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6 Aug 2007 7:55 AM - Dr Roger Morris
  • highly contagious, Types A,B (& rarely C)
  • respiratory infection
  • peak between May & Sep
  •  Incubation 1-3 days after exposure
  • Person infectious 2 days prior to onset of Sx & 5 days after onset (longer in children)
  • Sudden onset fever, chills/shivers, muscle/joint aches
  • headache, dry cough, tiredness/exhaustion, ‘hit by truck’
  • sore throat, nasal congestion
  • most people recover after 7 days
  • transmission via droplet spread from coughing/sneezing
  • shaking hands, contaminated surfaces
  • Treatment – bed rest, fluids, symptomatic treatment
  • New antiviral medications – only effective if taken with first 48 hours. Reduce length of illness and earlier recovery. Relenza suitable for patients 5 years and older. Tamiflu suitable for patients 1 year and older.
  • Most people recover in 1 week without problems. Can lead to complications such as pneumonia in young children, elderly and those with certain chronic concurrent conditions. Can be fatal.