The flu is probably one of the longest known ailments in the world and one of the most famous of them at that too. There is probably a very high probability that each and every individual may have encountered it at least once upon a time in their lives. It is therefore very common from time to time to hear someone say “I think I am coming down with the flu”. The flu is a virus and such, it is obvious that it has no cure, or at least none has been found yet.

The flu has also been able to manifest itself and mutate itself into different strains thereby making it difficult to come up with a cure. The flu has been able to manifest in some mild forms and in some rare occasions it has manifested itself as a very deadly strain with a fatal impact to human kind. The regular flu is one of the milder forms of the flu and one can basically withstand it until it wears off without any life threatening developments. It usually lasts for a period of about one week. However, in the history of mankind, the flu has also been able to present itself in a range of fatal strains with the repercussions of the infections being shocking if not downright overwhelming. When such a fatal strain of the flu occurs, it is known as a pandemic.


A pandemic basically refers to whereby a particular infectious disease has managed to spread through the human population over a wide region e.g. continents. In the history of the world, there have been occurrences of four flu related pandemics. The Spanish flu that occurred between 1918-1919, and was also referred to as purple death, sadly enough, it managed to kill about fifty million people, then in between 1957-58, the Asian flu broke out and with it also came an alarming mortality rate. Between 1968-69 the Hong-Kong flu broke out and between 2009-2010 the swine flu broke out. All these pandemics caused terrible mortalities.

Signs and Symptoms

It should be carefully noted that in most cases the signs of the cold are similar to those of the flu and should therefore not be confused, and whereby one is uncertain, he or she should visit a medic for further diagnosis. Symptoms such as having a fever, consistent sore throat and coughs, having a running nose and headaches, fatigue, chills and generally feeling nauseated are all symptoms of the regular flu.

There are however some alarming signs that one must be on the look out for, such as; seizures, vomiting, chest pains and shortness of breath. These require immediate medical consultation.


Since the flu has no known cure, the best way to go about it is to manage its symptoms till it dies down. It can also be prevented by one getting an annual flu vaccination from medical outlets. Those working in high risk areas such as the health facilities are highly recommended to receive the vaccination.

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