I know a lot of people are feeling under the weather these days. But what exactly is the flu? Is everyone getting it, or just some? And can you actually get sick from it?
The flu is an infection caused by a virus that usually affects your respiratory system and sometimes your gastrointestinal tract. It’s not unusual for most adults to have at least one yearly outbreak of this illness. The flu is contagious and often starts with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, headache, chills, muscle aches, fatigue (tiredness), and body aches. Most cases end up in a mild form; however, there are also serious cases that may lead to death.
Most experts say it takes about two weeks before you start showing any signs of being sick. Once you get sick, the flu usually lasts anywhere from three to seven days. The average person who gets flu has four to six cold, runny noses during the course of their disease. Symptoms usually last longer if the person is under 12 years old.
In general, healthy individuals can fight off the flu better than those who are already weakened by other illnesses. However, anyone over 65 can still develop complications from the flu, including pneumonia, which is when fluid in your lungs causes shortness of breath and chest congestion.
People also have to know about influenza which was also known as nose infection, lungs and throat were also being infected by it. This flu affects the full respiratory system of human body. This disease is also known as flu but this one was not same as any other flu or infection this was completely different from other different types of flu.
Here are some facts about the flu:
How do I avoid getting it?
There really isn’t much you can do to prevent yourself from getting infected with the flu. You can’t catch it by breathing in someone else’s germs, nor should you go near a person who already has it unless they’re coughing up phlegm or sneezing into their hands. If someone is drooling, vomiting, or having diarrhea, stay away until they recover completely. Also, wash your hands frequently (especially after going to the bathroom) and try to avoid touching your face.
What are the worst symptoms of the flu?
Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, sweating, headaches, dry cough, tiredness, nausea, and body aches. These are very common to all types of influenza viruses, so don’t panic if you experience them. It could be nothing more than a cold, but if you continue to feel poorly, it’s definitely time to visit your doctor.
If you get the flu for the first time, symptoms usually appear within 24 hours of exposure to the virus. In addition, the symptoms will progress rapidly, even though the incubation period (the amount of time it takes for the virus to become active in your body) is only around 10-14 days. So, if you think you might have been exposed, get medical attention immediately. If you come down with the flu for the second time, symptoms will typically appear on day 4 or 5 after exposure. This means you’ll likely notice symptoms sooner because you’ve had the flu before, but you still need to seek professional help if things aren’t improving.
Some symptoms of the flu are worse than others. For instance, the flu causes dehydration, leading to increased thirst and urination. This is why it’s important to drink plenty of water during the course of the illness. Other symptoms include coughing, sneezing, nosebleeds, and vomiting. If you’ve recently traveled to an area where the flu is rampant, you’ll probably be experiencing many of these symptoms.
How long is the flu contagious?
You can spread the flu to another person through close contact, such as kissing or sharing utensils. The length of time the flu is contagious depends on how severe the symptoms are. Mild cases tend to last between 2-4 days, while moderate cases last 7-10 days, and severe cases last 11-17 days. As soon as the person recovers, they’re no longer contagious. However, there is always a chance that the virus will remain dormant in their body for a few months.
Does it always cause ‘flu’?
Yes. Although the term “influenza” refers specifically to viral infections, it’s possible to contract either viral or bacterial infections (usually due to bacteria called streptococcus). While the flu and strep share similar symptoms, the treatments differ significantly. Therefore, if you suspect you’ve caught the flu, make sure you see a doctor right away to ensure you don’t mistake one for the other.
When is the best time to get vaccinated against the flu?
Although it’s recommended to receive the flu vaccine every year, it’s never too late to get vaccinated. Even if you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, you should still schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss vaccination options. There are several vaccines available to protect against the flu, but the most effective ones are based on the strains that were circulating when the season was declared open. Some common ones are Fluzone Quadrivalent (which covers four different strains of the flu), Flumist (which covers three different strains), and Fluarix (which covers two different strains).
What are the side effects of the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine has its own set of risks and benefits. According to the CDC, the main risk is that it may cause allergic reactions, such as hives, swelling, redness, itching, and/or wheezing. But here are some benefits:
Most people who get the flu vaccine will actually develop a mild case of the flu following exposure. This means that fewer people will die from getting the vaccine than would otherwise have died from contracting the flu.
The flu shot is safe for children as young as 6 months of age.
The flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women.
The flu vaccine contains live viruses, so make sure you tell your doctor if you have a history of autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
It’s worth mentioning that the flu vaccine is not 100 percent effective, since the viruses always change slightly each year. The effectiveness of the current vaccine ranges from 60%-70%, depending upon which strains are covered. However, since the effectiveness of the current vaccine is higher than that of previous years, this year’s vaccine is considered to be the strongest available.
Is there a cure for the flu?
Unfortunately, no. No matter how strong the vaccine is, it’s impossible to eradicate the flu entirely. The best thing to do is to stay away from anyone who’s ill. If you do come into contact with someone who has the flu, follow proper hand washing procedures and cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of illness. Use hot water and soap, rub your hands together vigorously, and scrub especially well under fingernails and along the creases in your palms. Wipe your hands off with clean paper towels (not your hands!) and throw away the tissues. Make sure you use a new towel for each person.
Another good way to prevent the spread of flu is to wear a mask whenever you’re in public places. Wearing a mask protects you from catching the virus by reducing the number of times you breathe in germs that are floating around the room. Remember to wash your hands afterward, though!
Lastly, remember to keep your distance from those who are severely ill. Don’t sit next to them on the bus, sit behind them in class, and stay out of crowded areas whenever possible. These steps will help reduce the chances of spreading the illness further.