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The  influenza virus, also referred to as the "flu" virus, is a highly contagious respiratory infection. Winter and the beginning of spring  are the peak flu seasons. Flu virus infects the body especially the upper and/or lower respiratory tracts.

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Advice for Flu

Flu symptoms might include the following and appear suddenly:

  • a rapid rise in fever and physical aches
  • feeling worn out or drained
  • dry cough, sore throat, headache, trouble sleeping, and appetite loss
  • vomiting or abdominal pain
  • being ill as well as feeling ill

Children can also experience  ear ache in addition to the same symptoms and appear to be less active.

Your clinician will perform a physical examination, search for  flu-related signs and symptoms, and maybe recommend a test to look for influenza viruses.

You might not need to get tested for the flu when it's common. Your symptoms may be used by your doctor to make a diagnosis.

Several tests may be used by your clinician to identify the flu. In many hospitals and laboratories, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is becoming more popular. You could undergo this test in the hospital or at the office of your clinician. The flu strain may be identified via  PCR testing, which is more sensitive than other procedures.

Influenza antiviral medications may be a therapy option if you become ill with the flu. Antiviral medications function best when used at an early stage, such as one to two days following the onset of flu symptoms.

If you are more likely to experience significant flu complications and experience flu symptoms, consult your doctor right away. Young children, individuals 65 and older, expectant women, and persons with specific medical disorders like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease are among those who are more vulnerable to flu complications.

Antiviral medications  for the flu can minimize symptoms and cut the length of your illness by one or two days when therapy is initiated within one to two days of the onset of  flu symptoms. They might also stop some flu-related side effects, like pneumonia. Treatment with influenza antiviral medications can mean the difference between a milder or more serious illness that may require a hospital admission for those who are more susceptible to serious flu complications.

There are 3 major methods for avoiding the flu:


The influenza shot
The annual flu shot can help lower your risk of contracting the illness each year, yet it is not 100% effective because it does not protect against all flu virus types. This fall, get the flu shot to protect yourself, others, and the NHS from the coronavirus (COVID-19), which is on the rise.


Proper Hygiene
You should always: to decrease your chance of contracting the flu or passing it on to others. Ensure that you regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water.
To get rid of germs, often wipe surfaces (such as your keyboard, phone, and door knobs). When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with tissues.
Throw away used tissues as soon as you can.

Antiviral Medicines
If any of the following apply, taking the antiviral medications to prevent the flu is advised. If there is a flu outbreak at a residential or nursing home, where the virus can frequently spread swiftly, antiviral medication may be provided to those who have come into contact with a confirmed case of the illness.

Flu FAQs (4)

Different viruses are responsible for these diseases. It can be challenging to distinguish them because they exhibit similar symptoms. Flu symptoms are typically significantly more severe than cold symptoms.

Although it can be anywhere between one and four days, the incubation period for influenza is typically two days.

Despite the fact that many people mistake influenza for a simple cold, it is actually a unique and deadly respiratory virus that can cause hospitalization and even death. Seasonal influenza infection rates are higher among young people. Adults 65 years of age and older, children under the age of 5, pregnant women, and persons of any age who have medical problems that put them at a higher risk for complications from influenza are at the highest risk for influenza-related complications, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Viral and bacterial pneumonia are the most common side effects of the flu. Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), brain (encephalitis), or muscle is another consequence (myositis). The illness can also worsen chronic medical issues such cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes, causes heart attacks and congestive heart failure.