What Is Influenza B?
Influenza B is a type of flu caused by the Influenza Type B virus. It is a viral respiratory infection, similar to the Type A virus. The major differences being while Type A virus inflicts people during winter, the Type B virus may cause infection throughout the year. However, Type B virus can also cause an epidemic outbreak. Unlike the Type A virus, Type B affects only humans.
What Are The Symptoms Of Influenza B?
The symptoms of Type B influenza appear quickly, sometimes overnight and can run up to 5 to 7 days.
Usually, this flu starts with a fever, sometimes as high as 106 degrees F. It is noted that children tend to develop high-grade fever when compared to adults. This is followed by:
- Running nose or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Muscle ache
- While the symptoms subside within a week, it may take some weeks for a cough to disappear.
- If not treated on time, in certain cases, the symptoms may worsen and the patient may develop bronchitis or pneumonia.
- Other rare complications include encephalitis, myositis, and Reye’s syndrome and ear infections.
Sometimes Type B virus causes an irritation in the stomach. Hence, this flu is also called Stomach Flu. Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting are the symptoms associated with this.
What Are The Causes Of Influenza B?
- Influenza B is caused by the Type B virus. Like all flu virus, Type B virus travels through the atmosphere as very tiny moisture droplets.
- When a person comes in contact with this moisture, the virus enters the body through the mucous membrane of nose, eyes and mouth.
- The flu also spreads when germs of an infected person are transferred by way of sneezing, coughing, blood transfusion, sexual contact, etc.
- It is also communicable from mother to foetus.
- Infected needles, faeces and saliva can also spread this infection.
- When you touch objects like keyboard, doors or furniture previously touched by a flu patient, can also cause the flu.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Influenza B?
- Take the seasonal vaccine for Influenza B. Since the virus mutates and changes frequently, you have to take a shot every year.
- Wash your hands with soap or a sanitizer to keep them germ-free. This will inactive any virus you might have acquired by touching infected surfaces or by way of handshakes.
- Use tissues while sneezing or coughing to preventing the droplets from floating into the air.
- Use a nasal spray to relieve congestion in the nose.
- A sore throat can be managed by gargling with warm water to which salt has been added.
- Wear a mask in public places.
- Take rest.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Influenza B?
- If you are down with a bout of flu, do not expose others to it. Stay home and avoid public places like parks, malls and keep a distance from children, pregnant ladies and the elderly.
- Do not take the stress. Studies show that stress is known to decrease immunity, and it is easy for the virus to attack an immunocompromised person.
- Sleep deprivation also makes a person susceptible to the flu. Do not deprive yourself of sleep, as it does not give the body time to repair itself.
- Avoid smoking. Cigarette smoke prevents our body mechanism from naturally cleansing the mucous. It also impairs the immune system making the person susceptible to the illness.
- Refrain from straining yourself and limit physical exercise.
What Are The Best Foods For Influenza B?
- Fluid intake is a must to remain hydrated. Water, juices, soups and herbal teas help to relieve the symptoms. Chicken broth has always been a quick remedy to soothe the throat and act as a natural decongestant. Liquids also help to soothe the stomach symptoms.
- Many fruits packed with immunity boosters will help to keep the flu at bay such as citrus fruits like oranges, sweet lime, grapefruit, tangerine, etc.
- Some fruits like pomegranates, blue berries, cranberries and strawberries contain anthocyanins which have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Vitamins and minerals are also important for quick recovery from sickness: Vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, kale, bell pepper, spinach, and garlic contain flavonoids and antioxidants and are a good source of vitamins, which will help in improving immunity. Foods containing Vitamin B6 and B12 are found to be beneficial. Vitamin B6 occurs in whole grains, meat, spinach, beans, walnuts etc. Vitamin B12 is found in meat, fish, milk, etc.
What Are The Worst Foods For Influenza B?
- Avoid fried food, oily food, alcohol and tobacco. Spicy and oily food is hard to digest and may upset the lining of the stomach during the flu.
- Fast food, caffeine and too much of meat are also to be avoided since they aggravate the inflammatory problems.
- Sugary foods have to be avoided because they may decrease immunity and can cause inflammation.
- In some people, milk increases mucus production. Hence it is better to avoid milk for some days.
What Are The Medicines For Influenza B?
What Are The Tips To Manage Influenza B?
- Following basic sanitation procedures like washing hands thoroughly and avoiding crowded places in the flu season will go a long way in preventing the flu.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle comprising a balanced diet, exercise and sufficient sleep in order to keep the immune system strong.