Influenza, or flu, is an acute infectious disease of the respiratory tract which is caused by the influenza virus. The disease is usually transmitted via sneezing and coughing as well as through direct contact with the ill person. This makes it one of the most widespread and dangerous infectious diseases. Moreover, the risk of catching influenza increases in public places, e.g. at work, school or public transport. Unless a person has a strong and resistant immune system, the chances of getting ill are very high. The symptoms of influenza are quite painful and recovery can take a long time. In the absence of a timely treatment, complications and consequences of influenza can be unpredictable, in some cases even leading to death.
The symptoms of influenza are quite easy to recognize. The following ones are the most common.