Influenza, (commonly known as the Flu) is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It is a virus that causes great misery among those suffering with it. The Flu appears most frequently in winter and early spring. The flu virus attacks the body by spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract. The best way to avoid the Flu is to come to the Medical Center of Marin to receive your Flu vaccination. The vaccinations usually start in September or as soon as the vaccine is on hand and continue throughout the flu season, into January, and beyond. This is because the timing and duration of influenza seasons are never the same. Flu outbreaks usually peak at around January, but they can happen as early as October. The earlier the vaccination, the more time you body has to build up a defense against the virus.
What are the Symptoms of the Flu?
Flu symptoms are usually intense and can come on extremely rapidly.
Symptoms to watch out for include:
• Muscle aches (extreme at times)
• Body chills
• Sore Throat
• Runny nose
How is the Flu diagnosed?
Most people with flu symptoms do not require testing because the test results usually do not change how you are treated. Your doctor may diagnose you with flu based on your symptoms and their clinical judgment or they may choose to use an influenza diagnostic test. During an outbreak of respiratory illness, testing for flu can help determine if flu viruses are the cause of the outbreak.
How is the Flu treated?
Treatment of the Flu depends on the length at the time of diagnosis. Most patients who present with the Flu do not require any treatment, as the virus is self. Your doctor may suggest symptomatic treatment, antipyretics and analgesics. However, if a patient has severe disease and is diagnosed by Flu test within 48 hours of symptom onset, anti-viral medications may be prescribed.