Can A Viral Flu Kill You?

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Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 14:41 [IST]
 
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Can A Viral Flu Kill You?

When we want to take a sick leave from office we say casually, 'Its nothing, I've just caught the flu'. But the point is, is it alright to take viral flu so lightly. We are not talking about the epidemic flues like Swine Flu or Bird Flu but what we understand as normal cough and cold. We have all heard of people who have died due to influenza. Can a flu really kill you? The shocking answer to this question is 'Yes, it can'.

How A Normal Viral Flu Spreads In The Body?

A viral flu is basically an infection that usually starts in the throat. You get a sore throat, meaning virus has attacked the lining of your throat and nasal passage. What the virus does is to multiply rapidly in the host cells. These cells get enlarged and burst into even more virus infested cells. The flu passes on from one cell to its neighbouring one and it spreads.

The body's mechanism goes into panic mode and starts producing antibodies against the particular virus. However, it takes time for the antibodies to win over the virus if it is already strong. These 3 to 4 days is the duration for which we suffer from a viral.

Why A Flu Can Kill You?

1. First of all, there is no medication available for a viral infection. Having antibiotics prevent you from getting a bacterial infection. A virus can only be ousted by your own defense mechanism after it has run its course.

2. In case you have any permanent health condition along with the symptoms of flu that weakens your defense mechanism, then your case becomes critical. This is because you are totally dependent on your not-so-good immunity to fight the viral infection. If you are diabetic or anemic, this could take a long time.

3. Every year new strains of flu are produced due to mutation. Your body might have learned to fight one kind of flu virus last year. The next year a mutant strain of that virus will come back to haunt you. The antibodies that worked against the old virus will not work against the mutant breed. Your body will have to work hard to produce new types of antibodies.

4. The symptom of normal flu are same as the symptoms of killer flues like Swine flu and Bird flu. You can easily mistake Swine flu as just cold. It is only when an epidemic strikes that we go into panic mode.

Viral diseases are complicated to treat because there is nothing in modern medicine to treat them. We have only developed vaccinations against viral flues but flues will continue to survive by mutation. So, you can never be too careful when it comes to a flu.

Topics: flu, viral disease
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