How Is Influenza Diagnosed
It is hard to know for sure you have the flu on based on symptoms alone. A doctor’s exam may be needed to tell whether you have developed the flu or a complication of the flu. If you develop flu-like symptoms and are concerned about your illness because you are at high risk for complications or any other reason, you should talk to your healthcare provider. There are tests that can determine if you have the flu as long you are tested within the first two or three days of illness and many providers use antiviral medications when they are confident of the diagnosis.
Similarities Between The Symptoms Of The Flu And Covid
The flu and COVID-19 are different viruses. They’re very contagious and have similar symptoms. This can make it hard to tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19 when symptoms appear.
If you start to develop symptoms, follow the same precautions taken for COVID-19.
This year is more important than ever for everyone 6 months and older to get the flu shot. This will help prevent the flu and flu-related complications. Preventing the flu will also help reduce stress on the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gargle For A Sore Throat
It can moisten a flaming throat and bring short-term relief. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in warm water and gargle with this mix four times a day.
You can also try a thick mix made with honey, a popular folk treatment. Steep 1 tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in 2 cups of hot water mix with 1 teaspoon of honey. Let the liquid cool to room temperature before you gargle.
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Whats The Incubation Period For The Flu
The typical incubation period for the flu is 1 to 4 days. Incubation refers to the period during which the virus is in your body and developing.
During this time, you may not show any symptoms of the virus. That doesnt mean that you arent able to pass it to someone else. Many people are capable of transmitting the virus to others a day before symptoms appear.
The millions of tiny droplets that are produced when we sneeze, cough, or talk, spread the flu virus. These droplets enter your body through your nose, mouth, or eyes.
You can also get the flu by touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.
The 24-hour flu is a common stomach infection that has nothing to do with influenza, despite sharing a name. The 24-hour stomach flu is caused by a genus of viruses called norovirus.
The symptoms of norovirusinclude:
- stomach cramping
These symptoms occur in the gastrointestinal system. Thats why the 24-hour flu is sometimes called a stomach flu. Although its called the 24-hour flu, you may be ill for up to 3 days.
The symptoms of the 24-hour flu and influenza are different. The flu is a respiratory illness. Respiratory system symptoms of the flu include:
- runny nose
- body aches
Some people with influenza may experience nausea and vomiting while theyre sick. But these symptoms arent as common in adults.
What Are The Symptoms Of Influenza A
If you have influenza A, you will have some or all of these symptoms:
Children may also have abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
Influenza A is a bit like a very bad cold, but a cold doesn’t usually cause aches and pains or a high fever.
If your symptoms get worse instead of better, it’s best to see a doctor. You should also get help straight away if you feel chest pain, you are short of breath, dizzy or confused, or you are vomiting a lot.
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What Is Influenza A
Influenza A is a type of virus that causes influenza , a highly contagious respiratory illness. If you get it, you will need to rest at home and avoid infecting others. Vaccination can protect you against influenza A.
Both the influenza A and influenza B viruses circulate in the community and change continually, with new strains coming out each winter. This is why yearly vaccination is recommended.
Flu Shot: Know The Facts
Influenza is a serious virus that leads to many illnesses each year. You dont have to be young or have a compromised immune system to get gravely ill from the flu. Healthy people can get sick from the flu and spread it to friends and family.
In some cases, the flu can even be deadly. Flu-related deaths are most common in people ages 65 and older, but can be seen in children and young adults.
The best and most efficient way to avoid the flu and prevent spreading it is to get a flu vaccination.
The flu vaccine is available in the following forms:
- injectable shot
- high-dose injectable shot
- intradermal shot
- nasal spray
The more people that get vaccinated against the flu, the less the flu can spread. It also helps with herd immunity, helping to protect those who cant get the vaccine for medical reasons.
Vaccination can also help lessen the severity of the illness if you do end up getting the flu.
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What Should I Do When Flu Symptoms Hit
Even though there’s no natural cure for flu, you can manage symptoms with common sense. Go ahead and pamper yourself a bit while youre at it.
