The flu is a highly contagious condition caused by the influenza virus. The usual symptoms of the flu are strikingly similar to other conditions. This is why it is recommended to consult a doctor for proper assessment with the help of a flu test for proper diagnosis. If an individual acquires the flu, the doctor will prescribe bed rest and other measures to manage the symptoms.
Common indications of flu
The usual flu symptoms include fever higher than 100 degrees F, chills, aching muscles, cough, headache, nasal congestion, sore throat, fatigue, runny nose and weakness. The individual might not experience all of these.
In most cases, some will have fever with the flu. Even though children can vomit and have diarrhea with the condition, these symptoms are not typical among adults. The usual incubation period is 18-72 hours, but it is possible to spread the virus up to 24 hours before the start of the symptoms.
Difference between cold and flu
The common cold and flu are both triggered by viral infections. Even though flu is oftentimes mistaken as a bad case of cold, there are indications that it is the flu. The typical flu symptoms occur abruptly while cold tends to slowly develop.
While having common cold can be a nuisance due to runny nose and sneezing, the flu will make the individual even worse with fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and coughing. The common flu symptoms can be managed in a similar manner when managing the cold symptoms with over-the-counter pain medications as well as cold preparations, bed rest and increased fluid intake.
What to do if the usual symptoms become worse
For healthy individuals, they are likely to recover from the condition within 2 weeks. Some are more likely to end up with serious complications. For those older than 65 years old, have chronic conditions such as asthma, congestive heart failure or diabetes or if pregnant, they are at risk for complications and must seek immediate medical care.
Prompt diagnosis is vital since the doctor might prescribe antiviral medications to prevent any complications before they start.
Pneumonia is one of the most serious complications of the flu. Other possible complications include sinus and ear infections, dehydration and bronchitis. The ideal protection for flu is to receive vaccination early in the flu season, especially if included in the high-risk groups. Regular hand washing is vital to prevent the spread of the influenza virus. The individual should quarantine himself/herself if symptoms are present.
Typical symptoms of flu emergencies
Even though the common flu symptoms can make the individual miserable, they do not usually require immediate treatment. There are certain symptoms that can occur along with the condition that requires medical attention such as chest or abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, confusion, dizziness and persistent vomiting.
The symptoms linked with flu complications include shaking chills, high fever, chest pain while breathing and productive cough with dense, yellow-green phlegm.