The flu is a common respiratory illness you get from the influenza contagion. Symptoms frequently include fever, head and body pangs, coughing and a stuffy or watery nose. You ’re at threat for serious complications if you have an beginning health condition or are pregnant. Influenza : How is it Caused and How to Treat
What’s the flu( influenza)?
The flu is an illness you get from the influenza contagion. It causes symptoms like head and body pangs, sore throat, fever and respiratory symptoms, which can be severe. Flu is most common in downtime months, when numerous people can get sick at formerly( an epidemic).
When is flu season?
Flu season — when cases of the flu go up dramatically — by the Northern Hemisphere( which includes the U.S.) is October through May. The loftiest number of cases( peak) generally be between December and February.
How common is the flu?
The flu is one of the most common contagious conditions. Every flu season, about 20 to 40 million people in the U.S. catch the flu.
What’s the difference between the flu and the common cold wave?
The flu and the common cold wave can have analogous symptoms, like watery nose and cough. But cold symptoms are generally mild and flu symptoms can be severe and lead to serious complications. Different contagions beget snap and the flu.
How do I know if I’ve the flu or COVID- 19?
Since they’ve analogous symptoms, the only way to know for sure if you have the flu or COVID- 19 is to get tested. They both have a threat of serious illness. But different contagions beget these infections, and providers treat them with different specifics.
Who’s at advanced threat for complications from the flu?
Certain health conditions can put you at advanced threat for severe illness from the flu. This includes life- hanging complications that bear hospitalization. You ’re at advanced threat for serious illness if you
- Have asthma, COPD or another habitual lung complaint.
- Have a history of order, liver, neurological, heart or blood vessels complaint, including stroke.
- Have a condition that causes issues with muscle function or makes it delicate to cough, swallow or clear fluids from your airways.
- Have diabetes.
- Have a weakened vulnerable system( from HIV/ AIDS, cancer or immunosuppressive specifics).
- Have a blood complaint, like sickle cell complaint.
- Have a BMI lesser than 40( have rotundity).
- Are under 5 times old or over 65 times old.
- Are pregnant.
- Are under 19 times old and take aspirin regularly.
- Live in a long- term care installation.
- Non-Hispanic Black people,non-Hispanic American Indians, Alaska Native people and Hispanic or Latino people have the loftiest rates of severe illness from the flu compared tonon-Hispanic White people andnon-Hispanic Asian people.
SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Symptoms of the flu generally come on snappily, and can include
- Body pangs.
- Sore throat.
- watery or stuffy nose( traffic).
- frazzle or feeling run down.
- Diarrhea or vomiting( generally only in kiddies).
What causes the flu?
The influenza contagion causes flu. Influenza A, B and C are the most common types that infect people. Influenza A and B are seasonal( utmost people get them in the downtime) and have more severe symptoms. Influenza C does n’t beget severe symptoms and it’s not seasonal — the number of cases stays about the same throughout the time.
H1N1( “ swine flu ”) and raspberry flu are both subtypes of influenzaA.
Is the flu contagious?
Yes, the flu is contagious( it spreads from person to person). For every person infected, they spread the flu to one to two further people.
How does the flu spread?
The influenza contagion spreads from direct or circular contact with someone differently who’s infected. Common ways to get the flu include From someone hard coughing, sneezing or talking. driblets can either get onto your hands or move through the air to get into your nose or mouth. The flu also moves into your lungs.
By touching a face that’s defiled by the flu contagion, also touching your face, nose, mouth or eyes. This includes effects like door clods, divisions, computers and phones.
By touching the hands or face of someone who has the flu, also touching your face, nose, mouth or eyes.
How long after exposure will I get the flu?
still, you ’ll generally get symptoms of the flu one to four days after exposure( incubation period), If infected.
Influenza : Diagnosis
How is the flu diagnosed?
Your provider judgments the flu by harkening to your symptoms and testing a sample of mucus from your nose. They ’ll put a long stick with a soft tip( tar) in your nose to test for influenza. Results may take a many twinkles or your provider may shoot the sample to a lab, where you ’ll get results in a day or two.
How is the flu treated?
Providers can treat the flu with antiviral specifics under certain circumstances. Antivirals can reduce your threat of severe illness and dock the quantum of time you ’re sick. numerous people can treat the flu without tradition specifics. Providers define antivirals if you Have had symptoms for under 48 hours.
