The flu, more scientifically known as influenza, is a highly contagious respiratory infection. The influenza virus usually enters the body through membranes in the mouth, nose, or eyes.
When a person with the flu coughs or sneezes, the virus then becomes airborne and can be inhaled by anyone nearby. You can also get the flu if you’ve touched a contaminated surface and then touch your nose or mouth.
There are 3 types of flu viruses:
|Fever||Usually; lasts 3–4 days||Rare|
|Aches||Usually; often severe||Slight|
|Chest discomfort, cough||Common; can be severe||Mild to moderate; hacking cough|
If you think you have the flu, contact your doctor immediately. There are a number of prescription antivirals that may help make your illness milder or may help you feel better faster.
Taking antivirals within the first 2 days of onset flu symptoms may reduce the duration of the flu?
Several over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can help you feel better. Common medicines include:
The flu virus can spread by direct contact, such as sharing drinks, or through indirect contact, such as when an infected coworker sneezes on her hands and touches an object like the lunchroom microwave door. The influenza virus can live for 2 to 8 hours on surfaces.
The flu vaccine preparation is based on the strains of the flu viruses that are in circulation at the time. There are 2 types of flu vaccines:
Information from WebMD and Florida Hospital was used on this page.