigors are rare. Headache, either generalized or frontal, is often particularly troublesome. Muscular aches may involve any part of the body but are most common in the legs and lower back. Joint pains may also develop. Respiratory complaints often become more prominent as systemic symptoms subside. Many patients have a sore throat or persistent cough, which may last for a week or more. Swine flu may have all the above features. However, gastro intestinal symptoms like diarrhea may also be seen. When a regular flu takes a turn for the worse, with fever that does not subside, or when a diarrhea comes on or the patient develops respiratory distress one must consider the possibility of swine flu.
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