While flu season is almost there, it is the best time to take some preventive measures about seasonal flu. During COVID outbreak, the cases of flu had been dropped down because of strict precautions we follow. Although, we are again start leading a normal life but flu can affect your lifestyle badly.
Here, in this blog, we will let you know details of flu and its virus so that you can protect yourself from it.
What is flu?
Flu refers to virus affecting respiratory tract. Often people mistake it as common cold. However, there is a strong link between these two and Flu has its own virus strain which stronger than common cold.
Often flu regards as seasonal as it choose cold climate to propagate and spread. During winter months, the defence system of the body declines to some extent which is why we use energy to maintain the temperature and promote the immune system.
Winter is all about celebrations, parties and festivals so we spend much more time with our closed ones and set out to public places. In wet and cold, flu virus can happily transmit from a person to another.
During COVID-19 pandemic, we were all concerned about our immune system and taking proper rest. So, there was no question of flu. With improved immune system it becomes easy to prevent the transmission of flu. Still, you are susceptible should take the jab. Fortunately, we are all able to manage the flu for so long with proper health care.
When it has not been exposed for long, the virus will mutate and transform into a slightly different variant which is stronger than the previous one. As a result, it will start spreading quicker and faster than before. Therefore, you must be a little more cautious to prevent yourself from flu this winter.
How will you get to know about the seasonal flu?
Identifying flu is probably the easiest job. When you will get flu, you will experience the following:
- Throat and nose gets affected by cold
- Sore throat
- Running nose
You can catch flu easily and it not only affects throat and nose but also the respiratory tract at the same time. Being strong viral infection, it will raise the temperature of the body and you will feel cold than usual. Also, exhaustion makes you unable to perform anything.
- Being and feeling sick
- Stomach pain and diarrhoea
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble in sleeping
- Sore throat
- Dry cough
- Tiredness and exhaustion
- Body and muscle pain
- High temperature
Who are at risk of seasonal flu?
Flu refers to viral infection which invades the whole body. Sometimes, it becomes a bit dangerous that it appears firstly but the danger is only applicable for vulnerable people.
The people who are at risk of flu are:
- Persons who are above 65
- Persons with chronic health issues
- Pregnant women
Compromised immune system and weak bodies put the people at risk of this viral infection. This means the body will fight harder to prevent itself from flu and hence needs to bear a lot.
If anyone has these chronic medical problems already like cancer, kidney disease, asthma and others then their body is not able to cope up with flu virus because of weak immune system. As a result, flu affects the health badly knocking out some important vitals too.
At the time of pregnancy, the immune system of the woman undergoes complete change along lungs and heart making it susceptible to associated complications of flu.
How will you manage flu?
If any healthy adult gets flu then the person can become bedridden for the next few days. It is so; because the body deals with the virus naturally recovering you from it. Make sure, that you are taking plenty of rest, stay warm and hydrated.
You need to take medication in case the temperature is intolerably high. In case, the flu doesn’t subside down, you may have to perform necessary health test.
Flu will invade the whole body within 5 days of catching the virus. Even, the germs which spread via sneezing and coughing will survive on surfaces for about 24 hours. Therefore, you should stay inside for a day after the fever is away. After that, the body will slowly regain normal functional ability as the infection subsides down.
However, still you are infectious at this stage so a week off from work is recommended. This will prevent the spreading of virus to other potential vulnerable persons. Sometimes, proper bed rest for a few days is enough to clear the infection and you are ready again to jump off the bed and get back to your work.
What to do if the symptoms are quite severe?
You need to see a GP as early as possible under several circumstances. Some of them are here:
- Chest pain and difficulty breathing – Coughing and producing some amount of mucus is fine. But if you experience breathing shortness, chest pain and wheezing then you may get pneumonia and get in touch with a doctor immediately.
- Persistent fever – In case the temperature doesn’t drop down after a couple of days you must consult with a doctor.
- Diarrhoea and severe vomiting – These are quite normal when you are exposed to flu virus but if it is severe then you will become dehydrated. So, seek urgent medical care to deal with it.
- Symptoms prolonging for over 7 days – If the symptoms are there for about 7 days then you are not able to deal with it. Seeing a doctor is the best at that time.
How to prevent seasonal flu?
Although flu is not curable yet you can prevent yourself from it by taking Flu Vaccine.
This is highly effective and doctors are using it over a long period of time. Vaccines cannot protect you from getting the infection but it will assist you in combating against it. So, by taking flu vaccine you can stay safe despite exposed to the virus. The effect of the virus will be minimum on the body not nonexistent although.
If you are above 50 then go and get the flu shot. The persons with complex health issues can put them at risk of flu too. There are many private health care centres that provide Flu shot if you can’t make it avail from NHS or want to get it from professional healthcare providers.
Flu is easy to prevent with some effective precautions. But, sometimes, you can develop underlying serious condition that exhibits flu-like symptoms. At that time, you should visit a private GP that will offer effective medical care to treat and heal you completely.