What To Expect With Influenza
Symptoms of the flu can hit very quickly and may last several weeks. A bout of the flu typically follows this pattern:
- Days 13: Sudden appearance of fever, headache, muscle pain and weakness, dry cough, sore throat and sometimes a stuffy nose.
- Day 4: Fever and muscle aches decrease. Hoarse, dry or sore throat, cough and possible mild chest discomfort become more noticeable. You may feel tired or flat.
- Day 8: Symptoms decrease. Cough and tiredness may last one to two weeks or more.
What Are Your Tips For How To Avoid A Stomach Virus After Being Exposed
Disclaimer: Although I am passionate about nutrition, natural living and alternative health issues, I am not a certified nutritionist, medical doctor, or practitioner of any kind. I am not licensed to counsel anyone in medical matters nor may I be held responsible for any course of action that you choose in regards to your own health or that of your family. Please remember that what I are sharing is the result of my own experiences, but may not necessarily be the right course of action for you. I am an advocate of becoming informed, knowledgeable and responsible for ones own health, but my desire is not to be an authority on any matters of health for you, nor would I presume to have sufficient knowledge to do so. My hope is that what I share may encourage you and start you on the road to doing your own research, and seeking out the opinions of professionals or others that you trust.
What Causes Stomach Flu
In most cases stomach flu symptoms are caused by a virus. This is why you may hear some people refer to stomach virus symptoms.
There are a few different viruses which could be to blame but the commonest culprits are:
- Norovirus This is also known as the winter vomiting bug as it is more common in winter. This appears to come on suddenly and is known for its violent and projectile vomiting.
- Astrovirus tends to be milder than the other viruses
- Rotavirus mostly seen in babies and the under fives
- Adenovirus common in young children
The only way to tell exactly which virus is causing your stomach flu symptoms is to send a stool sample to the lab for testing. Quick stool tests are available for Norovirus and Rotavirus but the other viruses take longer to test for.
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In The United States Viral Gastroenteritis Is The Second Most Common Illness In Most Cases Its Caused By Norovirus Why Is This Infection So Prevalent
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis because anyone can be affected children and adults. Its also very easy for infected people to spread the virus to others. People can shed billions of particles of the virus, and it really only takes an extremely small amount as few as 18 viral particles to make another person sick.
I Think I Have Influenza Should I See A Doctor
Anyone at a higher risk of serious illness with flu-like symptoms should see their doctor as soon as possible.
Most people who are generally healthy wont need to see their doctor for the flu. As symptoms of the flu are similar to COVID-19, talk to your doctor about testing for COVID-19 infection.
If you have the flu, try to rest, maintain a good fluid intake, and manage your symptoms. This will help you recover and prevent dehydration. Your immune system will fight the infection and symptoms will usually clear up on their own.
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.
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How Is The Flu Spread
Some viruses require intimate contact or an exchange of bodily fluids in order to spread. Others can be spread by any skin-to-skin contacteven something as innocent as a handshake. The flu is far easier to spread, requiring no contact at all.
Its also possible to spread the flu via surface contact. If a sick person coughs into their hand and then touches a doorknob or other surface, those who touch that same surface after and then touch their face can become infected.
When To See Your Doctor
For your yearly flu shot. Everyone 6 months and older should visit a healthcare provider every year to get a flu vaccine. The best time to go is soon after the vaccine becomes available in the fall.
If you develop flu symptoms. If you do get sick, it is important for you to call your doctor as soon as possible to receive prompt treatment with antiviralsespecially if you are at high risk for complications. Antivirals can be effective in reducing the severity of flu and the duration of the disease.
For flu complications. Pneumonia can be caused by the flu virus or by bacteria that get into the lungs when the body’s defense system is weakened by the flu. See a doctor if you:
- Have difficulty breathing
- Experience chest pain as a result of coughing or
- Are coughing up yellow, green or bloody phlegm.
Other infections that may be associated with the flu include sinusitis, bronchitis and ear infections.
If your cough won’t go away. You may have a cough that lasts for weeks to months after flu symptoms go away and it may keep you up at night. This cough has been associated with asthma-like symptoms, and can be treated with asthma medications. Consult a healthcare provider if you have this kind of cough.
Is The Flu Shot Safe
Flu vaccines have a good safety record extensive research supports their safety.
Although a flu shot can cause mild side effects, such as a headache or nausea, in some people, it cannot cause the flu. Learn more here.
