Without a doubt, flu season is in full swing.
Arm yourself with information.
Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu is highly contagious, and is normally spread by the coughs and sneezes of an infected person.
You can also catch flu by touching an infected person, for instance, shaking hands. Adults are contagious 1-2 days before getting symptoms and up to 7 days after becoming ill. This means that you can spread the influenza virus before you even know you are infected.
Here are some key points about flu.
- Antibiotics cannot be used to treat flu.
- Approximately 5-20 percent of Americans will develop flu.
- Experts agree that the best way to prevent flu is to get vaccinated each year.
- The flu vaccine is not suitable for certain groups of people, such as those who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
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
- aching joints and limbs
- fatigue, feeling exhausted
There may also be gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; these are much more common among children than adults.
Normally, symptoms linger for about 1 week. However, the feeling of tiredness and gloom can continue for several weeks.
It is worth noting that not every person with flu will have all of the symptoms; for instance, it is possible to have flu without fever.
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.
As flu is caused by a virus, antibiotics cannot help, unless the flu has led to another illness caused by bacteria. Antivirals, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza), may be prescribed in some circumstances.
Painkillers can alleviate some of the symptoms, such as headache and body pains.
Some painkillers, such as aspirin, should not be given to children under 12.
Individuals with flu should:
- stay at home
- avoid contact with other people where possible
- keep warm and rest
- consume plenty of liquids
- avoid alcohol
- stop smoking
- eat if possible
It is a good idea for people who live alone to tell a relative, friend, or neighbor that they have flu and make sure that someone can check in on them.
PMG encourages you to take precautions against the flu. If you think you have the flu contact us today to make your appointment for #FullCircleCare or visit our Walk-In Clinic Monday – Friday 8am – 7:30pm, Saturday from 8am – 6pm and Sunday, 1pm to 5pm. Here is wishing you good health in 2018.
Source: Medical News Today