I Think I Have The Flu Should I See A Doctor
Most people who are generally healthy wont need to see their doctor for the flu. Their immune system will fight the infection and symptoms will usually clear up on their own.
If you think you have the flu, try to rest, maintain a good fluid intake, and manage your symptoms. This will help you recover and prevent dehydration.
If you do need to see a GP for your symptoms, make sure you call ahead first so they can make sure theres no one in an at-risk group around when you have your appointment.
Should I Worry About Catching Bird Flu
People in the United States have less to fear than people who live abroad. Most of the illnesses associated with bird flu have been reported in Asian countries among people who have had close contact with farm birds. Also, people are not able to catch the bird flu virus by eating cooked chicken, turkey, or duck. High temperatures kill the virus.
Looking After Yourself When You Have The Flu
The best things you can do to look after yourself when you have the flu are:
- Rest you will probably feel very weak and tired until your temperature returns to normal . Rest provides comfort and allows your body to use its energy to fight the infection.
- Stay at home stay away from work, school and any places where you may have contact with others, especially while you are contagious. The period during which adults are contagious is usually around 35 days from when the first symptoms appear, and up to 7 days in younger children.
- Drink plenty of fluids extra fluids are needed to replace those lost because of the fever . If your urine is dark, you need to drink more. Try to drink a glass of fluids, such as water, every hour while you are awake.
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In contrast, these effects can linger significantly longer in older individuals. This is important, since a decrease in leg stability and strength could result in older folks being more prone to falls during recovery from influenza infection. It could also result in long-term disability and lead to the need for a cane or walker, limiting mobility and independence.
Researchers in my lab think that this impact of influenza infection on muscles is another unintended consequence of the immune response to the virus. We are currently working to determine what specific factors produced during the immune response are responsible for this and if we can find a way to prevent it.
Thus, while you feel miserable when you have an influenza infection, you can rest assured that it is because your body is fighting hard. Its combating the spread of the virus in your lungs and killing infected cells.
Laura Haynes is a professor of immunology at the University of Connecticut and receives funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Republished under a Creative Commons license from The Conversation.
Is It The Flu A Cold Or Covid
The common cold, flu, and COVID-19 can all cause similar symptoms. If you have symptoms, talk with your health care provider. Your provider can help determine the cause of your illness and help you take steps to feel better.
A cold is often milder than the flu. The flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, but COVID-19 spreads more easily and symptoms tend to be more severe. It’s also more common to have a change in your sense of smell or taste with COVID-19.
People with the flu can have fever, chills, dry cough, general aches and pains, and a headache. They feel very tired. Sore throat, sneezing, stuffy nose, or stomach problems are less common. What some people call “stomach flu” is not influenza. Learn more about the differences between the flu and a cold and flu and COVID-19.
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What Is A Cold
A cold is an infection of the upper respiratory system. This just means it can affect the nose, throat, and sinuses. A cold virus gets inside your body and makes you sick. The rhinovirus is the most common cold virus, but more than 200 viruses can cause colds. Because there are so many, there isn’t a vaccination, or shot, to prevent you from getting colds.
Fortunately, your body already has the best cold cure your immune system. The immune system defends your body against illness. White blood cells are the immune system’s main warriors. They’re your own private army working to help you feel better. Take that, cold viruses!
Can The Flu Be Prevented
A new flu vaccine is made each fall. Everyone ages 6 months and older should get a flu shot each year. It is usually recommended for specific groups of people, as well as for anyone who wants to avoid having the flu.
The flu shot is safe. The CDC and the FDA closely watch vaccine safety. Hundreds of millions of flu vaccines have been safely given across the country for decades.
The flu shot cant give you the flu. The most common side effects from a flu shot are:
Soreness where the shot was given
If you have them at all, these side effects are usually mild and last a short time.
The effectiveness of the vaccine varies from one person to another. It can depend on factors such as age and overall health.
The following may also be helpful for preventing the flu:
When possible, avoid or limit contact with sick people.
Wash your hands frequently to reduce the risk of infection.
Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing to limit spread of the virus.
The flu causes complications that may develop into a more serious disease or become dangerous to some people. This includes older adults and those with chronic medical problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider to find out if you should receive the flu shot.