Do it within 48 hours after symptoms start. Ask about antiviral drugs. They help ease symptoms and may shorten your illness if you take them early enough. Let them know if you have a chronic condition like heart disease, diabetes, COPD, asthma, or HIV. Check back in if your symptoms dont get better after about 10 days.
Get lots of rest. Your body needs extra downtime to fight the viral infection. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of shuteye a night.
Drink plenty of fluids. You need lots of liquids when you have a fever.
Breathe hot air. Hang out in a steamy shower or cover your head with a towel and hold it over a sinkful of hot water to ease dry throats and nasal passages.
Eat healthy. Good food keeps your immune system in the fight.
Don’t smoke. You’ll have a hard enough time breathing as it is.
Keep the flu to yourself. Stay away from family members, colleagues, and friends. Youre contagious 1 day before symptoms start and for 5-7 days after symptoms start.
Which Flu Treatment Is Best For My Sore Throat
Drinking lots of fluids and using salt water gargles can often be helpful for easing the pain of a sore throat. Over-the-counter pain relievers and medicated lozenges and gargles can also temporarily soothe a sore throat. Get your doctor’s approval before using any medications, including over-the-counter drugs, and don’t use lozenges or gargles for more than a few days. Call your doctor if your throat is still sore after a couple of days or if it is severe.The medications could mask signs of strep throat, a bacterial infection that should be treated with antibiotics.
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Key Points About The Flu In Children
Influenza is a very contagious viral infection of the respiratory system.
It causes a high fever, body aches, a cough, and other symptoms.
Most children are ill with the flu for less than a week. But some children have a more serious illness and may need to be treated in the hospital. The flu may also lead to lung infection or death.
The flu may be treated with acetaminophen, cough medicine, and antiviral medicine. Your child will also need lots of rest and drinking plenty of fluids.
The best way to prevent flu is to have the yearly flu vaccine. Because the viruses change, researchers create a new flu vaccine each year to help protect against strains of the virus that are currently active. The vaccine is advised for all children 6 months and older.
What Should I Do If I Think I Am Sick With Flu
If you get sick with flu, antiviral drugs are a treatment option. Check with your doctor promptly if you are at higher risk of serious flu complications and you develop flu symptoms. Flu signs and symptoms can include feeling feverish or having a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to treat your flu illness.
What Causes The Flu In A Child
The flu is caused by flu viruses. Flu viruses are divided into 3 types:
Influenza types A and B. These 2 types of viruses cause widespread illness almost every winter. They often lead to more people needing to go to the hospital, and more people dying from the flu. Public health officials focus on stopping the spread of types A and B. One of the reasons the flu remains a problem is because the viruses change often. This means that people are exposed to new types of the viruses each year.
Influenza type C. This type of virus causes a very mild respiratory illness or no symptoms at all. It does not cause epidemics. It does not have the severe public health impact that influenza types A and B do.
A flu virus is often passed from child to child through sneezing or coughing. The virus can also live for a short time on surfaces. This includes doorknobs, toys, pens or pencils, keyboards, phones and tablets, and countertops. It can also be passed through shared eating utensils and drinking. Your child can get a flu virus by touching something that was touched by an infected with person, and then touching his or her mouth, nose, or eyes.
Symptoms Have A Job To Do
Feeling bad isnt any fun, but it means your healing process is at work to fight the flu. A fever kills the virus by making your body hotter than normal. That also helps germ-killing proteins in your blood get where they need to be more quickly. So if you run a slight fever for a day or two, you could get well faster.
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Is An Antiviral Drug A Commonly Used Flu Treatment
Antiviral flu drugs are taken to decrease the severity and duration of flu symptoms. In some cases they may be used to prevent flu. They includeÃ baloxavir marboxil ,Ã oseltamivir , peramivir , or zanamivir .
Ideally, the first dose should be taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Talk to your doctor, if you are at increased risk for complications from the flu. People at high risk include infants, elderly, those with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, those with weak immune systems. Native American and Alaskan Natives. Most antivirals do have side effects.
How Can I Help Prevent The Flu In My Child
The best way to prevent flu is to have the yearly flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is given as a shot . A nasal spray is not recommended for the 2017-2018 flu season. The CDC says this is because the nasal spray did not seem to protect against the flu over the last several flu seasons.
