Influenza commonly referred to as the flu, is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system – that is, your lungs, throat, and nose. In most cases, people with flu naturally recover. Sometimes, however, influenza comes with deadly complications. Let’s review everything you should know about the flu and the Houston flu treatments available for this infection.
What Is the Flu?
The flu is an extremely contagious viral infection that usually attacks the respiratory tract, sometimes causing severe diseases and life-devastating complications like pneumonia. The flu typically spreads by contact with fluids from sneezes and coughs that are contaminated by the flu virus.
The flu affects people of all ages, from healthy people to the vulnerable ones, like children, pregnant women, and the elderly. It also poses serious risks to people with chronic medical conditions or a weakened immune system. Additionally, it can worsen some existing medical conditions resulting in hospitalization or even death. Below are some of the people at a greater risk of severe flu complications:
- Children below 5 years
- People with existing medical conditions
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- People over 65 years
Symptoms of The Flu
You are more likely to develop flu symptoms if you get into contact with someone who already has it. The following are some of the most common flu symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- A dry cough
- Sore throat
- Aching behind the eyes
- Feeling abnormally tired and weak
- Body aches, especially in the lower back, legs, and head.
- Stuffy or runny nose
- The sudden appearance of a high fever of 38°c or more)
Flu Vs. COVID-19
There are similarities between symptoms of flu and COVID-19. Therefore, if you notice you have flu-like symptoms, make sure to call the COVID-19 hotline to check if you need COVID-19 testing. Some of the common symptoms to look out for include:
- Runny nose
- Difficulty breathing
- Sweats or chills
- Change or loss in sense of taste or smell
- Sore throat
How to Control the spread of an Infection
The following are important measures on how to control the spread of the flu infection:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow.
- Regularly clean often-touched surfaces.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, mouth, and eyes.
- Avoid crowds or gatherings.
Available Flu Treatments
Influenza vaccines are usually not 100% effective, so the best treatment for flu is prevention. If you develop any flu-like symptoms, you are eligible for an antiviral flu shot that greatly helps in the recovery process. Flu symptoms can be treated by drinking plenty of fluids and using fever-reducing medications. Additionally, Dr. Abrar administers an antiviral medication within 24-48 hours after the onset of flu-like symptoms.
Generally, most people with flu symptoms suffer from its devastating symptoms for several days and weeks, while others often experience long-term health complications after contracting the disease. Dr. Syed Abrar, MD, at the Fulshear Medical Associated in Houston, Texas, offers effective flu vaccines that help protect or manage your flu-like symptoms. To learn more about flu precautions, call us today or book an appointment online.