Although the flu shot is safe, some people should NOT be vaccinated. These include:
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How The Flu Vaccine Works
Development of the seasonal flu vaccine actually begins many months ahead of flu season. The viruses used in the vaccine are based on extensive research and surveillance into which strains will be most common during the upcoming season.
The trivalent vaccine protects against three flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus.
The quadrivalent vaccine protects against the same three viruses as the trivalent vaccine, but it also includes an additional influenza B virus.
How Viruses And The Flu Affect Autoimmune Diseases
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If youre managing an autoimmune condition, you know theres one thing that can almost guarantee an autoimmune flare, and thats getting sick.
While its common for even healthy individuals to be hard hit when they get an illness like the flu, autoimmune sufferers are at greater risk for severe symptoms and a longer recovery period. Viral infections such as the flu can even trigger autoimmune conditions in return.
Inflammation caused by immune dysregulation is higher in the fall and winter months, making cold and flu symptoms that much harder to battle for autoimmune sufferers. Read on to learn how integrative medicine can help you decrease your immune burden during cold and flu season.
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Is It Flu Or A Cold
It can sometimes be difficult to tell if you have flu or just a cold, as the symptoms can be quite similar. The main differences are:
- usually include fever and aching muscles
- make you feel too unwell to continue your usual activities
- come on gradually
- mainly affect your nose and throat
- are fairly mild, so you can still get around and are usually well enough to go to work
Is It Safe To Get A Flu Shot During Pregnancy
Its safe for most pregnant women to get the flu shot. Tell your health care provider if you have any severe allergies or if youve ever had a severe allergic reaction to a flu shot. Severe allergic reactions to flu shots are rare. If youre worried about being allergic to the flu shot, talk to your provider to make sure its safe for you.
Some flu vaccines are made with eggs. Most women with egg allergies can get the flu shot. But if you have severe egg allergies, get the shot in a medical setting from a provider who knows how to treat severe allergies and allergic reactions.
Pregnant women should not get the flu nasal spray. This is a spray thats put in your nose.
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How Does The Bird Flu Virus Attack The Human Body
Bird flu virus is regarded as a major global threat to human health: H5N1 has severely affected the poultry industry in many countries and even if it has killed a little more than 200 human victims, the death rates are high. But fear comes especially from a possible mutation or hybridization with common human flu virus: it could provoke a global pandemic as we still do not have an efficient cure against the deadly virus.
A new research could solve the problem, coming with specific effects of H5N1 on organs and cells, anatomic distribution and pathogenesis. The team at Beijing University, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and SUNY Downstate combined molecular and protein labeling techniques, discovering that H5N1 is located in the gastrointestinal tract and immune and central nervous systems, besides the respiratory tract. In one case, the virus passed the placenta into the fetus.
Even if the investigation of the virus’ structure has come with positive results, only scarce data was available about the mechanisms causing the disease. H5N1 infections appeared initially to install just to the lungs, but later studies pointed that H5N1 could spread beyond the lungs.
How Does The Flu Actually Kill People
Every year the common virus is lethal to many. What happens inside the body that results in death?
One Sunday in November 20-year-old Alani Murrieta of Phoenix began to feel sick and left work early. She had no preexisting medical conditions but her health declined at a frighteningly rapid pace, as detailed by her family and friends in local media and on BuzzFeed News. The next day she went to an urgent care clinic, where she was diagnosed with the flu and prescribed the antiviral medication Tamiflu. But by Tuesday morning she was having trouble breathing and was spitting up blood. Her family took her to the hospital, where x-rays revealed pneumonia: inflammation in the lungs that can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, or both. Doctors gave Murrieta intravenous antibiotics and were transferring her to the intensive care unit when her heart stopped they resuscitated her but her heart stopped again. At 3:25 P.M. on Tuesday, November 28one day after being diagnosed with the fluMurrieta was declared dead.
So far this flu season more than 6,000 people in the U.S. have tested positive for influenza and 856 have been hospitalized for laboratory-confirmed flu-associated reasons, according to the CDC. The most effective way to prevent the flu and its many potentially lethal complications is to get vaccinated.
