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FluFactSheet.com is brought to you by AllNetHealth.com and is intended to provide basic information that you can use to make informed decisions about important health issues affecting you or your loved ones. We hope that you’ll find this information about the Flu  helpful and that you’ll seek professional medical advice to address any specific symptoms you might have related to this matter.

In addition to this site, we have created the "Healthpedia Network" of sites to provide specific information on a wide variety of health topics.

Click here for information on Bird Flu. Bird flu is an influenza A virus. Also called the "H5N1 virus" that occurs mainly in birds, is highly contagious among birds, and can be deadly to them.

Click here for information on Pandemic Flu. A flu that causes a global outbreak, or pandemic, of serious illness that spreads easily from person to person. Currently there is no pandemic flu.

Seasonal Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.

 

 

 

Seasonal Flu

 

What is influenza (the flu)?

What are the symptoms of flu?

Is the flu contagious?

How is the flu treated?

How can I prevent the flu?

Who should get vaccinated?

Who should not be vaccinated?

Where can I buy home test kits for contributing factors of this condition?
 

What is influenza (also called flu)? (top)

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.

 

What are the symptoms of flu? (top)

• fever (usually high)

• headache

• extreme tiredness

• dry cough

• sore throat

• runny or stuffy nose

• muscle aches

Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, also can occur but are more common in children than adults

 

Is the flu contagious? (top)

Yes! Flu viruses spread in respiratory droplets caused by coughing and sneezing. They usually spread from person to person, though sometimes people become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 days after becoming sick. That means that you can pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

 

How is the flu treated? (top)

Many people treat their flu by simply;

• Resting in bed

• Drinking plenty of fluids

• Taking over-the-counter medicine such as aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol, for example)

Do not give aspirin to children and adolescents who have the flu.

Do not take antibiotics to treat the flu because they do not work on viruses. Antibiotics only work against some infections caused by bacteria.

Medicine for Treatment:

If you do get the flu and want to take medicine to treat it, your health care provider may prescribe one of four available antiviral medicines Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is for treating influenza A and B virus infections in adults and children 1 year and older.

Relenza (zanamivir) is for treating influenza A and B virus infections in children 7 years and older and adults who have an uncomplicated flu infection and who have had symptoms for no more than 2 days. Relenza is not used to prevent flu infection.

Flumadine (rimantadine) is for treating adults who have influenza type A virus infections. It has no effect on influenza type B virus infections.

Symmetrel (amantadine) is for treating adults and children who are 1 year of age and older to prevent and treat type A influenza virus infections but has no effect on influenza B virus infections. Symmetrel, however, is more likely to cause side effects such as lightheadedness and inability to sleep more often than is Flumadine.

To work well, you must take these medicines within 48 hours after the flu begins. They reduce the length or time fever and other symptoms last and allow you to more quickly return to your daily routine.

 

How can I prevent the flu?  (top)

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination each fall. There are two types of vaccines:

The "flu shot" – an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
The nasal-spray flu vaccine – a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for “Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine”). LAIV is approved for use in healthy people 5 years to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.

About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop that protect against influenza virus infection. Flu vaccines will not protect against influenza-like illnesses caused by other viruses.

 

Who should get vaccinated? (top)

In general, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu can get vaccinated. However, certain people should get vaccinated each year. They are either people who are at high risk of having serious flu complications or people who live with or care for those at high risk for serious complications.

People at high risk for complications from the flu:

• People 65 years and older;

• People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that house those with long-term illnesses;

• Adults and children 6 months and older with chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma;

• Adults and children 6 months and older who needed regular medical care or were in a hospital during the previous year because of a metabolic disease (like diabetes), chronic kidney disease, or weakened immune system (including immune system problems caused by medicines or by infection with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV/AIDS]);

• Children 6 months to 18 years of age who are on long-term aspirin therapy. (Children given aspirin while they have influenza are at risk of Reye syndrome.);

• Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season;

• All children 6 to 23 months of age;

• People with any condition that can compromise respiratory function or the handling of respiratory secretions (that is, a condition that makes it hard to breathe or swallow, such as brain injury or disease, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other nerve or muscle disorders.)

• People 50 to 64 years of age. Because nearly one-third of people 50 to 64 years of age in the United States have one or more medical conditions that place them at increased risk for serious flu complications, vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 50 to 64.

• People who can transmit flu to others at high risk for complications. Any person in close contact with someone in a high-risk group (see above) should get vaccinated. This includes all health-care workers, household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children 6 to 23 months of age, and close contacts of people 65 years and older.

 

Who should not be vaccinated? (top)

Some people should not be vaccinated without first consulting a physician. They include:

• People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.

• People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past.

• People who developed Guillain-Barrι syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously.

• Children less than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for use in this age group).

• People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms lessen.

If you have questions about whether you should get a flu vaccine, consult your health-care provider.

 

Click here to buy home test kits for
contributing factors of this condition?

 

For additional information on the flu please visit:

National Institute of Health

Centers for Disease Control


 

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