What causes the flu?
The flu, or influenza, is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system. Influenza affects patients of all ages, but is especially hazardous to children under the age of 2 and adults over the age of 65. In high-risk patients, untreated influenza can result in pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections, and asthma complications.
Influenza is spread through contact with infected persons, as well as germs left on objects and surfaces.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
The severity of flu symptoms depends on the infection itself. Flu symptoms typically occur suddenly and can become life-threatening. Some of the symptoms of influenza include:
- Sore muscles
- Sore throat
- Dry cough
Although the symptoms of influenza are similar to the common cold, they are typically more severe and can result in more serious conditions like pneumonia and bacterial infections.
How is the flu diagnosed?
To diagnose your condition, your doctor performs a physical exam and evaluates you for signs and symptoms of influenza. Your doctor may also perform a rapid influenza diagnostics test. The test uses a swab from your nose or throat and delivers results in as few as 15 minutes.
How is the flu treated?
Patients typically recover from the flu without medication. Rest and lots of fluids are the best route for giving your body the chance to combat the virus.
In cases where medication is required, antiviral medications are used to help your body fight the infection. Antiviral medications are taken orally or as an inhalant.
How do I prevent the flu?
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting an annual influenza vaccine. This common vaccine gives you the best chance of avoiding new strains of the flu. Influenza vaccines provide protection against three to four different strains of the flu. The CDC recommends annual flu shots for anyone older than 6 months.
At Heal 360, patients can walk in without an appointment and get their flu shot the same day.
If you experience any of the symptoms of the flu, visit a Heal 360 office or schedule an appointment by phone or online today.