Dr Tariq Baig(MBBS)
What is flu?
Ans: The flu is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. It spreads easily, and these days due to the changing weather most people are affected by it.
How is it caused?
Ans: The flu is caused by an influenza virus. Most people get the flu when they breathe in tiny droplets from coughs or sneezes of someone who has the flu. You can also catch the flu if you touch something with the virus on it, and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. Sometimes people confuse colds and flu. They are different. But, you might have some of the same symptoms. Most people get a cold several times each year. Usually, a person gets the flu once every few years.
What are the symptoms?
Ans: The pioneer test for Thalassemia detection is serum Electropheresis, and is also detected through various blood tests.
How is it treated?
Flu symptoms usually start quickly. You can start to feel sick about 1 – 7 days after you are around the virus. Usually, symptoms start in 2-3 days.
The flu spreads easily. It can affect a large group of people in a very short amount of time. For example, students and workers get sick within 2 or 3 weeks of the flu’s arrival in a school or workplace.
The first symptom is a fever between 102 and 106 °F. An adult usually has a lower fever than a child.
Other common symptoms include:
- Body aches
- Flushed face
- Lack of energy
- Nausea and vomiting
The fever and aches and pains begin to go away on days 2-4. But new symptoms occur, including:
- Dry cough
- Increased breathing symptoms
- Runny nose (clear and watery)
- Sore throat
Most symptoms usually go away in 4 – 7 days. But the cough and feeling tired may last for weeks. Sometimes, the fever comes back.
Some people may not feel like eating.
The flu can make asthma, breathing problems, and other long-term illnesses worse.
What are the exams and tests needed to detect flu?
Most people do not need to see a doctor or nurse when they have flu symptoms. This is because most people are not at risk for a severe flu.
If you are very sick with the flu, you may want to see your doctor.
When many people in an area have flu, a doctor can make a diagnosis after hearing about your symptoms. No further testing is needed.
There is a test to detect the flu. It is done by swabbing the nose or throat. Most of the time, test results are available very fast.
HOW DO I TREAT MY SYMPTOMS?
Ans: Panadol and ibuprofen help lower fever. Sometimes doctors suggest you use both types of medicine. fever does not need to come all the way down to normal. Most people feel better when the temperature drops by 1 degree. Over-the-counter cold medicines may make some of your symptoms better. Cough drops or throat sprays will help with your sore throat. You will need a lot of rest. Drink plenty of liquids.
WHAT ABOUT ANTIVIRAL DRUGS?
Ans: Most people with milder symptoms feel better in 3 – 4 days. They do not need to see a doctor or take antiviral medications. Doctors may give antiviral drugs to people who get very sick with the flu. You may need these medicines if you are more likely to have flu complications. These medicines may shorten the time you have symptoms by about 1 day. They work better if you start taking them within 2 days of your first symptoms. Children at risk of a severe case of the flu may also need these medicines.
Millions of people in the United States get the flu each year. Most get better within a week or two.
But thousands of people with the flu develop pneumonia or a brain infection. They need to stay in the hospital. About 36,000 people in the U.S. die each year of problems from the flu.
Anyone at any age can have serious complications from the flu. Those at highest risk include:
- People over age 65
- Children younger than 2 years
- Women more than 3 months pregnant during the flu season
- Anyone living in a long-term care facility
- Anyone with chronic heart, lung, or kidney conditions, diabetes, or a weakened immune system
Complications may include:
- Encephalitis (infection of the brain)
Because colds and flus are easily spread, everyone should always wash their hands before eating and after going outside. Ordinary soap is sufficient. Waterless hand cleaners that contain an alcohol-based gel are also effective for everyday use and may even kill cold viruses.
Antibacterial soaps add little protection, particularly against viruses. In fact, one study suggests that common liquid dish washing soaps are up to 100 times more effective than antibacterial soaps in killing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is known to cause pneumonia. Wiping surfaces with a solution that contains one part bleach to 10 parts water is very effective in killing viruses.