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January 15 11:05 AM

Top 5 Influenza Symptoms

With flu on the rise, know the signs


Are you feeling sneezy, stuffed up ad worn out? If that's a yes, you might be wondering did I catch a cold or is it the flu? Knowing the symptoms of the illness can make a difference when it comes to how long it lasts. In this post, we shall be discussing the symptoms of influenza. But before we go into that, let's first answer this question;

What is influenza?

Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious infection that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. The flu virus is spread easily from one person to another through droplets made when people with flu, cough, talk or sneeze.

On rare occasions, a person might also get flu by touching surfaces (doorknobs, handles, and telephones) that have droplets flu virus on them.

Influenza viruses that cause flu are diced into three types namely; A, B, and C. Types A and B are responsible for outbreaks of respiratory infection that occur during the winter months and are often linked to increased rates of hospital stays. Statistics show that more than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized every year because of the complications of the flu.

Influenza type C, on the other hand, does not cause outbreaks and does not have the severe public health impact of the other two types of influenza viruses.

Influenza Symptoms

Here are the symptoms of influenza:

- Fever
- Sore throat
- Headaches
- Running or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Generalized body weakness
- Some individuals may experience vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

Influenza symptoms in children

It's not always easy for a parent to tell if his/her child has a flu infection. This because the flu symptoms usually come on suddenly and are more intense compared to those of a cold. Typical signs of flu in kids include:

- High-grade temperature (up to 104 degrees F)
- Chills and shakes
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Dry, hacking cough
- Headaches

In young children (infants and toddlers), symptoms of the illness may include abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Vomiting tends to be more prevalent than diarrhea. Also, temperature usually peeks, and irritability may be observed.

Influenza in infants who are younger than six months is less common, but symptoms may include poor feeding, lethargy and poor circulation.

Influenza symptoms in the elderly

For the elderly and people with chronic diseases, the flu can be more dangerous. It can lead to a hospital stay or even turn fatal. Influenza symptoms in older adults include:

- Fever
- Cough
- Headache
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Aches and pains
- Sore throat
- Fatigue

Are there complications with flu symptoms?

Yes! These complications can include ear infections, bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, sinus infections, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as asthma, congestive heart failure, seizures, diabetes, death or premature labor and delivery.

When to Seek Emergency Care

Here are some of the signs that will alert you:

- Difficulty breathing
- Prolonged high fever that does not come down with medications
- Seizures
- Dehydration
- Persistent vomiting
- Restlessness or irritability in children

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