Be Ready for Flu Season This Year and Every Year!

Influenza (commonly referred to as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness. The flu usually comes on suddenly. Influenza is a viral infection. It is caused by viruses.

The flu is most common during the spring and winter. It is contagious and commonly affects the nose, throat, and lungs. The symptoms of the flu are similar to that of the common cold but are generally more severe. The flu can make getting out of bed difficult because of fever, aches and pains, fatigue and weakness.Keep reading to learn more about influenza and how to treat it. Keep reading to learn more about influenza and how to treat it.

Influenza Symptoms

The flu can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Some people will experience mild symptoms that go away quickly, and others may experience more severe symptoms that take time to go away. Some influenza symptoms are the same as the symptoms of a typical cold. To distinguish between influenza and a cold you should look at the onset of symptoms. If the symptoms like chills, fatigue, and fever come on quickly and a high fever is present, it is most likely influenza. A few of the most commonly reported influenza symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or a runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Body aches
  • Lack of energy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Influenza A

Influenza A is a type of the flu virus that is always changing. Influenza A is responsible for many flu epidemics. Influenza A is transferred by people who are already sick with the virus. Influenza A can be spread in a variety of ways including through sneezing, coughing and hot spots in which an infected person has touched.

Influenza B

Influenza B causes symptoms that are generally less serious than Influenza A.

Influenza Incubation Period

The general incubation period for influenza is between one and four days. The average incubation period is two days. Influenza can be spread before symptoms are apparent. Influenza can also be transmitted up to five to seven days after a person first becomes sick. People who have weakened immune systems, elderly people and children may be able to infect others even longer than a week after becoming ill with influenza.

Influenza Treatment

Most people will be able to recover from influenza within a few days to a couple of weeks. The flu often goes away on its own. Some people including young children, seniors, pregnant women, and those with pre-existing health conditions or weakened immune systems may develop complications due to the influenza virus. These complications may include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and ear infections. The influenza virus may worsen pre-existing health conditions. Pre-existing health conditions that may get worse from the flu include asthma and congestive heart failure.

Influenza Vaccine

The influenza vaccine is a common way to protect one’s self from getting the flu. Influenza vaccinations are recommended for everyone but are especially important for the elderly, those with a weakened immune system, children and people who have chronic illnesses. People who work in conditions in which they will come in contact with the virus such as health care workers, teachers, senior caregivers and more should also get the influenza vaccination because they are likely to be exposed to the virus. The influenza vaccine does not provide protection from the flu forever because the virus mutates quickly. Pharmaceutical companies create vaccinations based on influenza strain predictions that are released from the World Health Organization. This means that a person must get a new flu shot every year in order to be protected from that strain of the flu. A flu shot must be administered two weeks before exposure to the influenza virus in order to be effective.

Prevention

There are many effective ways that you can protect yourself from the influenza virus. Aa few of the best ways include:

  • Practicing good handwashing practices - This can help to limit the amount of germs and bacteria that you spread and come in contact with.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth - You probably touch your face more than you realize. Try to avoid touching your face as it can spread the influenza virus

There are many different ways to help keep the flu at bay. Developing routine handwashing practices can help to limit the transfer of germs and bacteria. Although it can be difficult being aware and trying to avoid touching your face including your eyes, nose and mouth can help to limit the transmission of the virus as well. A convenient and popular way to disinfect on-the-go is to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

You should also avoid contact with people who are sick with the flu. If you are sick with the flu, you should take care of yourself by getting lots of fluids and rest. You should stay home to prevent other people from getting sick as well. You should make sure that you clean your home, office, and car with sanitizers to destroy bacteria and germs. You should also clean bacteria “hot spots” including door knobs, remotes, faucets, computer keyboards and more using sanitizers.

Treatment

The influenza virus can often be treated effectively at home with rest and drinking lots of fluids. Certain medications and pain relievers can help to effectively treat symptoms of the flu including fever and muscle aches. The flu generally lasts a few days to a couple weeks. If symptoms persist longer than two weeks or get worse, you should see a doctor.

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