Many myths circulate about vaccinations, including that they weaken the immune system, lead to autism, or contain unsafe toxins. These claims are not based on scientific evidence.
Like vaccines, proper hygiene habits can defend against the flu.
The flu virus is extremely contagious it can spread to someone standing within via droplets produced when coughing, sneezing, or talking. Less often, people catch the flu by touching contaminated surfaces.
A 2018 study found that people can transfer the flu virus to others simply by breathing.
Other research demonstrated that a single contaminated doorknob or tabletop could spread a flu virus to 4060% of workers and office visitors within just 24 hours of contamination.
The findings emphasize the importance of good hygiene practices in the workplace and public areas, as well as the need to go home as soon as flu symptoms begin.
Following a few simple steps can minimize the spread of respiratory viruses, including the flu:
Research from 2012 indicates that hand hygiene and wearing surgical masks reduced the spread of flu-like symptoms by up to
These are prescription medications that can reduce flu severity and complications. They may also prevent people from getting the flu.
- baloxavir marboxil
When Does The Flu Become Contagious
Once you have the influenza virus, you can spread it to other people about a day before you first notice symptoms.
Remember, the average incubation period for the flu is about two days. So, if you come into contact with virus on Saturday morning, you can potentially start spreading it to others by Sunday evening. And by Monday afternoon, youll likely start feeling the dreaded body aches that come with the flu.
Viral shedding refers to the release of the virus from your body into your surrounding environment. It tends to peak during your first day experiencing symptoms. This means youre usually most contagious on this day. Once you develop symptoms, youll still be contagious for another five to seven days .
Children, older adults, and those with a weakened immune system may be contagious for a longer period of time.
Its often hard to know when you have the flu coming on. Unlike the symptoms of the common cold, which develop gradually, the symptoms of the flu often come on suddenly.
The common symptoms of the flu can include:
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Get Treatment At Home
Get Treatment at HomeIf youre sick and need medical treatment, but dont want to risk infecting an entire waiting room full of people at your local clinic, what can you do? The simple solution is to get your healthcare delivered.
DispatchHealth travels so the flu doesnt. If youre feeling flu-like symptoms, call 1-866-FLU-CREW. Well send a team of qualified medical professionals to your home to administer a rapid flu test, provide IV fluids, order mobile chest X-rays, prescribe anti-nausea medication, and more. And we do all of this in direct communication with your primary care physicians to ensure an integrated care experience. We see patients of all ages, from the very young to older adultssegments of the population often considered at the highest risk of experiencing dangerous or life-threatening flu complications.
Sounds expensive, right? DispatchHealth is actually partnered with most major insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, and handles billing directly with those companies. In fact, a visit with DispatchHealth typically costs one-tenth of the price of a visit to the ER, and patients pay an average of $5-$50 depending on their insurance plan.
Staying home when youre sick should be the standard of care. So the next time youre in need of urgent medical care, skip the emergency room or clinic, give DispatchHealth a call, and get on the road to recovery quickly without ever getting on the road at all.
How Contagious Is The Flu
Did you know that a person with the flu can infect someone up to 6 feet away? Most people believe that the flu can only be spread through a cough or sneeze, but in reality, thats not the case. Experts believe that the flu can actually be spread via respiratory droplets by simply speaking or breathing through the mouth, making it super contagious.
Thats why its so important to recover from the flu at home when youre only experiencing mild symptoms. The CDC recommends avoiding contact with others during recovery to avoid spreading the virus. There are exceptions, however if any of the following apply to you, you should seek medical attention:
- Your symptoms are moderate to severe
- Youre in a high-risk group, such as young children, pregnant women, older adults, or people with certain pre-existing conditions
- Youre worried about your illness
Click here to read up on the emergency warning signs of the flu in children and adults. If you or your child are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek urgent medical care. But if your illness is mild, recovering at home will keep others in your community safe from contracting the virus.
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Tracking The Flu In Sickness And In Health
Different sample preparation techniques can provide different information about the nature of the virus, Goldsmith explains. For instance, a negative stain is a speedy method that helps Goldsmith quickly prepare individual growing viruses from a batch of lab-cultivated cells for imaging. A thin section, on the other hand, not only gives cross-section views inside particles, but also gives hints about where the virus is growing in the celland the location of a virus informs her a lot about the nature and type of virus.
Enteroviruses, a group of viruses known to cause polio and hand, foot, and mouth disease, commonly accumulate in the cytoplasm, Goldsmith explains, while coronaviruses, which infect the nose, sinuses, and upper throat, invade the Golgi complex. Influenza viruses bud at the surface and so do retroviruses. Most DNA viruses reproduce in the nucleus, she says.
