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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
Flu is highly contagious, which means it can easily spread through families, schools, the workplace and communities.
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:
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.
Aitor is a Registered Nurse (AHPRA registration NMW0001159845) with over 17 years experience in General Nursing, Emergency Nursing and Corporate Health. He loves Flu, works with Flu, studies Flu, writes about Flu and ironically, he’s had the Flu.
He is the Nurse Consultant at Corporate Care and a proud member of the Australian National Padel Team.
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