Healthy Living

Flu: Symptoms and Treatment

Flu: Symptoms and Treatment

Is it the flu?

One of the most common causes of the flu is the influenza A virus.

You may have the flu if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

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The symptoms of the flu can be similar to the symptoms of a common cold, however, they are a little more severe. 

It can be difficult to determine whether or not you have the flu or a cold. Pregnant women, children under the age of 2, adults older than 65-years-old, and people with conditions like diabetes are at a higher risk of catching the flu. If you have symptoms that resemble the flu, it is vital to visit your physician and get treated as soon as possible.

How to treat the flu

The flu can be treated with plenty of bed rest and fluids. Drinking a lot of fluids, like water and orange juice, can not only prevent dehydration but also increase your level of vitamin C.  Nasal decongestants and pain killers such as Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen can help subdue the symptoms of the flu. However, it is important to remember that aspirin should never be given to small children, as it can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition known as Reye’s syndrome.

Reye’s syndrome is a serious condition that results in the swelling of the brain and liver.  Some signs and symptoms are confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness. Normally, this condition will require attention immediately so it can be treated.

If you do not feel better after these remedies, visit your physician. Your physician may prescribe you anti-viral drugs such as Tamiflu, Rapivab, and Relenza, which will help shorten the duration of the illness and prevent complications, like pneumonia. These drugs should be taken within the first 48 hours after contracting the flu. 

Key Takeaways

  • Flu symptoms are more severe than a cold.
  • If you are a diabetic, pregnant, or older than 65-years-old, then you are at a higher risk of catching the flu and it is advisable to visit your doctor as soon as possible. Children under the age of 2-years-old are also at a higher risk of contracting the flu.
  • Bed rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and pain killers can help to make you feel better.
  • Anti-virals are usually prescribed to shorten the duration of the disease.