Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Flu at a glance

  • Influenza, commonly called the flu, is always caused by a virus. Antibiotics will not help, unless the person develops a secondary bacterial infection.
  • The symptoms usually come on abruptly.
  • A person with the flu often experiences a "knocked-off-your-feet" feeling with muscle aches in the back and legs and a high fever (up to 40°C / 104°F). The fever typically begins to subside on the second or third day.
  • Many people will develop a cough (which is usually dry and can be severe) and chest pains.
  • Some will develop a runny nose and sore throat.
  • Fatigue and weakness may continue for days or even weeks.
  • To help your body fight the flu, rest in bed, and drink plenty of fluids.  Pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen , decongestants, and cough suppressants may keep you more comfortable as you recover.
Prevention tip
  • Consider getting a flu shot. Talk to your doctor about it.
  • Get plenty of sleep, reduce stress, and eat lots of fruit and vegetables
 With thanks to Health Promotion and Preventative Services, University of Arizona

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