Influenza (Flu)101: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Influenza (Flu)101: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Dec 01, 2021

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus and is spread from person to person through droplets released into the air during coughs and sneezes.

Influenza can affect people of all ages, especially those with weakened immune systems, people over 65 years old, pregnant women. Those with certain chronic medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes are also at a higher risk for more serious complications from flu infection.

The most common symptoms of influenza are fever, headache, tiredness (fatigue), dry cough, and sore throat. The severity of symptoms may be less in some people than in others; however, some may have nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, or shortness of breath. If you are experiencing shortness of breath, it is important to visit a flu emergency care for assistance.

The symptoms of influenza usually start suddenly one to four days after infection and last from two to ten days. Stress from working too hard can make you more likely to get the flu or make your symptoms worse if you do get it.

Vaccines are available that may help prevent the flu for those at risk, such as pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions. Antiviral medicines can reduce the severity and duration of symptoms for those infected with the virus.

What Are the Different Types of Influenza (flu)?

Influenza is an acute viral respiratory disease that affects the nose, throat, and lungs. Influenza viruses A and B are the most common types. Influenza A is the more common type of influenza virus in North America.

There are several types of influenza (flu), but these are the most common:

  • The Flu – Influenza A
  • Swine Flu – Influenza A H1N1
  • Extensively Drug-resistant (XDR) – Influenza A H3N2
  • Pandemic – Influenza Type B

A person who has the flu may be contagious for one day before they feel sick, five days while they have a fever, and two days after their fever has gone away.

What are the Symptoms and Signs of Influenza (Flu)?

The flu can cause fever, sore throat, headache, and muscle or joint pain. It can also lead to more serious complications such as pneumonia— a respiratory condition that may need a trip to an ER near you.

The symptoms and signs of influenza (flu) in adults and children vary by type and severity of the disease. Influenza A tends to cause more severe illness than influenza B or C. The earliest signs of influenza include fever, chills, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and body aches.

A person may also have nausea or vomiting. Other common signs are headache or muscle pain. As the illness progresses, it may lead to more serious complications, which will require specific treatment with antibiotics.

Cold Vs. Influenza (flu); How Do They Differ?

Flu is an acute respiratory disease that is caused by the influenza virus. It affects the respiratory system and spreads quickly, which leads to fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, and headache. The most important difference between the cold and the flu is that flu leads to fever while cold does not.

Flu can be prevented with vaccines available for people of all ages (including children) annually. However, there’s no cure for it yet, but there are over-the-counter medications like cough syrup to ease symptoms of milder cases of the flu or for chronic conditions like high blood pressure.

Both colds and influenza (flu) can be contagious – meaning they can spread from person to person.

When to Go to a 24/7 Flu Treatment Near You?

Influenza (flu) is an urgent medical condition that requires treatment.
The urgency also depends on the age of the person and any pre-existing medical conditions.

When to go to an ER for flu:

  • Fever over 103 degrees
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Difficulty walking or dizziness
  • Severe headache,
  • Vomiting,
  • Dehydration.

How to Manage Symptoms When You Have The Flu or Influenza

Our human body is trained to resist and fight against any infection, like the flu or influenza. The fever is an essential part of that defense mechanism. It helps our body get rid of the virus and prevent it from spreading to other people. Influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and it lasts from two to seven days, and many people will recover without treatment.

There are many different remedies for fever, and they include medicines for fever, cold, and flu, pain relief, natural remedies, etc. Some of these remedies may be more effective than others depending on the situation and the person’s health condition.

  • Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar can help relieve nasal congestion and control high fever. It also has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that work as a natural disinfectant for the skin.
  • Lemon: Lemon extract helps relieve sore throat and nasal congestion and strengthens the immune system to fight off infections faster.
  • Cayenne pepper: Cayenne pepper provides relief from both fever and muscle aches with its anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps neutralize stomach acidity, which eases nausea symptoms.
    If the flu symptoms do not improve with home remedies, seek influenza treatment in ER, especially if you have high temperatures accompanied by shortness of breath.

Take Action

Visit Express ER for assistance if you have severe influenza symptoms.

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