The flu, a respiratory infection, affects millions of people every year. The flu symptoms disappear on their own and last for four to seven days. However, in severe cases, the flu or influenza can be fatal, especially in newborn babies, seniors over 65 years, and people with chronic illness.
The flu is contagious and spreads from one person to another through talking, sneezing, or coughing.
Detecting flu symptoms early can prevent the spread of the virus and complications. In the early stages, flu symptoms resemble a cold, but they advance rapidly.
Did you know fever is your body’s sign of fighting the infection? With the flu-related fever, your body temperature will be above 38˚ C or higher. Fever is a common flu symptom, but not everyone will have flu with a fever.
Fever may also cause body chills, lack of appetite, dehydration, lethargy, and sweating. Your doctor may prescribe Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs, which help to reduce the severity.
Take a warm bath (not hot) to bring down the fever. Also, increase your fluid intake to prevent dehydration, and avoid sugary drinks as it slows down recovery.
Sudden fatigue is a symptom of the flu, and it may appear before other flu symptoms. Fatigue is also associated with the common cold, though not as serious.
It is important to limit your activities and rest. Resting will strengthen the immune system, which will help you fight the virus.
Body aches manifest in the head, back, and legs, and are accompanied by chills.
Wrap yourself with a blanket to keep warm and reduce chills. Over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve body aches.
Some strains of the virus can cause swelling of the throat. Flu-related sore throat is scratchy and irritating, and it may make swallowing food difficult. The sore throat gets worse as the flu progresses.
Drink warm beverages like caffeine-free tea with honey, warm water mixed with lemon, soup, and broth, to soothe the throat. Also, you can gargle with warm water with ½ tsp of salt. Use a mist humidifier to moisten the air and rest your voice. Using lozenges can help to soothe irritation.
Sore throat tends to disappear after seven days, but when you experience trouble swallowing, painful neck, consider seeking medical attention.
The flu virus causes cough and chest tightness. You might also have phlegm, although it’s rare in the early stages.
Coughs may cause complications in people with asthma or emphysema. It is, therefore, important to visit the ER near you if you notice chest pains and colored mucus or phlegm.
Cough medicine can calm your cough, but don’t take any medications without the doctor’s authorization, especially if you have bronchitis or asthma.
Plus, keep your throat hydrated with lots of drinks and always cover when you cough and prevent the spreading of the virus.
Some virus strains can cause diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. You may suffer from dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea. Taking electrolytes can help balance body fluids.
These symptoms affect both adults and children. However, children may develop other symptoms that might require medical attention like;
Since the flu is a progressive illness, the symptoms will worsen. So, visit Emergency Care in Lake Jackson if you notice;
The recovery period varies from person to person. However, antiviral drugs speed up recovery time and reduce the severity of the infection.
Keep in mind, even after the flu disappears, you may experience lingering cough and fatigue.
It is important to allow your body to recover before you resume normal activities fully. CDC advises you to wait 24 hours after the flu disappears.
The flu is not only curable but preventable. Protecting yourself will keep the influenza virus at bay. Avoid crowded places during the flu season; wash your hands frequently, and rest.
Furthermore, you need the annual flu shot to reduce the chances of getting the flu, and the Altus Emergency Center in Lake Jackson has you covered.