Influenza, a highly infectious disease commonly referred to as flu and affects people of any age. The spread of this disease is common during the cold season. There are different ways of transmission of the Influenza virus, and the most common ones are three. The first mode of transmission of the virus among human beings is through direct contact with an infected person. The second mode of transmission of the flue is through contaminated objects, which contain the virus. Contaminated objects that are commonly referred to as fomites include things like toys for children, doorknobs, etc. The other mode of transmission is through inhalation of aerosols. Inhalation of aerosols is also a mean of respiratory transmission that makes the virus enter the body through the respiratory system. Things that contribute to the transmission of flu include singing, coughing, sneezing, and breathing, all of which cause forceful expulsion of the virus. Droplets of cough in the ground can also transmit the virus to people in the vicinity (Bentley & Ormerod, 1982).
Symptoms and Treatments
Symptoms of flu varies within different people, but the most common symptoms are high fever, aches in joints and muscles, severe headaches, skin around the eyes and in other parts of the body becomes flushed and warm. Other symptoms include red, watery eyes, sore throats, general body weakness and watery discharge from the nose. Other severe symptoms of flu include diarrhea and vomiting if it is gastrointestinal flu. There are different forms of treatments for flu infections, though many people recover from the infections after about two weeks without seeking any form of treatment. The common treatment of flu includes drinking sufficient to prevent dehydration. Acetaminophen intake helps the patient by reducing fever, headache and aches. Aspirin can also relieve the symptoms of flu, though it is not recommended for children under the age of 18 years. Taking cough medicine is also another way of treating the flu symptoms that helps reduce coughing and dry throat (Bentley & Ormerod, 1982). Antiviral treatment helps in the prevention and treatment of influenza by reducing the severity of the infection and its duration. There are other corresponding and alternative treatments such as herbal remedies and homeopathic, though their efficacy and efficiency in treating flu is not widely researched.
Mitigation of Flu
The organization can help mitigate the spread of flu in the society by engaging in practices that seek to reduce the prevalence and incidences of the disease. Some of the things the organization can do to help the situation is promoting good habits within and outside the organization that will help prevent transmission of germs. This is by educating people on the importance of covering their mouths when they cough and making sure that you wash your hands regularly. Another way to mitigate the flu is by making sure that a sick person is not in close contact with the healthy children to prevent further transmission of the disease. They can do this by giving sick leaves to workers having flu in order to prevent contact with other workers, avoid rubbing eyes and nose when one is suffering from flu, avail water, soap, and disinfect surfaces frequently (Silverstein, 1994).
Side Effects of Vaccines
There are many possible questions that might be asked, but the most anticipated ones include whether there are some symptoms a person should watch out for and become concerned if they appear after a vaccination. This question arises from the increasing concerns that all vaccines and treatment prescriptions have side effects, and the organization may want to know in advance so that they can prepare counteractive measures to curb the symptoms. Another question is whether adverse effects of treatment and vaccination demand some people to be prevented from taking vaccines and treatments (May, 2005). This is because some people have severe allergic reactions to some vaccines and treatment, and this seeks to clarify the risks taken when preventing and treating influenza. The third question is how well monitoring programs do their work in making sure that vaccines are safe, and measures are taken to reduce the side effects of the vaccines. This question comes from the need to identify measures taken to make sure the vaccines are safe and that side effects are minimal. The forth question comes from the common myth that vaccines contains live viruses that cause infections to patients. This question is common because people do not understand the concept behind vaccination and preparation of vaccines.
Lessons from Previous Seasons
The lessons learnt from previous flu seasons are useful in making plans for the next season off influenza. The first lesson is that people tend to develop flu fatigue after a flu season and assume that the next season will not bring severe flu infections. The other lesson is the importance of increasing awareness about benefits of vaccination and immunization before the onset of the flu season to prevent rush hours when the flu season comes. The third lesson is the importance of educating people about how beneficial it is to maintain personal hygiene and to work on reducing cases of influenza in their homes. The importance of these three lessons for preparing for the upcoming season is that it will help reduce the cases of infections and people will have sufficient knowledge and immunization to reduce the incidence of flu (Silverstein, Silverstein & Nunn, 2006).
Dealing with a Shortage of Vaccines
The shortage of flu poses a huge challenge to the fight against the seasonal flu and the upcoming season. The situation needs proper handling of recourses. The leadership has to come up with ways of making sure that the vulnerable are able to get a vaccination by giving them a first priority. This is possible by performing a small survey for areas and identifying the places with high prevalence and incidence cases in the previous years. This will help prevent loss of lives in these places. Another way of making sure that the most vulnerable get vaccines is by studying the mortality and the morbidity data of different people and coming up with a summary on the places that need to be given first priority during vaccination. One can also deal with the situation by focusing on other prevention methods like increasing awareness on the role of people in preventing influenza infection in their surroundings (May, 2005). This can be possible by giving educational programs to different people on how good basic practices in helping to reduce the chances of a person becoming infected with the highly infectious virus. This is the best way to deal with a shortage because it does not require a lot of money and the program can reach many people.
An infection control policy that can help the local community prevent infections and deaths is better than cure. This policy states clearly that the cost of preventing infections is cheap as compared to the cost of treating the infection. This policy works if people are able to keep in their minds the basic practices like washing hands, covering your mouth while sneezing or coughing, getting vaccination and treating the symptoms as soon as they appear. This way people themselves are going to be able to do something to help reduce the severity of disease within their local environment and the country at large. Taking the first step in preventing the infection of influenza means that they are ready to prevention programs and other forms of treatments that help them reduce the severity and the duration of the infectious disease.