Influenza Outbreaks: How They Spread and How to Protect Yourself


Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a viral respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe illness and can even be fatal in some cases. Every year, influenza outbreaks occur in various parts of the world, causing significant health and economic impacts. In this blog, we will discuss how influenza outbreaks spread and how to protect yourself from this contagious disease.

How Influenza Outbreaks Spread 

Influenza outbreaks usually occur during the winter months in temperate regions, and the virus spreads easily from person to person. The influenza virus can spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, or by touching contaminated surfaces and objects. 

When a person with influenza coughs or sneezes, they release droplets that contain the virus into the air. These droplets can travel up to six feet and infect anyone who inhales them. The virus can also live on surfaces for up to 48 hours, so if a person touches a surface contaminated with the virus and then touches their face, they can become infected. 

Influenza outbreaks can also spread quickly in crowded areas, such as schools, nursing homes, and public transportation. The virus can also spread rapidly among people who live or work in close quarters, such as military barracks, prisons, and cruise ships. 


How to Protect Yourself from Influenza

The most effective way to protect yourself from influenza is to get vaccinated every year. The flu vaccine is typically available around September every year, and is recommended for everyone over the age of six months. The vaccine can reduce your risk of getting the flu and can also reduce the severity of the illness if you do get sick. 

In addition to getting vaccinated, there are several other steps you can take to protect yourself from influenza: 

·        Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

·        Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

·        Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and dispose of tissues immediately after use.

Stay home if you are sick, and avoid close contact with others to prevent the spread of the virus.

 If you do become sick with the flu, there are several things you can do to help alleviate your symptoms and prevent the spread of the virus: 

·        Stay home and rest until you are feeling better.

·        Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

·        Take over-the-counter medications to alleviate symptoms such as fever, cough, and congestion.        

·        Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

·        Wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of the virus.


Influenza outbreaks can have significant health and economic impacts, but there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from this contagious disease. Getting vaccinated every year, washing your hands frequently, and avoiding close contact with sick people are just a few of the ways you can reduce your risk of getting the flu. If you do become sick with the flu, staying home and taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus can help you recover more quickly and protect others from becoming infected.

Seek suggestions from your friends and family regarding the GP they consult. Any doctor friend or medical professional can also recommend a qualified and experienced GPs with particular specialisations.

On DocGenie we have qualified general physicians who can offer quality advice on healthcare packages. Book a GP appointment online today for advice on any health related queries and timely medical care without stepping out.

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