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Flu or Influenza symptoms: Why you should care

February 7, 2019 12:21 pm | Published by

Written by Dr. Erik Richardson | Original content found at https://youtu.be/dT4vP6BZ1Bs

Watch this video to learn about what is influenza, what are the symptoms of the Flu and why its important that you pay attention to it. We’ll discuss why its important that you prevent it.

Here are some notes on what we talk about in the video:

Influenza is a respiratory illness causes by the influenza virus that affects mostly the respiratory tract. This is more than your common cold. This is a serious illness that at times can lead to death.

In the 2017-2018 season there were approx (show picture from CDC)

  • 49 Million people with flu illnesses
  • 960,000 hosptilizations
  • 79,000 deaths
  • 185 Children died 80% of those were not immunized

To put even more context into it, 2018 is the 100 year anniversary of the 1918 influenza pandemic. That year 675,000 people in the united states died and over 50 million people worldwide died.

Common Flu Symptoms:

Sudden onset of :

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

The main difference we tend to see with the Flu and a Cold is the quickness in which it comes on and the severity in which it hits. The classic presentation that we will see in the clinic is the patient who is laying on my exam table coughing their lungs out with a high fever and shaking chills and body aches. It’s more than just the sniffles.

It’s important to know the difference because the Cold you typically treat at home. In Influenza if you are seen within the first 24-48 hours there are some treatments available.

The two most common treatments are:

  • Oseltamivir or Tamiflu
  • Baloxavir or Xofluza

These have both been able to show that they decrease symptom severity and time of illness.

Not everybody will likely get the medication nor should they.if you go to your doctor, however, those who especially may benefit are people in Nursing Homes, those who are over 65, those with chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD, Diabetes, liver disease, cancers, kidney failure and those who are very obese.

Those with severe symptoms may also benefit. So get into your doctor and talk to them about your options.

The best way to prevent the flu besides hygiene and avoidance is by getting your flu shot.

With the flu shot you are:

  • less likely to get the flu
  • if you do get the flu you are less likely to be admitted to the hospital for it
  • if you are admitted to the hospital you are less likely to be in the ICU
  • You are less likely to die from it.

So the fact of the matter is that the Flu shot is the best chance you have of avoiding it.

My purpose in sharing this information for you is to educate you in things that you can think about in trying to make decisions in your own health. In no way should be taken as direct medical advice to you in your own situation. Please consult your own doctor for concerns regarding your specific situation.


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This post was written by Saltzer Health