How Do You Know if You Have the Flu?

by Katelyn Schwanke
(last updated September 5, 2008)

Flu, or influenza, is a viral infection that infects your throat, lungs and nose. The flu kills 36,000 people every year so recognizing and treating the flu early can actually save your life however, be aware that treatment is usually simple and the majority of people have no long term complications. Everyone is at risk for getting the flu but the elderly and those with weak immune systems (post-chemotherapy patients and AIDS patients) are particularly likely to get the flu and have major complications.

The flu can be prevented with a flu shot available at community health centers, pharmacies and the doctor's office; the flu shot is part of the virus that has been killed so that it helps your body build up immunity to the strain of virus that is going around that year. It is a myth that you will develop flu symptoms, you may feel weak but it does not make you sick; most people have absolutely no side effects associated with the flu shot. If possible, try to get your flu shot early in the season because it takes your body two weeks to develop antibodies for your immune system to attack the virus if you are exposed to it.

If you do not get a flu shot you should be able to identify the symptoms of flu so you can get treatment. A fever of 101 in adults or 103-105 in children will indicate that the body is fighting some kind of infection or virus and should automatically make you consider flu if is it flu season (September through February). If the fever is accompanied by chills, sweats, headache, cough, nasal congestion and muscle fatigue you should be sure to get lots of fluids (Gatorade and water are the best) and plenty of rest to help your body heal itself. If symptoms do not get better with fluids and rest you may contact your doctor and get medication.

MORE FROM KATELYN

How Do I Know When My Baby Will Be Born?

Knowing your baby's due date aids you in preparing your home and family for their arrival. Due dates are an estimation, so it ...

Discover More

Curing a Yeast Infection

Yeast infections are one of women's most common health problems. Curing a yeast infection is simple and can be accomplished ...

Discover More

What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Ectopic pregnancies are frequent occurrences that can cause harm to you and your growing baby. Learning what an ectopic ...

Discover More
MORE HEALTH TIPS

Home Snoring Remedies

Snoring can be obnoxious to those you sleep near and can even be detrimental to your health. There are relatively few medical ...

Discover More

Soothing a Cough

No matter the cause, an irritating cough can be painful, infectious to others, and interrupt your sleep. Find out the cause ...

Discover More

Understanding Asbestosis

Asbestos is a natural mineral that everyone is exposed to during their lifetime without incurring any health risks. Problems ...

Discover More

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 1 + 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Links and Sharing
Share