Each year, a new flu vaccine is available before the start of the flu season. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have questions about how vaccines work and how well they prevent flu. The first time a child between the ages of 6 months and 8 years gets a flu vaccine, he or she will need a second flu vaccine one month later.
The vaccine is advised for all children 6 months and older. But for some children, its more critical for them to get a flu shot. The flu shot should be given to any child who has any of these:
A long-term heart or lung condition
An endocrine disorder such as diabetes
A kidney or liver disorder
Weak immune system from HIV/AIDS or long-term steroids
A blood disorder such as sickle cell disease
A flu shot should also be given to:
A child who has a family member with a chronic health condition
A child or teen taking aspirin as long-term therapy
A child with parents or caregivers at high risk of complications from the flu
Some side effects of the vaccine can be like mild flu symptoms, but the vaccine does not cause the flu. Possible side effects of the flu vaccine include:
And you can help prevent your child spreading the flu to others if you:
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What Are The Recommended Antiviral Drugs For Children
At the first sign of flu symptoms, talk to your doctor about whether antiviral drugs might benefit your child. These flu drugs can help a child get better sooner and may prevent serious flu complications.
Antivirals work best when taken during the first two days of illness. The first dose should be taken within 48 hours of when symptoms started.
Can You Get Medicine For Influenza
If you are seriously ill, your doctor might order an antiviral drug for you. Antiviral drugs for influenza include oseltamivir phosphate zanamivir peramivir and baloxavir .
This drug is approved to treat influenza in patients who are two weeks of age and older, and it works best in people who have had the flu for fewer than two days. It is also approved to prevent flu in patients who are one year of age and older. There is a generic version of this product available, but it costs nearly as much as the brand name. Potential side effects include nausea, vomiting, nosebleeds, headaches and tiredness.
This drug is approved to treat flu in patients seven years old and older, and to prevent flu in patients who are five and older. This product is inhaled and not recommended for people who have respiratory illnesses like COPD or asthma. Common side effects include headaches, nausea, diarrhea, nose irritation and vomiting.
This drug is approved to treat flu in people 2 years old and older. This product is given into the vein by a healthcare provider. A common side effect from peramivir is diarrhea.
This drug, a pill, is approved to treat flu in people 12 years old and older who are otherwise healthy and in people who are at higher risk of developing influenza-related complications. Common side effects are diarrhea, bronchitis, nausea and headaches.
What complications are associated with influenza ?
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Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine
The flu shot can protect you against the flu. Because of this, it can reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. This can lead to serious complications. You should especially receive the flu vaccine this season if youre:
- at high risk of severe COVID-19 related illness
- capable of spreading the flu to those at high risk of severe illness related to COVID-19
The flu vaccine is especially important for the following groups.
What Increases Your Risk
Anyone exposed to an influenza virus can become infected. These viruses are contagious and spread easily among people in groups, such as in nursing homes, hospitals, shelters, schools, and day cares. Working, visiting, or living in any of these areas increases your risk of getting the flu.
The risk of having severe symptoms and complications is higher for:
- Children younger than 2 years of age.
- Adults age 65 and older.
- Pregnant women.
- People who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , other lung diseases, or heart failure.
- People who have a medical condition or who are using a medicine that impairs the immune system.
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When To See Your Gp
Consider visiting your GP if:
- you’re 65 years of age or over
- you’re pregnant
- you have a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease or a neurological disease
- you have a weakened immune system for example because you’re having chemotherapy or have HIV
- you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or start coughing up blood
- your symptoms are getting worse over time or haven’t improved after a week
In these situations, you may need medication to treat or prevent complications of flu. Your GP may recommend taking antiviral medicine to reduce your symptoms and help you recover more quickly.
How Long Does The Flu Last
Most people recover from the flu in about a week. But it may take several more days for you to feel back to your usual self. Its not uncommon to feel tired for several days after your flu symptoms have subsided.
Its important to stay home from school or work until youve been free of fever for at least 24 hours .
If you have the flu, it can be passed to another person a day before your symptoms appear and up to 57 days afterward.
If you have any cold or flu symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic, you must isolate yourself while getting tested and continue to practice good hygiene such as:
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