Pathologists will give me a sample, something where they got an unexpected finding, and I can give them a confirmation that thats what it is, she says. The submitter might send in a virus and request a test for a certain pathogen, but it turns out to be a different pathogen once the pathologists look at it and perform all the different tests.
When Goldsmith received cell cultures cultivated by scientists at the CDC, she decided to look at it with thin section instead.
How To Prevent The Stomach Flu
Once you have the stomach flu, theres little you can do but suffer through it, making sure you drink lots of fluids so you dont get dehydrated .
Its contagious, happens quickly, and theres no good treatment, says Dr. Creech. Thats really our challenge. Our job is to keep people hydrated and just carry them through.
There is a vaccine that can be given to babies to protect against rotavirus. But for everyone else, its all about washing your hands , whether or not you know there are sick people around. Soap and warm water are best, but alcohol-based sanitizers will do if you dont have access to a sink.
Hygiene is always at the top of the listwashing your hands after using the restroom, before you prepare food, says Dr. Creech. Steer clear of anyone who is sick, and stay home if you yourself have the stomach flu. Disinfect countertops and other hard surfaces and wash linens well if you or someone else at home gets sick.
Pregnant women, older adults, small children, and anyone with a compromised immune system are vulnerable to more severe bouts of stomach flu. See a doctor if viral gastroenteritis lasts more than three days or if you cant keep liquids down for 24 hours.
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How Serious Is The Flu
Most people who get the flu feel better after a few days to two weeks. However, the flu can make you seriously ill. Some people develop other health issues, called complications, because of the flu. Complications can be mild, such as a sinus or ear infection, or more serious, like pneumonia.
Anyone can get sick from the flu, but some people are more likely to have complications. You are more at risk for flu and its complications if you:
- Are age 65 or older
- Have certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease
- Have heart disease or have had a stroke
- Live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
Pregnant people and children younger than five years old are also more likely to get very sick from the flu. Flu vaccination is especially important for people in these higher-risk groups. Learn more about people at increased risk for flu and its complications.
Treatment In Residential Aged Care Facilities
From mid-May 2022, packs of the prescription-only medication, Tamiflu , an oral antiviral used to treat and prevent influenza A and B infections, are being sent to residential aged care facilities in a one-off pre-placement.
This stock is being pre-placed to ensure access to supplies at the commencement of this years flu season.
Information for aged care providers
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After Having Stomach Flu Once Can I Catch It Again
That depends on which virus you have been infected with as many different viruses can cause gastric flu symptoms.
Norovirus tends to infect people about 5 times in their lifetime. You will have a temporary immunity after an infection but this only lasts for a matter of weeks or months. Some lucky people have a genetic make up which seems to protect them from norovirus however.
After a rotavirus infection about 38% of children will have natural immunity against being reinfected but those who do become infected again will have a much milder illness. With each subsequent infection more and more children develop immunity and this is why most adults do not catch rotavirus.
There are 50 different types of adenovirus so although you may develop immunity to one or more of the viruses it is not likely that you would be immune to all of them.
A study in Oxford in England found that 75% of 10 year olds had astrovirus antibodies. This means that adults are much less likely to have stomach flu symptoms caused by this virus.
How Does The Stomach Flu Spread
While you can get many of the same symptoms from eating contaminated food , most cases of the stomach flu are passed from person to person. Food poisoning is not spread person to person.
The viruses that cause this type of illness are among the most contagious viruses that we have on the planet, says Buddy Creech, MD, MPH, associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases and director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Medical Center in Nashville. The reason theyre so contagious is that some of them are spread through contact.
Contact could mean breathing in airborne germs after someone vomits or coughs. Or it could mean shaking hands with someone who is sick, eating food prepared or served by someone who is sick, or touching a surface or dirty utensils contaminated with viral particles from vomit or even stool. Children are known for putting their fingers and all kinds of other objects into their mouths, but even grabbing your trusty iPhone and then touching your face could provide a convenient entry point for the germs.
We can clean our hands, but if we put our phone down on every surface, our clean hands are no longer clean, Dr. Fisher says. This can be an especially risky practice in public spaces like airports.
An estimated 9% to 25% of mobile devices are contaminated with a disease-causing organism, adds Dr. Fisher. Wipe your devices down at least daily, and keep washing your hands on the regular.
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