Like the common cold, the flu is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Because it often starts with a stuffy or runny nose, a sore throat, or a cough, people often mistake these initial symptoms for a bad cold. Unlike the common cold, however, symptoms of the seasonal flu, or influenza virus, tend to worsen and become more severe over time.
Those infected with the flu may be contagious for one to two days before they start experiencing symptoms of the virus, which means you can spread the virus before you even realize you’re sick.
Seasonal flu symptoms vary from person to person, but there are a few telltale warning signs of the virus to watch out for, including:
Many common flu symptoms seem like a regular cold at first, but they typically feel much worse.
Like the common cold, these symptoms more seriously impact small children, pregnant women, older adults, those with weaker immune systems, and smokers.
If left undiagnosed and untreated, the flu can cause serious infection and complications in some individuals.
Call Dr. Dotson right away if you experience any of these symptoms:
In rare cases, the flu can lead to pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and asthma.
Most doctors agree that the best way to protect yourself from the seasonal flu is to get a flu shot every year. A flu epidemic, where a large number of people are infected in a country, can last for several weeks, so the earlier you get the flu vaccine, the better.
If you are avoiding vaccination because you don’t want to get a shot, ask Dr. Dotson if you qualify for the nasal spray version of this vaccination. Not only will the flu vaccine protect you from the flu, but it will also prevent you from spreading the virus to others.
For more information about the flu and seasonal flu treatments, call Mind, Body & Spirit Med Center or book an appointment online today.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!