What to Do When It's the Flu

What to Do When It's the Flu

Each year, when temperatures drop, the influenza virus is more likely to spread. Cold temperatures and dry environments make it easier for the virus to survive in the open air. 

Influenza is the virus responsible for the flu. Most people can clear the viral infection on their own, but certain categories of people (e.g., children, the elderly, people suffering from chronic diseases, and people who take immunosuppressants) may be in real danger of developing secondary infections, such as pneumonia. 

Below, we asked our experts at Star Treatment Healthcare Services and Med Spa to explain what to do when you suspect you have the flu.

The difference between a cold and the flu 

Many cold and flu symptoms overlap. However, a cold only impacts the respiratory system, causing congestion, coughing, sore throat, and loss of smell or taste. However, the flu causes symptoms that affect the whole body. With the flu, you can also expect muscle aches, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and fever. 

Another difference between a cold and the flu is the severity of the symptoms. Flu symptoms are more severe and they start abruptly. The flu also tends to last longer. 

Flu symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms often overlap, and symptoms alone can’t be used to determine whether you have the flu or COVID-19. For this reason, testing is necessary to determine what virus is causing your symptoms. 

Flu treatment 

Most people who have a healthy immune system and don’t have any nutritional deficiencies can clear the flu on their own.

However, if your symptoms don’t improve with rest and plenty of fluids, viral medication could be an option. People who are at risk for developing complications from the flu can also benefit from viral medications. 

Antibiotics don’t have any effect on the flu. If you do see improvements with antibiotics, the cause of your illness is most likely bacterial. 

Prevent the flu by getting vaccinated 

The only way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. Vaccines train your immune system to identify influenza viruses by exposing them to dead or weakened forms of the virus. Influenza has many strains, but even if the strain in the vaccine isn’t an exact match to the strain circulating this year, the vaccine will still offer some extra protection against the virus. 

Contact us at Star Treatment Healthcare Services and Med Spa to schedule an appointment and ensure you’re well next flu season. 

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