What are the Symptoms of Seasonal Flu?

What are the Symptoms of Seasonal Flu?
December 23 11:01 2020 Print This Article

The winter is here and along with the drop in temperature, one can see the familiar sight of children and adults lining up at a doctor’s clinic for cold or cough. In addition to the common cold, which is fairly widespread during the winter months of November to February, there is another lesser-known but more serious condition that affects people in this season. And that is ‘seasonal influenza’ or ‘seasonal flu’ for short.

Seasonal flu is a condition caused by type A or B influenza viruses. Some of the symptoms are similar to that of common colds such as sneezing fits, running nose, and sore throat. That is why it’s often mistaken for the common cold and ignored. One should note that, with the common cold, these symptoms develop slowly, while with seasonal flu, they show up suddenly. Further, the symptoms are more severe than during a common cold.

With most people, these symptoms reduce gradually in 1-2 weeks’ time, with or without medication. However, in some high-risk individuals, seasonal flu can cause severe illness or even be fatal. That is why it’s important to know more about seasonal flu so that necessary precautions can be taken.

 Symptoms

  • High Fever
  • Chills and sweats
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Aching muscles
  • Dry cough that does not go away
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Running or blocked nose
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

When to see a doctor

  • Adults should consult an infectious disease specialist or pulmonologist when there is difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, existing medical conditions becoming worse, chest pain, dizziness, seizures, and muscle aches all over the body.
  • Children should be rushed to a doctor when they show difficulty in breathing, existing medical conditions becoming worse, chest pain, blue lips, dehydration, seizures, and muscle aches all over the body.

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Complications

 If seasonal flu is not treated in time, or symptoms worsen, the person is at risk of pneumonia, bronchitis, a severe attack of asthma, infection and pain in the ear, heart issues, or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ADRS).

Risk Factors

People who are more at risk of developing severe illness from seasonal flu are:

  • Children between 6 months to 5 years and adults over 65 years of age
  • Patients being treated in hospitals or healthcare facilities
  • People living in crowded homes, military barracks, and refugee camps
  • Pregnant women in the second or third trimester, or have delivered recently
  • People with weak or compromised immunity
  • People with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, kidney disease, asthma, heart disease, liver conditions, blood disorders, metabolic disorders, and airway abnormalities
  • People who are overweight or have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more
  • Certain conditions that require long-term medication of aspirin

How to protect yourself against seasonal flu

Seasonal flu spreads when infected people cough or sneeze, which disperses droplets into the air. People who come in contact with this and then touch their nose, mouth, or eyes end up inhaling or ingesting the virus into the body. So there are various ways of protecting oneself or preventing the spread.

  • If you are infected, cover your hands and mouth every time you sneeze. Alternately, use a tissue and then dispose in a waste bin with a lid, immediately.
  • Wash your hands as often as possible in your day. Wash with soap and water for 20 seconds, and if these are not available, use a sanitizer that contains 60% or more alcohol.
  • Do not touch any part of your face unless it’s inevitable. And if you must touch, wash your hands before you do.
  • Disinfect frequently: Surfaces and objects that are touched frequently should be disinfected using common disinfectants.
  • Avoid crowded places such as malls, crèches, schools, offices, auditoriums, markets, and public transport during this season.
  • Avoid the ill: If any of your near or dear ones are ill, avoid meeting or visiting them till they have recovered completely.
  • Take the vaccine for seasonal flu, every year. This is regularly updated to factor in newer strains of viruses that affect the respiratory system.

Kauvery Hospital is globally known for its multidisciplinary services at all its Centers of Excellence, and for its comprehensive, Avant-Grade technology, especially in diagnostics and remedial care in heart diseases, transplantation, vascular and neurosciences medicine. Located in the heart of Trichy (Tennur, Royal Road and Alexandria Road (Cantonment), Chennai, Hosur and Salem, the hospital also renders adult and pediatric trauma care.

Chennai – 044 4000 6000 • Trichy – Cantonment – 0431 4077777 • Trichy – Heartcity – 0431 4003500 • Trichy – Tennur – 0431 4022555 • Hosur – 04344 272727 • Salem – 0427 2677777 • Bengaluru – 080 6801 6801

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