Cases of the flu usually start increasing from October onwards. Flu can happen to anyone. However, children, elderly persons, and those with chronic ailments are most at risk. The best way to stay safe from the flu is to take the vaccine annually.
In this blog, we will share the 5 commonly asked questions about flu and their answers –
1. What is the treatment for flu?
The most widely prescribed treatment for flu is the antiviral drug. In most cases, flu symptoms go on their own. However, if symptoms are severe, doctors often recommend antivirals. These drugs are extremely effective if taken early, usually your symptoms start. The drugs can potentially ameliorate symptoms. They can also cut down the duration of the ailment and prevent it from getting severe and complicated.
Remember! Most people with the flu won’t need antivirals. Doctors usually prescribe the drugs to those at higher risk of complications and severe illness from flu. These individuals include those 65 years or older, children, pregnant women, and people with underlying health conditions.
Also read: Know About Flu
2. What can I do to keep myself and my family healthy the during flu season?
The first step towards protection from flu is taking the flu vaccine every year. Some other things that can help you get protection from severe flu symptoms are –
- If you or any family member is sick, stay away from other members of the family. This will protect them from infection.
- Use a tissue or a cloth napkin to cover your face when you cough or sneeze. Trash the tissue after use or wash the napkin. If tissues or napkins are not handy, sneeze into your elbow.
- Stay away from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs normally spread faster in this way.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Wash them for 20 seconds. If soap is not available, use sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Sanitise the frequently-touched surfaces.
3. Can a flu vaccine give me the flu?
There are some instances of people feeling unwell or experience flu symptoms after getting the flu vaccine. Common side effects of flu shots are soreness, redness, tenderness, or swelling of the area where the vaccine was injected. Other less common side effects are mild fever, headache, and muscle pains. The side effects normally begin immediately after getting the shot and stay for one or two days. Other than side effects, some other factors can cause flu symptoms after you’ve got the flu vaccine.
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Here are the causes-
- You can get infected with other respiratory viruses, like rhinoviruses. Such viral fevers are linked with the common cold. It has flu like symptoms. Moreover, it also spreads and occurs during the flu season. Remember! A flu vaccine can only protect you from flu, and not from other diseases.
- Another reason of feeling flu like symptoms is getting exposed to influenza viruses which cause the flu. Notably, it takes nearly two-weeks post vaccination for the body to develop immune protection. Hence, you can get infected shortly before getting the shots or during the two-week period when your body is in the process of developing immunity.
- Some people may also experience flu-like symptoms even after getting the shots because they were exposed to different kind flu viruses. The flu shots developed every year depend on the ‘match’ between the viruses picked up to make flu vaccines in a particular season. These are mostly the viruses that are spreading and causing illness in a particular year. There may be other viruses as well which might cause the infection.
It is better to plan now and get vaccinated before the flu starts spreading. You can also book an appointment with one of our highly experienced GPs on DocGenie to know about flu vaccines.
4. How do I know if I have the flu and what should I do if I have the flu?
You will know if you have the flu on the basis of the symptoms. Here are the common symptoms of flu-
- Fever or feeling feverish
- Having chills
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
However, lab tests will be needed to confirm if you have merely developed the flu or a complication of the flu. Tests done within the first two or three days of illness can reveal if you have the flu. Those who are at high risk for flu complications should talk to their doctors immediately. Remember! The most common serious complication of flu is pneumonia or lung infection.
5. Can I die from the flu?
For most, flu or influenza is usually a moderately severe condition. Most of the infected persons are back on their feet within seven to ten days. However, those vulnerable to flu-related complications are considered ‘high risk’ individuals. They include the elderly, young children, and those having underlying conditions or compromised immune systems. For these people, influenza can be very severe and can cause death. If you are in the ‘high risk’ zone, by all means, consult a general physician, if you notice flu symptoms.
At DocGenie we have a panel of top general physicians for online doctor consultation. Such a consultation will enable you to get medical care without traveling. Our GPs are also highly qualified to take care of diseases like Flu.
DocGenie is an online telemedicine platform that provides you with quality healthcare from the comfort of your own space. On DocGenie, you can book an online consultation with highly qualified doctors as well as book lab tests for home collection.