By Saqib Majeed

Influenza, or flu, is a highly contagious viral infection. It is one of the most severe illnesses of the winter season. Flu spreads easily from person to person, usually when someone who carries the virus coughs or sneezes.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  1. Number of deaths due to Influenza: 11,164
  2. Deaths per 100,000 population: 3.4
  3. Cause of death rank: 8

Pneumonia is a serious infection or inflammation of the lungs. The air sacs fill with pus and other liquid, blocking oxygen from reaching the bloodstream. If there is too little oxygen in the blood, the body’s cells cannot work properly, which can lead to death.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Influenza and pneumonia deaths

  1. Number of deaths: 59,120
  2. Deaths per 100,000 population: 18.1
  3. Cause of death rank: 8

Influenza is a common cause of pneumonia, especially among younger children, the elderly, pregnant women, or those with certain chronic health conditions or who live in a nursing home. Most cases of flu never lead to pneumonia, but those that do tend to be more severe and deadly.

A person can have the flu more than once, as many different strains of the virus can cause infection. They may belong to one of three different influenza families: A, B or C.

Type A viruses tend to affect adults more severely, while type B viruses most often cause health problems in children. Type C viruses are uncommon.

Symptoms of Influenza can be following:

A headache and diffuse muscle aches and pains are much more common with flu than with pneumonia. a sore throat, stuffy nose, gastrointestinal symptoms (like vomiting or diarrhea), and coughing.

It’s very common for flu symptoms – fever, muscle aches, stuffy nose, sore throat, etc. to arrive very suddenly.

Symptoms of Pneumonia:

A cough is also a major symptom of pneumonia, but it has a different nature. A pneumonia cough tends to be productive, bringing up dark-colored phlegm that may contain blood. Pneumonia is characterized mainly by respiratory symptoms.

Pneumonia in contract with influenza, typically has a less dramatic entry, with symptoms ramping up over several days.

With the Covid-19 pandemic going on it is imperative that you get your flu shot as soon as possible. Flu and Covid-19 symptoms in the beginning can be similar. Since, the start of the second wave of the pandemic and cases of Covid-19 patients rising everyday it is highly recommended that everyone gets their flu shots. This can not only lessen the burden on our hospitals and healthcare workers, who are working tirelessly day and night but also help keep you safe.

All in all, wash your hands and get vaccinated for the flu (and check with your doctor if necessary, about pneumonia vaccinations) to ward off these two diseases.

If you are facing any health-related issues or need any assistance you can always contact Kandakacare. Our professional healthcare workers are fully qualified to assist you at home without risking your health.

We publish new and useful articles every week containing highly useful information about elderly and how to make their lives easier and healthier. If you have an elderly person at home, we advise you to follow our weekly articles on our Kandakacare page and share with your friends.

References:

Flu statistics according to CDC

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/flu.htm

Stats from past seasons

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/past-seasons.html

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