Influenza is a virus. There are many strains, and each year the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) heavily research which strains are likely to be active in order to target the “Flu Shot” to be effective
against them. The flu primarily affects the: Sinuses, Throat and Lungs, although can have an occasional GI component, is chiefly a respiratory illness.
Additional symptoms are headache, all over body aches, extreme fatigue, fever and chills.
Antibiotics are not effective when treating the flu, unless there are additional bacterial infections “supra infections” that have developed as a result of the original illness. Most of the medications that are prescribed for the flu help to manage the symptoms. There are antiviral medications that can be effective to reduce the symptoms of the flu, but there is not any “cure.”
The flu is spread through “droplet contamination.” With every breath, cough or sneeze, tiny countless droplets containing the virus can enter the air we all share. Onset of symptoms occur 1-4 days, average of 2, from exposure. Diagnostic “swab” tests measure antigens which detect your own immune system’s response to the virus. If you suspect you have been infected, contact your health care provider.
Most important ways to protect yourself against infection are: Flu Shot, Excellent Handwashing, Rest and Hydration. If our bodies are in good health, our immune systems have a far better chance of fighting off what we may be exposed to. Limit your contact with those who are ill, practice scrupulous handwashing, be mindful of keeping shared surfaces well cleaned (telephones, TV remotes, keyboards, doorknobs etc.). Shoo, Shoo, you bad old flu!!
For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm
Joanne MacInnis, RN, President, Aberdeen Home Care, Inc.
on behalf of
Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce – Health & Wellness Committee
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