What is Influenza?

…..Influenza is a viral infection of the respiratory tract. The virus is spread by respiratory droplets. The incubation period is approximately 1-4 days. In many cases the symptoms may resemble mild febrile illnesses. However, in certain cases, it may lead to complications such as pneumonia.

Where is Influenza Found?

Influenza may occur worldwide, particularly in crowded conditions.

.Symptoms include :

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body ache
  • Headache
  • Nonproductive cough
  • Sore throat


There is no specific treatment for influenza. Antibiotics are used only if there are bacterial complications.

.Who is at high risk and should be vaccinated?

  • People over 65 years old age
  • Those with chronic disease (Lung disease, Asthma, Heart disease, Kidney failure and Diabetes)
  • Health are worker
  • Close contacts of those at high risk of influenza
  • People with compromised immune systems example, Cancer and HIV)
  • 6-18 year olds who are on long term aspirin therapy
  • Traveler to endemic areas

How to prevent Influenza?

…..There is vaccine for influenza which provides partial immunity for a few months up to 1 year. The vaccine’s antigen configuration changes yearly and is based on strains prevalent during the preceding year. The vaccine is contraindicated in those allergic to eggs. Immunity is usually achieved 2 weeks after vaccination. One injection gives protection for one year. Other method of prevention include :

  • Keeping yourself healthy
  • Washing hands before and after eating
  • A good diet
  • Adequate sleep


The side effects of vaccination include :

  • Low grade fever
  • Mild soreness
  • Redness
  • Pain at injection site for 1 or 2 days

For more information please contact the International Travel Medicine Clinic (ITMC) at BNH Hospital

Tel. 02-686-2700 ext. 1165