Many adults and children suffer thru the flu on a yearly basis, but what are the symptoms of influenza?
Typically the flu will start out like the common cold with a sore throat, runny nose, and sneezing. The difference is a cold will develop slowly over time, whereas the flu hits suddenly. A cold is generally just a nuisance; the flu makes you feel absolutely horrible.
General clinical features of the flu may include;
A fever between 100 F and 103 F in adults, while children may experience higher temperatures involves sweating and facial flushing.
Adults may suffer from respiratory symptoms of influenza, such as cough and sore throat.
Children tend to deal with a runny nose more than adults.
Typical symptoms of influenza across the board may include chills, headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue.
Sometimes an individual may feel other effects, such as diarrhea, vomiting, appetite loss, and general nausea. However, gastrointestinal symptoms are usually rare with the flu. The term “stomach flu” is actually a misnomer that is used to describe other illnesses caused by microorganisms. H1N1 infection can cause more diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting that the typical seasonal flu.
For most people, they will recover from a bout of influenza within a week or two, while others may develop life-threatening situations like pneumonia. Influenza is the cause of over 36,000 deaths nationwide with many more being hospitalized. People can experience flu-related symptoms of influenza at any age; however, it is the elderly and those with chronic health problems that are more likely to develop serious health conditions than those who are younger and healthier.
What Is The Incubation Period For The Flu?
An incubation period is the amount of time a person is exposed to the flu virus until symptoms develop. This is typically between one to four days with an average of two.
How Long Does The Flu Last?
The flu is usually contagious for 24-48 hours before symptoms of influenza ever appear and will remain contagious for up to a week in a healthy adult. Children can remain contagious for up to 10 days. Whereas individuals suffering from severe infections, which can be contagious up to two weeks. The actual flu symptoms can last up to a week in adults and slightly longer in children. Other symptoms such as weakness and fatigue can actually last over several weeks
How To Properly Diagnose The Flu
Typically, people can be diagnosed by association of people either having the disease or the symptoms that have been listed above. All it takes is a quick test, usually a nasal swab, to see if the patient has been infected with either influenza A or B. The majority of tests can differentiate between A and B types. The test will either show negative for no flu or positive for either type A or B. Type A is the typical flu strain or it can be the more aggressive H1N1. Most of the flu tests are bases n PCR technology that will examine the genetic material of the virus.
The more aggressive strains like H1N1 and H3N2 are always identified by the surface proteins and genetic material that is within the virus. The testing for these strains is done within the confines of a specialized laboratory. Physicians do have the ability to send specimens off from their clinic to the laboratory if needed.
If you feel as though you have any of the above symptoms of influenza it is best to make an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.