What Is the Flu: An In-depth Look Into Its Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

What Is the Flu: An In-depth Look Into Its Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

The flu, also known as influenza, is a viral infection that affects mainly your respiratory system. That is to say that it affects your nasal passage, throat, and lungs.

The flu has been known to seasonally erupt within our population, resulting in what we commonly refer to as the seasonal flu.

During such an outbreak, it is not uncommon to find patients thronging our flu emergency room in San Antonio, exhibiting the different flu symptoms and looking for flu treatment options.

Flu can be unpredictable at times because you can never anticipate the viral subtype that we might encounter within a given season. And also, because the symptoms it causes within individuals may vary.

Some patients may experience mild flu symptoms that tend to dissipate on their own within a few days, while others may experience adverse complications and may require to rush into our flu emergency room in San Antonio for medical assistance.

Patients may exhibit these flu-related complications, particularly if they fall within the high-risk category.

High-Risk Factors That May Lead to Flu-Related Complications

Certain predisposing factors may make you more vulnerable to flu related complications. Individuals who might experience these complications may include:

  • Children who are below five years of age
  • Individuals residing in nursing homes and any other assisted living facilities
  • Pregnant women
  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Individuals living with compromised immune systems
  • Infants below 12 months old
  • Obese individuals who have a BMI of 40 and above
  • Postpartum women
  • Individuals who have been diagnosed and are living with chronic illnesses such as cardiac diseases, diabetes or asthma

The best way forward would be to focus on flu prevention for people who fall within these high-risk categories. The only way to protect you and your loved ones from getting the seasonal flu is to get a flu vaccine.

Flu Symptoms

Here are some of the prominent symptoms that indicate you may have the flu:

  • Muscle aches
  • A headache
  • A dry and persistent cough
  • A fever
  • Fatigue
  • Nasal blockage
  • A sore throat
  • Weakness

If you are a healthy and young individual, then symptoms may dissipate away after a few days, and you might not even have to see a doctor for any flu treatment.

However, if you stand any chance of developing flu related complications, you should seek medical attention for your flu. This is because you could end up developing complications such as pneumonia, asthma, cardiac issues, ear infections, or even bronchitis.

What Causes the Flu?

The flu is caused by an airborne influenza virus and can also be transmitted by coming into contact with contaminated objects.

The influenza virus has different strains, with some being able to mutate into different subtypes continuously. This makes it hard to develop a lasting flu vaccine.

This is because a vaccine will only protect you from that particular influenza strain and not from any other strain that might break out instead.

The common strains of influenza virus are:

  • Influenza A – is the most lethal and common form of the virus. It has hundreds of subtypes and is responsible for most of the flu pandemics. It can be hosted by birds, animals, and human beings.
  • Influenza B – can only be found in human hosts. It is milder than type A; however, it can still cause the seasonal epidemics we experience during flu season
  • Influenza C – also found in human beings only. Rarely causes any illnesses, and in the case that it does, the cases are very mild.

Flu Treatment

If you do not develop any complications or experience only mild symptoms during your flu, you will be fine after having lots of bed rest and staying hydrated.

However, if you happen to develop any complications or if you have a terrible infection, then our doctor may have to prescribe an antiviral to help you fight off the flu.

You should ensure that you take plenty of fluids when you have the flu, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to help boost your immunity and help you put up a fight against the flu virus.

How Can You Protect Yourself Against The Flu?

The best way to prevent a flu is to get a flu vaccine. Anyone that is over six months old can get vaccinated against flu.

You and your loved ones can get vaccinated at our flu emergency room in San Antonio, and stay protected against at least 3 or 4 influenza strains that could break out during the flu season.

Visit us today at Express ER (San Antonio), and let us ensure that you and your loved ones are protected against the flu.

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