Flu (Influenza)


What is the flu?

Flu, or influenza, is an infection of the nose, throat, windpipe, lung airways, and muscles. It is not the same thing as the common cold.


What are the symptoms of the flu?

It may cause very high fevers, muscle pain, headache, fatigue, chills, and dry cough.


How long does it take to get over the flu?

Most people with the flu get better in seven to ten days; however, flu may lead to severe illness, especially in infants and the elderly.


How is the flu treated?

First, you need to contact your physician if you feel like you have influenza. He or she may prescribe an anti-viral medicine. Anti-viral medicines work best if given within 48 hours of the start of symptoms and can help reduce the severity and duration of the flu. You need to get plenty of rest and drink fluids. You can take TylenolŪ or AdvilŪ to relieve fever, headache, and body aches. You should not take aspirin.


How can I prevent becoming infected by the flu?

You can get vaccinated to prevent influenza. Physicians usually offer the vaccine in October or November. If you are over the age of 50, and have a chronic illness (such as asthma, emphysema diabetes, or heart disease), or have close contact with people who have a chronic illness, it is especially important to seek vaccination. You should avoid contact with people who have the flu virus. You should wash your hands often. Getting plenty of rest, eat well, and exercise to strengthen your immune system. You should avoid smoking as well.