Cold & Flu Treatment
Flu or influenza is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms usually appear anywhere from 2 to 4 days from exposure to the virus and last about 5 to 7 days, and typically manifest as:
- Fever, feeling feverish, and/or chills
- Sore throat
- Muscular or body pain
- Clogged or runny nose
- Nausea and vomiting
- A feeling of extreme tiredness
When should you seek treatment from a medical professional for the flu?
People who belong to high-risk groups such as those over 65 years of age, very young children, pregnant, or those suffering from a chronic condition such as diabetes or asthma and are showing flu symptoms should consult their primary healthcare care provider as soon as possible.
Treatment for the flu will be symptomatic, meaning symptoms are treated according to how many and how severe they will be.
How do you prevent influenza?
The best prevention of the flu is getting a flu shot. Every year, a new flu vaccine is developed based on the prevalent virus strands seen from the previous year. While it does not 100% guarantee that you will not get the flu, vaccines are by far the most effective preventive measure.
Quinn Healthcare can provide you with influenza treatments and flu shots. Just call us for your appointment.
Also, it is extremely helpful to take note of the following precautions:
- Always cover your nose and mouth using a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
- Wash your hands thoroughly, and as often as you can with soap and water.
- Use hand sanitizers if hand-washing is not possible.
- Always clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces such as doorknobs, kitchen and bathroom counters, computer keyboards, phones, and desks.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially when you are outside.
- If you are experiencing flu symptoms, try to avoid contact with other people. Better yet, stay home.
When is the flu season?
Flu season generally falls in mid-fall to mid-winter but may differ slightly from area to area. The most extended flu season recorded lasted from early October through May, but the more common months are usually November to February.
The CDC highly recommends getting a flu shot before the end of October in anticipation of the virus as it takes your body approximately 2 weeks after vaccination to develop enough antibodies to fight the flu.
Of course, you can always avail of Influenza treatments, but prevention is still way better than the cure.
What is the seasonal flu?
Seasonal flu is a contagious disease affecting the respiratory system, such as the nose, throat, and sometimes progressing into the lungs. It can adversely affect adults and children of all ages, but those who are very young, very old, or have a compromised immune system is highly vulnerable.
In general, flu symptoms are mild or moderate at best. Some can be quite severe and may even be fatal. Flu symptoms are also generally similar to those of the other respiratory illnesses, so distinguishing one from the other may be quite tricky.
Even though the flu is caused by a virus and thus should not be treated with antibiotics, there are still medications available for flu treatment. Prescription antiviral drugs can be administered, and dosage will depend on the severity of your symptoms. It is also likely that your doctor will give you these medications if there are concerns for possible serious complications.
Antiviral drugs act by lessening the severity of the symptoms and the time a person is sick by about 1-2 days. They also reduce the risk of severe complications, such as a sinus infection or even pneumonia. They can be used as a flu treatment for young children, adults, and pregnant women. You can ask your doctor about the different flu treatments that you can avail of.
What do you do when you are down with the flu?
It is highly recommended that you monitor your symptoms closely, whether you consult a doctor or not. You need to make sure that they do not worsen and develop into possible complications. Make sure you are as comfortable as possible, so you get enough rest and consume plenty of liquids. You can also use nasal decongestants and throat lozenges, take cough medicine, antihistamines, and pain relievers as necessary.
Flu Treatment at Home
There are other flu treatments you can use at home to hasten the healing process and make you feel better faster. The main thrust in getting over the flu is strengthening your immune system and boosting your ability to fight off the sickness.
You can try taking a steamy shower, as breathing in the steam can help clear your clogged sinuses and loosen the mucus in your throat. It is important, however, not to overheat yourself. You can also use Vick’s VapoRub tablets or essential oils to help minimize sinus inflammation and clear out the excess mucus in your sinuses.
You can increase your immune-boosters and vitamin intake. Consume more foods rich in Vitamin C, such as lemons, kiwis, oranges, broccoli, strawberries, kale, and yellow peppers. You can eat them on their own or turn them into smoothies for a delicious treat.
Zinc has also been proven to shorten the duration of a sickness. It is best, however, to consult your doctor first about any precautions you need to know and the best dosage form.
Herbal medicines such as echinacea, garlic, ginseng, and elderberry have also gained popularity as flu symptoms treatment, and many people swear by their efficacy. Again, it is best to discuss their benefits and risks with your doctor before taking them to make sure of their safety.
Incidences and Statistics on Flu
Statistics show that between 5% and 20% of the US population get the flu every year. Consequently, over 30 million outpatient visits are recorded every year due to the flu, and hospital flu care is also increasing throughout the country. Estimates also show that an average of 200,000 hospitalizations is because of the flu, mostly people who are considered high-risk.
If you have the flu or want to prevent it, come to Quinn Healthcare. We can help you achieve your optimum health all year round.