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What is flu and how to protect yourself from it?

What is the Flu?

Known simply as the flu, influenza differs from the common cold substantially. On average, the flu lasts up to a week, though certain symptoms might remain for at least another week afterward. Data shows a flu shot through your family care center is nearly 50% more effective in preventing your body from contracting this illness. Vaccinations remain the best option against influenza as the virus circulates your community during the winter months.

Can the Flu be Deadly?

A viral infection known for its attacks on the respiratory system, the flu will generally resolve itself in time. However, one must ensure proper primary care to prevent complications, that might, in rare cases, lead to death. These could arise from the body’s inability to fight the flu effectively, as it develops into a life-threatening condition such as pneumonia. Other complications include sinus and ear infections, heart inflammation (myocarditis), brain inflammation (encephalitis), inflammation of the muscle tissues (rhabdomyolysis), or even sepsis.

Flu symptoms include:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Cough Headaches
  • Sore body
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Children may also experience diarrhea and vomiting, more so than adults, while not all diagnosed with the flu will show symptoms of fever. Warning signs requiring urgent care include:

  • Bluish lips or face
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pains
  • Dehydration with lack of urination over a 8h period and lack of tears while crying
  • Fever that will improve but then worsen continuously
  • Lack of alert interaction while awake
  • Seizures
  • Fever above 102F

How Do You Prevent the Flu?

Those with chronic conditions should take extra care in treating the flu. High-risk populations include those with chronic diseases, pregnant women, elderly over the age of 65, and children under the age of five. As a rather common condition, manageable but potentially fatal if left untreated, we recommend staying proactive by receiving preventive care and your next flu shot at AllCare Family Medicine and Urgent Care.