Flu is a viral infection caused by the influenza virus. It causes infection in the lungs and the small airways. There are several strains of the influenza virus, example Influenza A and Influenza B. The flu is far more severe than a cold and comes on very suddenly. Symptoms can last up to 10 days.
Common symptoms of the flu include:
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Chest discomfort
The flu can be dangerous. Each year, the flu kills thousands of people in the United States. However, the most likely patients to get severe ill from the flu are people:
- Over the age of 65
- Having underlying illness ( like diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, etc)
- Pregnant women
- Young children (especially under 2 years old)
The flu can be diagnosed from testing and or symptoms. There is an antiviral medication that can be given to reduce the duration of symptoms. However, treatment has to be started within 48 hours of onset of symptoms in order for the medication to be effective. Flu vaccines can also help prevent the flu, however you can still get the flu despite this. Please consult with a healthcare provider today to determine the best treatment for you.