Antivirals are less likely to work if you start them after two days of symptoms. The contagion has formerly made further clones of itself and your body has started to fight it off with its own antibodies.
Have an beginning condition or are at threat for severe illness. Providers may define antivirals indeed if you ’ve had symptoms for longer than 48 hours.
Have severe symptoms, indeed if you ’ve been sick for longer than 48 hours.
Live with or care for people who are at threat for severe complications of the flu.
What specifics treat the flu?
Antiviral medicines for influenza include
Oseltamivir phosphate( Tamiflu ®). You take oseltamivir by mouth as a lozenge or a liquid. You generally take it for several days.
Zanamivir( Relenza ®). You breathe zanamivir in through your mouth with an inhaler.
You generally have to take it for several days. Zanamivir is n’t recommended for people with breathing issues, like asthma or COPD.
Peramivir( Rapivap ®). Your provider gives you peramivir directly into your modes using an IV.
You generally only need one cure of peramivir.
Baloxavir marboxil( Xofluza ®). You take baloxavir marboxil by mouth as a lozenge or a liquid. You only take one cure. Baloxavir is not recommended if you ’re pregnant, breastfeeding/ chestfeeding, rehabilitated or have certain medical conditions.
Tell your provider about any health conditions you have before starting an antiviral drug.
Side goods of treatment
Each antiviral drug has different side goods, but common bones
include nausea and diarrhea. gobbled specifics can beget spasms that strain and constrict your airways( bronchospasm).
How do I manage symptoms of the flu?
numerous people can manage the symptoms of flu at home with over-the-counter( OTC) specifics and other curatives, including
- Getting plenitude of rest.
- Drinking fluids like water or broth to help help dehumidification.
- Applying heat packs or hot water bottles can help with paining muscles.
- Taking acetaminophen( Tylenol ®) or NSAIDs( Advil ®, Motrin ®, Aleve ®) can help lower your fever and relieve head and body pangs.
- Using spray or oral decongestants like phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine can help with a watery or stuffy nose.
- Taking cough suppressants( antitussives) like dextromethorphan can help calm a troubling cough.
- Using expectorants like guaifenesin make it easier to clear mucus out of your lungs.
Not everyone should take certain OTCs, so check with your provider before you use them. It’s also a good idea to make sure certain specifics are okay to use together or with supplements. Do n’t give aspirin to children under the age of 16 unless their provider says it’s okay.
How can I help the flu?
The stylish way to help the flu is to get the flu vaccine every time. Vaccines train your vulnerable system to fete infections and fight them off before you get sick. The influenza contagion can change( change) a little bit every time, which is why you need to get vaccinated every time.
Indeed if you get sick with a different interpretation of the flu than the one in the vaccine, vaccination reduces your threat of getting seriously ill. Your provider can give you the flu vaccine as a shot or as a mist they spot into your nose.
Other ways to reduce your threat of getting the flu include
Wash your hands frequently with cleaner and water . However, use an alcohol- grounded hand sanitizer, If you are n’t suitable to use cleaner and water.
Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a towel rather than your bare hand.
Avoid being around other people when you or they’re sick with the flu or other contagious conditions.
Consider wearing a mask if you ’re sick and ca n’t avoid being around others.
Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth.
Don’t partake food or eating implements( spoons, ladles, mugs) with others.
How long does the flu last?
Flu can last from a many days to two weeks. Symptoms like fever and body pangs can come on suddenly but generally go down briskly than other symptoms. A cough or watery nose can last longer.
How long is the flu contagious?
You can be contagious with the flu from a day before your symptoms start to over to a week after. You ’re most contagious for three to four days after your symptoms start. People with weakened vulnerable systems and babies may be contagious for longer.
When can I go back to work/ academy?
To avoid spreading the flu to others, you should n’t go back to work or academy until it’s been at least 24 hours since you ’ve had a fever( without taking fever- reducing specifics). Your employer or academy may have different conditions for returning.
The flu contagion itself can beget complications or it can weaken your vulnerable system and allow bacteria to infect different corridor of your body( secondary infection). Complications and secondary infections include
- observance infections.
- Sinus infections.
- Severe lung infection( pneumonia). Pneumonia can lead to acute respiratory torture pattern( ARDS) and other life- hanging conditions.
- gestation loss( confinement).
- Neural tube blights( NTDs) in the developing fetus of a pregnant person.