Do you suffer from influenza symptoms all year round?

the flu

If an individual suffers from mild influenza like symptoms throughout the year, it’s possible that they have a completely different kind of illness and they should contact a doctor to get advice.  It may also be caused by a damaged immune system that is making them more than usually vulnerable to infection.  In some cases, however, there is nothing that can be done about this – in fact, some people need to have their immune systems suppressed so they can avoid other health complications.  In cases such as this, extra precautions maybe necessary to reduce the risk from infectious diseases like the flu.

Flu symptoms

Although there is a distinct flu season (the timing of which varies slightly in different places), widespread flu infections can occur at any time of year and some people are unlucky enough to catch it repeatedly.  Flu symptoms tend to commence suddenly and include a fever (over 100ºF), aches and pains, a dry cough, feelings of muscle weakness and exhaustion.  Children (and a small percentage of adults) may also have runny noses.

Sometimes, flu can lead to pneumonia, which has the potential to be fatal if untreated.  If flu symptoms are accompanied by fluid coming from the mouth and nose, and a feeling of having fluid in the lungs – especially in an elderly person or someone with a chronic illness – medical help should be sought immediately.

Coping with flu

In most otherwise healthy people, flu symptoms can last up to 14 days, though they may continue to feel run down for considerably longer.  The best treatment is bed rest and plenty of fluids.  If there is no one to help prepare food and it’s too difficult to make a meal, small amounts of fruit and high calorie snacks should be eaten when possible.  Fruit juice can provide more energy and help the immune system to fight off the virus.

Although antiviral medication can be used to treat flu it should only be used if a doctor thinks it is essential, as widespread use increases the risk of resistant strains of the virus developing and killing particularly vulnerable people.  To treat the symptoms and to reduce their effects is the best course of action.  Fever and a runny nose can be treated with a variety of medicines available over the counter at every reputable Canadian pharmacy.

Preventing flu infection

People with flu symptoms can avoid infecting others by washing their hands frequently and covering their mouths and noses when they cough or sneeze.  In countries where there is currently a risk from more dangerous forms of flu, such as bird flu or swine flu, people sometimes wear masks to cover the lower halves of their faces, but this isn’t necessary in North America at the present time.

Influenza is controlled worldwide partly through the use of vaccinations, which protect vulnerable people and can potentially limit the progress of dangerous strains.  People with other health problems, such as asthma and other respiratory problems, should ensure they are vaccinated against flu each September.  The vaccine changes each year to take account of mutating strains, thereby ensuring that the immunized population have a good level of immunity.

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