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Flu: Causes, Symptoms, and prevention

What is a Flu?

Influenza is commonly known as the Flu. It is an infectious disease that is caused by an influenza virus. This is also considered as a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes, the lungs.

For most people the flu resolves on its own at the same time it can also result in serious health problems such as pneumonia and hospitalizations.

Causes of flu:

Influenza is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system which affects the nose, throat, and lungs. These viruses spread when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk.

Symptoms of flu:

At the initial stages, you may experience symptoms like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat.

Some of the common signs and symptoms of flu include;

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Aching muscles
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Dry/persistent cough
  • Eye pain
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea

When to see a doctor?

Most of the time, the flu can be treated by themselves and often doesn’t need to see a doctor. But if the symptoms gradually develop and are at risk of complications, then you need to see your doctor right away.

Some of the emergency signs and symptoms include;

  • Chest pain
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Severe weakness or muscle pain
  • Worsening of the existing medical condition Dizziness
  • Blue lips

Complications of flu:

Flu isn’t usually serious. But it has a high risk of developing too.

Some of its complications include;

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Ear infection
  • Heart problems
  • Asthma
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome

Prevention for flu:

To prevent colds and flu, it is important to wash hands by rubbing the hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. It helps to slough germs off the skin.

Using antiviral medicine may also prevent the flu.

‘Ask Gogodoc About’ is an educational series providing information on various symptoms, pains, and disorders. (*intended for educational purposes only. If you are experiencing symptoms, please reach out to book an online GP consultation with a Gogodoc GP.) Talk to a doctor online at a time that suits you from home with a phone or video appointment. You can easily book an appointment with GP.

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