Influenza Symptoms: What They Are and Treatments To Overcome Them

November 12, 2012

Influenza Symptoms: What They Are and Treatments To Overcome Them

Influenza symptoms can make you feel groggy, weak and lethargic. However, if treated within 48 hours, you can lessen the severity of your influenza symptoms with medication.

Influenza is commonly known as the flu and is an acute, very contagious infection in the respiratory tract. It generally takes place during the winter season. It usually shows up as an epidemic, which means it can affect a significant number of people at one time. Although every age group is affected, it’s highest among school-aged children. The other groups also at risk are:

  • Elderly

  • Chronic disease sufferers

  • People who are immunosuppressed

Pneumonia is also the most common complication of the flu – it’s usually in the form of viral pneumonia or it can be a bacterial infection. Still, it can cause the following illnesses:

  • Myocarditis

  • Pericarditis

  • Myositis

  • Reye’s syndrome

  • Encephalitis

  • Transverse myelitis

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (exacerbate)

How Is Influenza Transmitted

There are various strains of the flu virus because it can mutate itself into various forms. Just because you’re exposed to a similar flu strain doesn’t mean you can protect yourself from a new flu strain. Transmission of the flu virus happens in several ways:

  • Inhalation of respiratory droplet from someone infected with the flu

  • Indirect contact like drinking after someone who is infected with the flu

Influenza Symptoms: What Could You Experience

There are several influenza symptoms that you can experience when you’re infected with the virus such as:

  • Fatigue

  • Weakness

  • Fever (101 to 102 degrees)

  • Muscle aches

  • Sneezing

  • Headaches

  • Runny nose (possible symptom)

Despite feeling very sick, it rarely will cause more serious complications except to folks who are at significant risk.

How Are The Influenza Symptoms Treated

Here’s the truth: if you’re a healthy person, there’s not much you can do to treat the flu. However, there are some things you can do at home to make yourself as comfortable as possible:

1 – Get some bed rest

2 – Take Tylenol or Ibuprofen to relieve muscle aches and headaches. Don’t give children aspirin.

3 – Dink additional fluids

You might be wondering when you should call your doctor:

1 – You’ve had a fever of 102 degrees or more for more than three days

2 – Your coughing produces heavy mucus

3 – You’re finding it harder to breathe

4 – You begin to feel better then suddenly get worse.

5 – If the influenza symptoms occur between 10 days and three weeks after being bitten by a tick, as you could have Lyme’s disease.

There are instances where influenza symptoms demand an anti-flu medication. For instance, rimantadine or amantadine are very effective anti-influenza medications that reduces how long one suffers with an influenza’s A infection by nearly one-third… if the drug is given within two days (or 48 hours) after the influenza symptoms begin. They may also be used to stave off any influenza-A infections. Side effects of the medications include:

  • Dizziness

  • Insomnia

  • Nausea

Two new medications, Tamiflu and Relenza, work on both influenza A and B. Tamiflu is an oral medication while Relenza is an inhaled powder. They must be given within 48 hours after the initial onset of influenza symptoms if they will be effective against reducing the duration of the time you suffer from the flu. Patients with long problems should not use Relenza.

How To Prevent Influenza and Influenza Symptoms

Immunization from influenza is usually given in the form of an injection and must be done one week to four months before exposure if the shot is to be effective. This vaccine is made up of inactivated organisms of several strains that scientists also try to include the most recent strain. Vaccines are between 67 and 92 percent effective, which is placed into the muscles.

Bear in mind that some folks have a reaction to the vaccine, ranging from inflammation where the injection was made to very mild flu symptoms. There are some instances, although very rare, where nervous system disorders are experienced. Plus, eggs are used to make the vaccines so any person with an allergy to eggs must tell their doctor before treatment.

FluMist is the newest vaccine treatment and is recommended for people ages 5 to 65. It’s not injected to the muscle but rather sprayed into the nose. This vaccine isn’t like others, as it has a live virus. Thus, pregnant women or people who have a weak immune system should not be given this medication.

If you feel rundown, make sure to avoid places where there is going to be a lot of folks. You want to steer clear of folks who are coughing or sneezing. Extended exposure to cold, wet weather will also reduce your resistance and boost your chances of becoming infected. Don’t become overly sleepy or rundown. Also, avoid smoking and alcohol, as they can hinder your chances of recovering or suffering with influenza symptoms altogether.

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