ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why We Get Sick With the Flu

Updated on February 8, 2009

A throbbing headache...muscle aches as if you ran a marathon...a fever as high as a horse's... it does not take rocket science to understand how a fever makes you feel. However, if we take a closer look in depth as to why we get sick with the flu, we may surprisingly remain in awe from the marvels of our body...

According, to CDC each year, approximately 200,000 people come down with the flu.Typically the flu affects the most between the months of November and March. To better understand, how we fight off the flu, and all the defensive mechanisms our body overtakes to keep us healthy, we must take a look at how the flu is transmitted in first place.

Typically, the flu is transmitted by inhaling airborne particles containing the flu virus. Such particles are usually inhaled after a sick person coughs or sneezes. Staying away from such sick people may seem easier than said. In reality, such airborne particles may be expelled for up to 3 feet away! It is no wonder, therefore, why sharing small office spaces or the interior of an airplane cabin may make us so susceptible to getting the flu!

However, if you think that avoidance should work, think twice. The flu can also be transmitted by simply touching contaminated surfaces. Such surfaces consist mainly of door knobs, hand rails, keyboards, light switches, desks, tables, faucets and any other objects that are commonly handled by a multitude of  people. All it takes is for you to touch such surfaces and then casually bring your hands to your face, mouth or nose and you may catch the flu easily.

To make matters even worse, people sick with the flu are also able to shed the virus even prior to becoming sick with symptoms suggesting the flu. This makes it very hard to avoid the flu, if not impossible.

So let's say that one person accidentally inhales infected airborne particles upon walking through a hallway where a person sneezed seconds ago. The virus will be inhaled and will quickly make itself at home and try to settle itself comfortably.

However, residing in a human's body may not be an easy task. Quickly, an army of white blood cells in shining armors will prepare for battle. Depending on the individual's age and immune system, the battle may be easy to win or it may be fierce, with the possibility of developing even serious complications.

As the inside turmoil begins, the affected human will shortly thereafter, begin to feel weak and tired. Later in the day, the first symptoms suggesting the flu will appear. These particular symptoms are not casual nor coincidental, rather, they are all carefully and strategically planned just as the most succesful wars in history. As gruesome, yet fascinating as it can be, let's take a look at some common signs and symptoms of the flu and learn to interpret them accordingly:

-One of the very first symptoms to suggest the flu is a raised temperature. This is a strategic effort from our immune system in trying to overcome the enemy. Truth is, by raising the internal temperature of our bodies, what a fever is doing is attempting to make it inhospitable to viruses and bacteria.

-Shivering may be observed in cases where the fever gets high. Such sensation of cold is derived by the fact that the body gives priority to the core temperature and works hard in keeping essential vital organs warm. Shivering arises when bloods vessels near the skin constrict, while blood vessels near vital organs swell.

-Attentive individuals may also notice that their heart rate increases even considerable when having a fever. This is due to an increase in metabolism, the heart rate will be faster and even breathing will increase. This is a normal effort to bring the temperature down when a fever is high, just as a dog pants in hot weather.

-If you are affected by the flu, very likely you have started to excrete from your nose a very thick and sticky discharge, often greenish in color. The color and consistency is not at all casual. Its sticky texture is built to effectively trap the virus and get it expelled. For this very reason, you do not want to recycle used Kleenex: such practice may heighten the risk of reinfecting yourself and other around you.

-Those terrible muscle aches causing severe soreness are another great attempt of the immune system in killing the virus once and for all. The muscles will be working hard and releasing protein, another great way to win the battle. Eating foods rich in protein may be somewhat helpful in reducing the soreness.

-The throbbing head ache results from swollen blood vessels in the head. As mentioned earlier, the body attempts to keep vital body structures warm by causing dilation of the blood vessels, this though may give rise to painful headaches.

-If your flu involves also the gastro-intestinal tract, you may be comforted in learning that this is a great way to fight off the infection. Vomiting causes the virus to be forcefully expelled fro the stomach, while the diarrhea will effectively remove the virus from the intestinal tract in frequent liquid squirts.

As seen, our bodies are truly amazing pieces of engineering. Just as computers, our body's immune systems are equipped with effective anti-virus programs that will ensure our safety and will take care of all impending threats. However, unlike computers, our bodies have not been previously programmed, rather they remain a marvelous testimony of the wonders of life...

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)