What is influenza?Influenza is a virus which causes cough or sore throat accompanied by a fever. Thisvirus is spread from person-to-person through saliva and mucus droplets often formedwhen coughing or sneezing. These droplets can also contaminate surfaces frequentlytouched, such as doorknobs, doors, and countertops. Sharing items like mobile andlaptops can also spread the virus.Types:Three types of flu viruses exist-Influenza 1-Influenza 2-Influenza 3Types A and B viruses cause seasonal epidemics that hit the United States and Europe virtually every winter. The type C influenza virus causes mild respiratory illness and is not responsible for outbreaks.Causes:Flu viruses travel through the air in droplets when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes or talks. You can inhale the droplets directly, or you can pick up the germs from an object — such as a telephone or computer keyboard — and then transfer them to your eyes, nose or mouth.People with the virus are likely contagious from the day or so before symptoms first appear until about five days after symptoms begin, though sometimes people are contagious for as long as 10 days after symptoms appear. Children and people with weakened immune systems may be contagious for a slightly longer time.Influenza viruses are constantly changing, with new strains appearing regularly. If you've had influenza in the past, your body has already made antibodies to fight that particular strain of the virus. If future influenza viruses are similar to those you've encountered before, either by having the disease or by vaccination, those antibodies may prevent infection or lessen its severity.But antibodies against flu viruses you've encountered in the past can't protect you from new influenza subtypes that can be very different immunologically from what you had before.Symptoms:Confusing flu with a bad cold is common. Flu and cold symptoms may both include a runny/blocked nose, sore throat, and cough.To help you tell them apart, below are some symptoms of flu that are different from a heavy cold:-high temperature-cold sweats and shivers-headache-aching joints and limbs-fatigue, feeling exhausted*Early symptoms of flu:Often, fatigue is one of the earliest signs of flu and cold. With flu, the fatigue is often more extreme. Other early symptoms can include cough, sore throat, fever, body ache, chills, and gastrointestinal Changes.Diagnosis:Since the symptoms of an influenza infection are different from the common cold, the diagnosis can be made fairly quickly. Your doctor will be able to tell that you have the flu if you have at least some or most of these symptoms:aches and pains everywhere, especially in the back and legs-bad headache--burning sensation in the chest-dry cough at first, then bringing up sputum-high fever-nausea and possible vomiting-sore throat-runny or stuffy noseRole Of Homeopathy In Influenza:It is evident that homeopathic medicines provide very good results in treating as well as preventing the disease called flu or influenza. ... Some of the important flu remedies are Aconite, Belladona, Bryonia, Rhus Toxicodendron, Gelsemium etc. It should be noted that patients should avoid self medication.Foods to eat:Food is what gives your body the energy and nutrients it needs to function. Such effects are equally vital when you have the flu. Still, it’s all about eating the right foods for your condition.Consider eating the following foods when you have the flu.1. BrothWhether you prefer chicken, beef, or vegetable, broth is one of the best things you can eat when you have the flu. You can eat it as soon as your symptoms begin and until you have fully recovered.Broth helps prevent dehydration, and the warm elements can help soothe a sore throat and relieve congestion.2. Chicken soupChicken soup combines the benefits of broth along with additional ingredients. Cut-up chicken provides your body with iron and protein, and you’ll also gain nutrients from carrots, herbs, and celery.You can eat chicken soup throughout the duration of the flu to help keep you hydrated and satiated; just be sure to watch the salt content.3. GarlicWhile you might think of garlic as a food-flavoring agent, it’s actually been used in alternative medicine for a variety of ailments for centuries. One study of garlic supplements in adults with the flu found enhanced immunity and reduced symptom severity.You don’t necessarily have to take supplements, though. Eating raw garlic may also be beneficial. Due to the immune-enhancing effects, consider eating garlic at the first signs of the flu.4. YogurtYogurt with live cultures not only can help soothe a sore throat but can also boost your immune system, according to a study of mice reported in the journal International Immunopharmacology. Yogurt also contains protein.You can eat yogurt while your throat is sore, but just be sure to choose whole yogurts without any added sugars.5. Vitamin C–containing fruitsVitamin C is an important nutrient to help boost your immune system, which is especially important when you’re sick. While supplements can help, your body can absorb nutrients like vitamin C more effectively from the foods you eat.Consider snacking on vitamin C–rich fruits while you have the flu. Some fruits high in vitamin C include strawberries, tomatoes, and citrus fruits.6. Leafy greensSpinach, kale, and other leafy greens can also help boost your immune system when you have the flu. They have both vitamin C and vitamin E, another immune-enhancing nutrient.Consider combining leafy greens with fruit in a smoothie, or eat them raw with a drizzle of lemon and olive oil. It’s best to eat these immune-boosting foods throughout the duration of your illness.7. BroccoliBroccoli is a nutrient powerhouse that can benefit your body when you have the flu. Eating just one serving will provide immune-boosting vitamins C and E, along with calcium and fiber.Consider eating broccoli when your appetite returns toward the middle or end of the flu. You can also eat broccoli soup; just remember to check the sodium content.8. OatmealWhen you’re sick, a hot bowl of oatmeal can be a soothing, nutritious food choice. Oatmeal, like other whole grains, is also a natural source of immune-boosting vitamin E. It also contains polyphenol antioxidants as well as immune-strengthening beta-glucan fiber.Choose whole oats for the most benefits.9. SpicesToward the end of the flu, you might have increased sinus and chest congestion. Certain spices, such as pepper and horseradish, can help break up congestion so you can breathe better. However, avoid spicy foods when you have a sore throat.