From hygiene precautions to injection, you can beat this debilitating condition with a little bit of vigilance, say health experts.

As the steady build-up of heat has begun this month and will peak in May and June, the humidity, coupled with the hot, hazy weather, has resulted in activating several dormant viruses in the soil and in the air.

It is common in this weather to find people suffering from sniffles, coughs, colds, body-ache and moderate to high temperature.

Welcome to influenza season. Influenza or ‘flu’ is a seasonal foe that raises its ugly head every time there is a change in weather. A chill in the air, a sudden spike in mercury levels, a sandstorm, all activate the virus, points out Dr Atul Aundhekar, CEO of iCare clinics, Dubai

The Mayo Clinic defines influenza as a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs. Once flu is in the air, it travels through the air with airborne microbes to affect people who come in contact with it. Open plan offices, doors and knobs of clinics, hospitals, classrooms, being in the vicinity of those who sneeze and cough without holding a handkerchief, are ways that the microbes travel.

“For those who are healthy, young and strong, the virus might cause mild symptoms of cough and cold and low grade fever which can easily be managed by over the counter medicines such as cough syrups, throat lozenges and paracetamol tablets,” said Dr Jayashankar, internal medicine specialist at Aster Hospital, Dubai.
He added that the influenza virus mutates fast and can cause serious complications in some groups of people and in many cases people do have a relapse of symptoms if they do not battle it strongly in the first round. “Influenza can get life-threatening if it gets complicated by pneumonia and meningitis,” said Dr Jayshankar.