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Understanding Flu

Understanding Flu

What Is Flu?

 

Influenza, aka the flu, is an airway infection that's very contagious. During winter season, influenza makes up the majority of diseases.

 

Flu can manifest itself in the form of headaches, sluggishness, body aches and a runny nose. It can also produce deadly, serious or fatal symptoms, including:

  • Kidney or other organ damage
  • Inflammation of the heart, brain or muscles
  • Pneumonia
  • Death

 

The influenza virus is the primary cause of the flu. Keep in mind that there are many strains of the flu virus and they constantly evolve each year.

Identifying Flu Symptoms

 

Once acquired, it usually takes one to three days for flu symptoms to show.

Then, it persists for approximately 7 days, or even more.

Flu affects everyone differently. Some might feel seriously ill and bedridden, while others hardly show any signs that they are infected.

 

 

Here are some of the symptoms flu exhibits:

  • Fever and chills
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat, coughing
  • Sneezing or runny nose
  • Diarrhea and vomiting

 

Flu can develop into something more serious, which includes:

  • Heart and other organ failures
  • Ear infection
  • Brain inflammation and damage
  • Croup
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Death
Flu symptoms like Dry cough, chills, Fever, Runny nose, headache and muscle aches
Understanding flu

Who Is At Risk?

 

Flu is a disease that can affect anyone, regardless of age.

People who are most susceptible to catching the flu virus include:

 

 

Medical conditions that could lead to acquiring a deadly form of flu include:

 

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney or Liver disease
  • Nervous system conditions, like multiple sclerosis
  • Down syndrome
  • Blood diseases
  • Lung disease
  • Metabolic disorders

 

It's important to note that those who have had flu shots can still get sick with the flu virus, but the risk and severity of the disease, including its symptoms, will be significantly reduced.

How Can You Get The Flu?

 

  1. Touching a contaminated surface that contains the flu virus, then subsequently touching your nose, eyes or mouth.
  1. Contact with an infected person's fluids when he or she sneezes or coughs.
  1. Breathing in an infected person's cough or sneeze.

 

Flu is highly contagious, which means it can easily spread through families, schools, the workplace and communities.

How Can You Stay Protected From Flu?

 

Flu vaccination is still the best form of protection against the influenza virus.

Vaccines can lessen the risk and seriousness of the disease. Because the influenza virus is ever-changing, every year there are new flu vaccines to protect individuals against the new strains.

Did you know that you can stop the spread of flu even if you're sick with it?

Here are a few best practices:

 

  1. Frequent hand-washing.
  1. Cover up when you cough or sneeze.
  1. Stay at home and away from populated areas such as schools, the workplace and malls.

 

Suspect you or a family member has the flu? The best thing to do is to visit your doctor ASAP.

 

Your doctor will ask you if you've been in contact with someone who has it and check for common signs and symptoms. Your doctor may ask for a blood test or swab your throat or nose to determine if you've been infected.