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Summarize the following passage in about 100 words.

 
Influenza, or 'the flu' is an infection of the lungs and the surrounding areas. This infection of the respiratory tract is caused by the influenza virus. The virus usually spreads during the winter in temperate climates. When many people catch the flu at the same time, the situation is called a flu epidemic.

The proteins that coat the flu virus change constantly. As a result, new strains of the flu virus circulate every few years. In some countries, people at high risk are encouraged to get a flu vaccination every year. Some of the people at risk are those over 65 years, children with heart or lung conditions and health care workers.

People with flu infections feel as if they have a cold, but the signs and symptoms are usually more severe. Body areas other than the respiratory tract may be infected. Signs and symptoms include weakness, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, fever, running nose and cough. The signs and symptoms could last for a week to ten days.

The influenza virus is spread largely through the air. A typical situation is where one person infected with the flu coughs or sneezes when in close proximity with another person. Droplets of the virus, suspended in the air, are breathed in by the other person. Once the virus lands on the lining of the nose, throat or other body areas related to breathing, it reproduces rapidly.

Usually the flu goes away with a rest, drinking plenty of fluids and taking mild pain medication. Health care providers may prescribe certain medication for people who are at high risk. When symptoms do not go away after seven to ten days, there is difficulty in breathing or persistent high temperatures, a health care provider should be consulted.

 
Main points
Paragraph 1: What is influenza? A virus infection of the respiratory tract.
Paragraph 2: Different strains of influenza are caused by protein coating changes. Paragraph 3: Signs and symptoms of influenza: same as for a cold but could be more serious.
Paragraph 4: How influenza is spread: breathing in droplets in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes
Paragraph 5: How influenza is treated: rest, plenty of fluids, mild medication, consult doctor if symptoms persist or worsen
 
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Answer
 

Influenza is an infection of the respiratory system. It is caused by a virus. When the protein coating of the virus changes new strains appear. The signs and symptoms are similar to that of a cold, but often more severe. When an infected person cough is or sneezes, droplets of the virus float in the air. Another person gets infected by breathing iii these droplets. The virus multiplies quickly once it settles on body areas related to breathing. Rest, drinking plenty of fluids and mild medication usually get rid of influenza. However, people with prolonged or more serious symptoms have to be treated by doctors. (104 words)

     
 
 

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