Acute respiratory infections (ARI) are a group of diseases that are caused by a variety of pathogens, transmitted by airborne droplets and characterized by acute damage to the human respiratory system. ARIs include influenza, parainfluenza, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial, rhinovirus infections, etc. It sometimes helps to have them:

Influenza is one of the acute respiratory infections caused by the influenza virus, with the highest number of complications.

Influenza pathogens are three types of influenza virus (type A, type B and type C). All three types of influenza virus belong to the group of paramyxoviruses, which however are very different in structure and therefore immunity against one type of virus “does not work” against another type of virus. In addition, viruses of the same type (especially type A) are capable of changing rapidly and changing their structure. As a result of this process, new forms of influenza viruses, unknown to our immune system, form every year. All age groups of people are susceptible to influenza.

The maximum incidence in the autumn-spring and winter months is associated with hypothermia, which contributes to the development of these diseases as much as possible. High risk groups are children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with chronic heart and lung diseases.

The source of infection is a person with a clinically pronounced or a sterile form of the disease. Infection is transmitted by airborne droplets and through contaminated hands or objects with respiratory viruses on them.

The main symptoms of ARI are runny nose, cough, sneezing, headache, sore throat, fatigue, increased body temperature.

Influenza Clinic. The incubation period of influenza is very short, from a few hours to 2 to 3 days.

All types of influenza virus have a great affinity for the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, where the primary reproduction of the virus occurs. Symptoms of influenza grow rapidly: after a scratchy throat, sneezing, a high body temperature (up to 40 ° C), malaise, severe muscle and headaches appear. On the following days, the persisting fever is followed by a dry, high-pitched cough accompanied by pain in the sternum. The dry cough gradually becomes a wet, thoracic cough. Regression of flu symptoms, in the uncomplicated course of the disease is observed on day 5-6.

The respiratory system may develop bronchitis and pneumonia (rarely develops severe hemorrhagic pneumonia, caused by the multiplication of the virus in the lung tissues). Children with influenza can develop viral encephalitis or meningitis.

Immunity after the disease is strictly typospecific, for example, to the influenza virus, parainfluenza, rhinovirus. Therefore, the same person may fall ill with ARI up to 5-7 times during the year.

The traditional and most effective way to prevent influenza is vaccination, which takes place every year from September to November. First of all, vaccination is recommended for at-risk groups.

For reference. The contingents to be vaccinated are: persons belonging to the group of high risk of “unfavorable consequences of flu” (children and adults with chronic diseases, persons older than 65 years, children from 6 months to 3 years, pregnant women); persons from the group of high risk of flu infection (medical workers, pupils and children attending preschool institutions, pupils and students of secondary and higher educational institutions, teachers and tutors of schools and kindergartens; persons engaged in life support of the city).

Prevention of ARI consists of general health improvement, strengthening the body and stimulating immunity through hardening, exercise, full, rich in vitamins food, and at the end of winter and beginning of spring – moderate reception of vitamin preparations. It is necessary to take walks in the fresh air as often as possible, especially for children and the elderly, in parks, squares (walking with the right regulation of breathing increases pulmonary ventilation, improves blood circulation, hardens the body).

Attention parents!

The incidence of acute respiratory infections among children is 4-5 times higher than among adults. This can be explained by age-related imperfection of immune and anatomo-physiological mechanisms ensuring protection of children’s bodies. Moreover, children from birth to 5 years have a more severe course of the disease, with the risk of complications. Children with signs of acute respiratory infection should stay at home and not go to preschools, schools, after-school clubs and sections, entertainment centers.

In order to reduce the risk of occurrence and spread of ARI it is necessary to follow a number of simple rules:

it is recommended to limit attendance at public events, especially those that take place in closed rooms;
Avoid close contact with people displaying symptoms of ARI;
Ventilate the room as often as possible and wet clean it (special attention should be paid to the surfaces you often come into contact with: tables, chairs, door handles, etc.)
Follow “respiratory etiquette.”