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How Is The Flu Spread? PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Image The flu. We've all heard of it, and we've all had it at some point, and we all equally hated it. Having the flu stinks # it makes you nauseated and runny-nosed and achy and miserable. The flu has been around since the beginning of time, but over the years it has changed. New and different strains of the flu are popping up all over the world, and some of them are meaner and scarier than ever before.

The flu is a virus, not a bacteria. To understand how the flu spread and grows you need to understand what it does once it is in a body. The flu is a tiny body of RNA that is protected by a coat of protein. What it does is push its way into healthy cells in order to use that cell's reproductive abilities. Without a host cell, a virus cannot reproduce at all # it would simply die.

Once the flu has gotten into your body and taken over some of your healthy cells, it can make more virus cells, which then take over more of your healthy cells, and so on, and so on, until you are very ill indeed.

But how you get the flu in the first place. The flu can caught in any number of ways, but is most commonly inhaled. If you are anywhere near someone who has it, and they sneeze or cough, you could be in big trouble, flu-wise. Just breathing near a sick person can get you the flu, but coughs and sneezes are powerful catapults that can send the flu virus shooting out at unbelievable speeds and distances.

Once you breathe in the flu virus, it attaches itself inside of you. This could be in your nose, your throat, or your lungs. From there it will reproduce as much as it can before your body finally fends it off.

Coughs and sneezes are not the only way to get the flu, however. You can also get it from touching things that someone with the flu has touched. Telephones and doorknobs are great places for the flu to hang out, waiting for some innocent like you to come along and pick it up. This is why it is important for you to keep your hands washed at all times.
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