What is Flu? Causes, Symptoms & Treatments
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What is Flu? Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

"What is the flu?" is a common question asked every single year. The flu season usually comes in winter, usually from October into early March.  Most of the flu viruses that circulate have a life cycle where they are dormant, and then you get the cold, and they multiply and cause full-blown flu. The flu symptoms are usually very similar to other strains of the virus, so unless you have experienced the symptoms before, it may be challenging to figure out which type you have. This is why the flu symptoms can look like anything from a simple headache to a severe sore throat.

The best way to prevent getting the flu is to avoid coming into contact with those who have it or have the flu symptoms. Close physical contact such as kissing, sharing glasses, or eating foods that have been spread can make you more susceptible to getting the flu virus. The flu is particularly prevalent in younger children and elderly people. Anyone who is sick with a cold should be vaccinated against the flu once they have recovered. However, there is no cure for the flu virus, so those sick should avoid playing sports or using public swimming areas.

Treatment

Those who come down with the flu will experience several symptoms such as fever, headache, cough, tiredness, and even muscle aches. The treatment for the flu begins with a doctor's diagnosis to rule out other conditions. Treatment of choice for the flu can vary depending on the severity of your illness. If your case of the flu is relatively mild, the average treatment will include antiviral medications, cough suppressants, and pain relievers.

More severe flu cases may require hospitalization and may require that you take an antibiotic in addition to any OTC medications you are taking. When it comes to treatment options, there are several types. Your doctor will be able to give you a complete list of them and discuss the best course of action for your case. These treatment options include the use of an aerosol, injection, or both. You will be given the treatment depending on your case and how bad your symptoms are.

One of the most common flu viruses is swine flu. Unlike the seasonal flu that primarily affects elderly people, swine flu has spread quickly worldwide within the past few months. Some people have not had a case of the flu so far this season. While the virus is not always deadly, it can be deadly when left unchecked. For this reason, you should consult your doctor immediately if you believe that you have the flu.

Unlike the cold, which usually affects children and the elderly, the flu is very much a menace to anyone who gets it. It can be passed from one person to another through close, physical contact. It can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing, as well as eating and sharing food. The best way to avoid getting the flu is to stay actively healthy and not close with anyone who has it.

While you might not be able to avoid coming into contact with someone who has the flu, there are some things that you can do to make sure that you avoid contracting it. Be aware of your surroundings and the symptoms that are common for the flu. Be careful not to touch anything someone else has touched, and always pay close attention to your signs. If you find out the flu symptoms when they appear, you can take preventative measures before the disease becomes severe enough.

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