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Damaged Lungs Degraded Muscles: Why Flu Makes You Feel So Bad
Every year, from 5 to 20 percent of the people in the United States will become infected with influenza virus. An average of 200,000 of these people will require hospitalization and up to 50,000 will die. Older folks over the age of 65 are especially susceptible to influenza infection, since the immune system becomes weaker with age. In addition, older folks are also more susceptible to long-term disability following influenza infection, especially if they are hospitalized.
We all know the symptoms of influenza infection include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, headaches and fatigue. But just what causes all the havoc? What is going on in your body as you fight the flu?
I am a researcher who specializes in immunology at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and my laboratory focuses on how influenza infection affects the body and how our bodies combat the virus. Its interesting to note that many of the bodys defenses that attack the virus also cause many of the symptoms associated with the flu.
How To Get The Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. It’s offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications.
The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn before flu starts spreading. But you can get the vaccine later.
The flu vaccine is given to people who:
- are 50 and over
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in a long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who is more likely to get infections
- frontline health or social care workers
You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:
- your GP surgery
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How The Flu Affects The Body: Headaches
It isnt entirely clear why the flu causes headaches. However, its understood that a headache is logical if theres a fever this isnt only characteristic of the flu.
Cytokines have also been associated with headaches. One in particular, which is called interleukin-1, is an inflammatory cytokine, just like the interferon. Both cytokines and high bodily temperature lead to vasodilation. The body vessels enlarge and that blood flow could explain the headache with an intrinsic mechanism similar to migraines.
Fever and headaches are two classic flu symptoms.
How Does The Flu Shot Help Protect You From Flu
The flu shot contains a vaccine that helps prevent you from getting the flu. The flu shot cant cause the flu. Its safe to get a flu shot any time during pregnancy, but its best to get it before flu season . Even though youre more likely to get the flu during flu season, you can get it any time of year.
There are many different flu viruses, and theyre always changing. Each year a new flu vaccine is made to protect against three or four flu viruses that are likely to make people sick during the upcoming flu season. Protection from a flu shot only lasts about a year, so its important to get a flu shot every year. You can get the shot from your health care provider, and many pharmacies and work places offer it each fall. Use the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to find out where you can get the flu vaccine.
How Influenza Virus Hijacks Human Cells
- European Molecular Biology Laboratory
- Researchers have now precisely defined an important drug target in influenza. A new high resolution image details a crucial protein domain that allows the virus to hijack human cells and multiply in them.
Influenza is and remains a disease to reckon with. Seasonal epidemics around the world kill several hundred thousand people every year. In the light of looming pandemics if bird flu strains develop the ability to infect humans easily, new drugs and vaccines are desperately sought. Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the joint Unit of Virus Host-Cell Interaction of EMBL, the University Joseph Fourier and the National Centre for Scientific Research , in Grenoble, France, have now precisely defined an important drug target in influenza.
In the journal Nature they publish a high-resolution image of a crucial protein domain that allows the virus to hijack human cells and multiply in them.
Researchers of the groups of Rob Ruigrok at the UVHCI and Stephen Cusack at EMBL have now discovered that part of a polymerase subunit called PA is responsible for cleaving the cap off the host mRNA.
“Our results came as a big surprise, because everybody thought that the cleaving activity resides in a different part of the polymerase,” explains Rob Ruigrok, Vice-Director of the UVHCI.
Fighting Off Future Colds
While they’re fighting, your white blood cells will get used to the virus making you sick. This is called sensitization. Then, your body will start making proteins that attach to proteins on the virus and tell your white blood cells to destroy it. These are called antibodies.
Once you get over a cold, some antibodies against the virus stay in your body. If you get exposed to that virus again, your body will remember and make more antibodies to fight it off. In some cases, that quick response means you won’t get sick again. If you do get sick, your cold might not last as long or be as bad as it was the first time.
Your body’s response sounds like a good plan, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. There are more than 200 different viruses that cause colds. Throughout your life, you probably won’t get the same one twice. That’s why most people get about two to three colds each year.
Most colds are caused by rhinoviruses. This type of virus can also cause sinus infections and ear infections, and even trigger asthma attacks.
Other viruses that cause colds include:
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