Influenza, or the flu, is caused by influenza viruses and affects the respiratory system. Depending on the person who gets the flu, symptoms might range from mild to severe. In the very worst cases, patients may require hospitalization and even die. Young children, seniors, and people with pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, HIV or AIDS, cancer, and heart attack or stroke history have more of a risk of complications.
Even though influenza and colds are often spoken of interchangeably, the two types of viruses are very different. People who come down with flu often feel their symptoms come on quite suddenly. A cold, on the other hand, usually develops a little more gradually.
A fever is common, although not everyone will develop a fever. Alternately feeling feverish and chilled is also possible. Having this feeling can be very uncomfortable.
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Coughing, having a sore throat, and either a runny or stuffy nose are somewhat typical. These symptoms play a role in people often mistaking influenza for a cold. However, there are some additional symptoms with influenza that you are not as likely to get with a cold.
Muscle and body aches affect many people with this illness. You are also quite likely to experience a headache. The body pain may feel quite debilitating.
Influenza patients are also likely to feel fatigued. One of the things that many influenza patients will notice is not feeling like getting up and doing much of anything. Less commonly, some people have diarrhea or vomiting, also children are more likely to experience these symptoms.
The most important things to remember if you are having flu symptoms are to stay home and avoid contact with others if possible. People who are otherwise healthy usually do not require special treatment. However, if you're feeling particularly sick or have a pre-existing condition that makes you more vulnerable to severe symptoms, seek medical help.
A trip to the emergency room is best avoided unless you have severe symptoms, in case your symptoms are because of something other than influenza. Otherwise, you are risking catching the virus from someone else who is infected. Trips to the emergency room should be reserved only for emergency symptoms. Visiting Amarillo STAT Care first.
Some of the more severe symptoms that should be considered an emergency include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, abdominal or chest pain or pressure, dizziness, confusion, or difficulty waking up. Seizures, a lack of urination, severe muscle pain or weakness, and instability. Other symptoms that require urgent attention include a worsening fever or cough, as well as worsened symptoms from a chronic medical condition.
A healthcare provider at Amarillo STAT Care might prescribe antiviral drugs if you seek medical help within the first two days of having symptoms. These drugs can help prevent the symptoms from getting any worse and help you feel better faster.
Stay home until your fever has been gone for 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications like acetaminophen. Avoid work, school, social events, shopping, and travel during this time.
Avoid contact with others in your home as much as possible. Use a tissue whenever you cough or sneeze, and wear a facemask when you go out. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer as much as you can, especially after coughing or sneezing.
A yearly flu shot can help keep you from ending up with influenza. Getting the vaccine is especially important for adults in traditional indoor workforce settings, school-age children and college students, and the elderly or those with chronic health conditions.
If you need treatment for influenza or are interested in getting a vaccine, Amarillo STAT Care in Amarillo, TX can help you with all your needs.