Books – Karim Hassan:
Influenza is a respiratory disease caused by a viral infection. It is a very contagious disease. It is spread through respiratory droplets, talking, or physical contact, such as shaking hands, and causes unpleasant symptoms.
In the following lines, the “Consulto” explains everything you need to know about the flu, according to the “Ligne santé” website.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person with the flu may experience:
High fever for 3-4 days.
– Stuffy or runny nose.
Cold sweats and chills.
Feeling body pain.
– lack of appetite.
Not everyone with the flu has all of these symptoms, for example, it is possible to have the flu without a fever.
Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly.
Flu symptoms in adults
Some adults may have worrisome symptoms that require immediate medical attention, including the following:
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen.
Dizziness or confusion.
Not urinating, which may indicate dehydration.
Intense pain and feeling of weakness.
Loss of body balance.
Fever or cough that goes away and then comes back.
Flu symptoms in children
Children often have similar symptoms to adults, but they can also have gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If a child has the following symptoms, they need emergency medical attention:
Bluing of the face or lips.
– pain in the chest.
Dehydration, manifested by absence of urine for 8 hours and crying without tears.
Fever over 104 degrees Fahrenheit or any fever in a baby under 12 weeks old.
A cough that goes away and then comes back.
– inflammation of the throat.
Stuffy or runny nose.
Vomiting or diarrhea.
Most people can treat the flu at home, and a combination of over-the-counter methods and medications can help relieve symptoms, such as headaches and body aches.
However, some pain relievers, such as aspirin, are not suitable for children under the age of 16, as aspirin use at this age can lead to a condition known as Reye’s syndrome.
The flu cannot be treated with antibiotics because the infection is caused by a virus, and the doctor will only prescribe antibiotics if there is a bacterial infection in addition to the flu.
A few simple tips help control flu symptoms, such as staying home, avoiding contact with other people if possible, staying warm and resting, getting plenty of fluids and healthy foods, quitting smoking,
The doctor specializing in the diagnosis of influenza relies on knowledge of the symptoms the patient is suffering from and performs a physical examination, and may also take a swab from the throat for testing.
A rapid diagnostic flu test can produce results in 10 to 15 minutes, but it may not be accurate, and other more accurate tests may take longer to show results.
What is the difference between the flu and a cold?
People often confuse the flu with the common cold as some of the symptoms are similar as they cause the following symptoms:
Runny or stuffy nose.
– inflammation of the throat.
However, there are some differences, because unlike the flu, a cold does not come with a fever.
Cold symptoms tend to come on gradually, while flu symptoms can develop quickly.
Cold symptoms are usually less severe than flu symptoms, and after catching the flu, a person may continue to feel tired for several weeks.
The flu can cause health complications that can be life-threatening.
When is the flu time?
People can catch the flu at any time of the year, but it is more common during the winter season. The timing and length of the flu season varies from year to year, but it usually occurs in the fall and winter.
Influenza activity often begins to increase in October and may continue through May, but is most common from December to February.
Ways to prevent the flu
The flu vaccine can help prevent it, but it’s not 100% effective, and people should take lifestyle measures to reduce their risk, including the following:
Good hygiene, including frequent hand washing.
Maintain a strong immune system by following a healthy diet.
Stop or avoid smoking, as smokers are more likely to develop complications.
Stay away from people with the flu, as anyone can transmit the virus to another person within 6 feet.
A healthy person can spread the virus a day before symptoms appear, and the flu is most contagious in the first 3-4 days after symptoms appear.
Flu during pregnancy
The flu can be more dangerous during pregnancy because pregnancy affects the functioning of the immune system. Pregnancy-related complications include a higher risk of:
– Premature birth.
Low birth weight.
Stillbirth, as the flu can be fatal to newborns.
Bronchitis and otitis.
Possible complications of the flu
Although the flu is usually not serious, it can cause certain complications in some people, including:
Exacerbation of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.
Sinus problems and ear infections.
Categories more susceptible to influenza complications
– Adults over 65 years old.
– Infants or young children.
– Diseases of the heart, chest, kidneys, diabetes, cancer and low immunity.