Getting the flu comes with a long list of issues: In addition to feeling achy and exhausted, you have to navigate how to go about your daily routine without getting your family infected. To add insult to injury, seldom can a person take several unplanned days off work without it affecting their workload and deadlines.
While it’s impossible to completely eliminate the likelihood of getting sick, it helps to know flu basics and what you can do to keep yourself as healthy as possible.
What Is The Flu?
Influenza (commonly known as “the flu”) is a highly contagious virus that affects the nose, throat, and lungs.
Common Influenza Symptoms
Symptoms can range from mild to severe and include the following:
- Sore Throat
- Runny Nose
- Body Aches
How Does The Flu Spread?
The virus is spread by small droplets of saliva when people sneeze, cough, or talk. The risk of transmission increases when an infected person touches their mouth, nose, or eyes, then makes physical contact with people or shared objects and surfaces.
Who Is At Risk Of Getting Infected By The Flu?
People who are under five years of age, pregnant, over 65, or who have a chronic health condition are at higher risk of getting infected and experiencing complications, such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
Is Flu The Same Every Year?
As it turns out, the virus is not the same every single year. In fact, there are several types of the flu virus: Influenza A can be carried and spread by animals (such as H1N1 or swine flu or H5N1 bird flu), while Influenza B and C can only be contracted by humans.
A and B are the most serious ones that can result in complications, while Influenza C is much milder and can feel like a strong cold. And under the Influenza A umbrella, there are additional subtypes of flu viruses. It’s also important to note that what’s commonly known as the stomach flu has nothing to do with influenza.
What Is Different About The 2019 Flu Season?
One of the worst cases of a flu pandemic occurred in 2009, due to a swine flu outbreak. That said, the early months of 2018 brought with it a higher than usual number of influenza-related hospitalizations. This was due to poor performance by the year’s flu shot against the H3N2A strain.
As a result of the complications in early 2018, improvements were made to the vaccine to get ready for the 2019 flu season. Both the FDA and CDC are recommending getting the flu shot to diminish as much as possible the chances of contracting most variants of the virus.
Other things you can do to protect yourself include adopting lifestyle changes that will boost your immune system, such as eating healthy, getting enough sleep, getting regular exercise, and staying hydrated.
24-Hour Emergency Room Services In Colorado Springs And Texas
If you have the flu, we can provide you with the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.
Visit us online to find the Complete Care location nearest you.