The Flu is also known as Influenza. The Flu is a highly contagious disease of the respiratory system, caused by the Influenza virus. This virus usually attacks the cells of the upper respiratory tract, which is composed of the nose, throat, bronchi and lungs.
The Flu typically manifests itself hard and fast.
Symptoms of the Flu virus usually include:
- High fever (over 101 degrees).
- Body aches.
- Sore throat.
- Dry cough.
These symptoms are very similar to those of the common cold; however, they are usually much more severe.
Symptoms and the onset of the Flu virus can be prevented by doing the following:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Try to avoid crowds during flu season.
- Get a Flu vaccine or shot.
There are high risk groups that are more susceptible to developing the Flu virus. These include:
- Very young children.
- Adults over the age of 65.
- Pregnant women.
- Individuals who have or suffer from a weakened immune system.
These groups can also suffer secondary effects such as:
Treatment of the Flu virus will usually be determined or depend on the symptoms you have.
For instance, if one of the symptoms you experience is a nasal or sinus congestion, then any form of decongestant may help. Examples of decongestants include Afrin, Sudafed.
If your symptoms are a runny nose and itchy watery eyes, then the most common form of treatment is an Antihistamine, such as Benadryl or Chlor-Trimeton.
For the symptoms of cough, the treatment indicated is usually cough medicines or cough suppressants.
To lower your fever or for body aches, you may use a fever reducer and pain reliever such as Tylenol, Advil or Motrin.
To treat the symptoms of sore throat, you can do salt water gargles or take over the counter throat lozenges.
Other forms of remedies that you can use to treat the Flu virus include:
- Drink plenty of fluids. Doing this will help break up congestion, prevent dehydration, and keep your throat moist. Types of fluids include water, herbal teas, fruit drinks or ginger-ale.
- Use a humidifier. This will help with symptoms of congestion.
- Blow your nose as often as possible.
- Use saline nasal sprays, or you can also make your own salt water rinse. This will help break nasal congestion and remover virus particles and bacteria.
- Try to stay warm and get plenty of rest. This will help your immune system fight against the Flu virus.