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Influenza & The importance of drinking water
Often people say they have the flu, or influenza, even though what they really have is a bout with the common cold. Influenza is different in that it will attack suddenly. One minute the person is feeling fine and the next minute they are feeling horribly ill and some people, if they are not in good health at the outset can die from being infected with the Influenza virus. Fevers, chills and body aches are characteristics of Influenza and not so much the common cold.
The influenza virus attacks the cells of the respiratory tract especially the lungs. The tract gets swollen and creates a burning sensation. It can cause a type of pneumonia which is an infection of the lungs. It uses the reproductive system of the cells of the respiratory tract to reproduce itself. The damaged cells die within an hour. If people have heart or lung disease the respiratory tract usually heals itself within a few weeks. Young children are more susceptible to this so everyone should be encouraged to wash their hands frequently because this will help to keep the influenza virus at bay.
During this phase of attack the victim needs to rest and take plenty of fluids to help loosen mucus, and help prevent dehydration. Drinking water is important but the water needs to be clean water. If the influenza is exacerbated then the victim could risk becoming much sicker if they have to deal with toxic water too. If the individual is prone to allergies and the water is not toxin-free then complications will arise from drinking this water. What is the likelihood of people drinking contaminated water? Here are some statistics:
- According to the Ralph Nader Research Group, drinking water in the US consists of more than 2100 toxic chemicals that are cancer-causing.
- According to Natural Resources Defense Council, “More than 45 million Americans drank water supplied by systems where the unregulated and potentially deadly contaminant, Cryptosporidium, was found in their raw or treated water."
- According to USA Today, “There's no telling precisely how many Americans get sick each year from drinking bad water... I would say that the cases we learn about are the tip of the iceberg." Deborah Levy; Waterborne - disease Expert, Center for Disease Control
Quite clearly, if a person that is infected with influenza and prone to allergies drinks water that has abrasive toxins or chemicals, they could become very sick or even die. Contamination from drinking water is a very real risk for even healthy people. Therefore it is advisable for people to find out more information about how to purify their drinking water regardless of their current state of health. Research must be done by each individual to make sure they have done everything possible to have good quality drinking water before they become infected with the influenza virus.
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