I May Have The Flu, Now What?
People sometimes feel confused about whether they have influenza or the flu. Influenza, while commonly referred to as the flu, has different symptoms than the typical stomach flu. Influenza is a respiratory virus that causes problems with your throat, nose and lungs. The most common symptoms with the stomach flu include diarrhea and vomiting.
What to Expect as Influenza Progresses
When you get the respiratory type of flu, it may seem like a common cold at first. One major difference is that the flu tends to come on quickly while colds develop slowly and can last up to two weeks. A cold can leave you feeling miserable for a few days before it resolves on its own. The respiratory flu typically leaves people feeling much sicker. The most common symptoms associated with it include:
- Aching muscles
- Alternating body chills and sweats
- Dry and persistent cough
- Fever greater than 100.4 degrees
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
- Weakness and fatigue
Flu symptoms come on suddenly and make you feel quite sick for several days. The best way to overcome the flu is to stay home from work or school, get more rest than you usually do and drink plenty of liquids. Unfortunately, this does not work for everyone and the flu can sometimes present complications that require immediate medical intervention.
People Most at Risk of Developing Flu Complications
Prompt medical treatment is essential when the flu does not appear to be resolving on its own since ongoing flu symptoms can be risky or deadly. People who have a greater likelihood of developing flu complications include:
- Children under age five, but especially those under age two
- Pregnant women and those who have given birth in the past two weeks
- Obese individuals with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40
- People who already had a weak immune system before they caught the flu
- Older people who live in long-term care facilities such as a nursing home
- Seniors over age 65
Some of the complications that could develop due to a prolonged case of the flu include flare-ups of pre-existing asthma, pneumonia, ear infections, heart problems, and bronchitis. It is also important to realize that several people die of the flu every season.
Flu Prevention Strategies
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that all people over age six months receive an annual flu vaccination. The vaccine protects from the most common viruses identified that flu season. Washing your hands multiple times a day, avoiding large crowds of people and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough can help prevent the spread of the flu as well.
PrimeCare Urgent Care: Your Partner in Fighting the Flu
Remember to call us or stop by for treatment if your symptoms become worse. We are conveniently open seven days a week until 7 p.m.