Flu symptoms can vary widely. Some people describe their symptoms as a cold, while others feel like they have been hit by a truck. Symptoms can include fever and chills, headache and body aches, cough, sore throat and nasal congestion. While the onset of cold symptoms are generally felt gradually, influenza symptoms are more abrupt. This year’s predominant flu strain, H3N2, is a particularly virulent strain. Currently, the CDC reports widespread activity in most states.
While the flu for most people is a few days of general unpleasantness, it can be much more serious for certain populations. The flu can affect children, older people above age 65, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease, the most. The flu can lead to secondary infections such as ear infections, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, worsening of chronic medical conditions and even death.
What is the best treatment for the flu? PREVENTION!
While this year’s statistics for the flu vaccine’s effectiveness have been a moving target, it’s still the most important factor in flu prevention, since the flu is spread via droplets when an ill person sneezes, coughs or talks.
Dr. Timothy P. Wilson, Park Med Urgent Care