Symptoms of Flu
Veterinarian Reviewed on January 14, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Symptoms of Flu
The flu or influenza is an illness that is caused by the influenza virus. This is one of the most common illnesses during the cold winter months. Millions upon millions of Americans suffer from the flu year after year and this is due to the influenza virus changing through mutation.
The flu is not just found in humans, it is also seen in mammals and in birds. The flu has different hosts and may be transferred from one host to another through the genetic mutation of the virus. People with influenza may have minor symptoms but some people who may have reduced immune system health can suffer from serious complications.
Causes of the Flu
The flu is caused by the influenza A, B and C virus. As of now, there are a variety of viral strains that is known to cause influenza found in many types of hosts. The influenza A and B causes the usual flu during the cold months while the influenza C on the other hand causes a weak influenza strain that may or may not cause symptoms depending on the health of a person.
The influenza virus is spread through close personal contact. Inhaling particles of sneeze and cough from an infected person can increase the risk of developing the flu. Using personal items like tableware, flatware, towels, handkerchief and glasses can cause the virus to spread.
Symptoms of the Flu
The flu has several symptoms but in some people with reduce immune system health, there may be more severe symptoms that can manifest.
- Fever of 100 F or higher in adults and even higher readings in children. Fever is the body’s response to inflammation and as the virus is still active in the body, fever will still persist. Medications for fever and remedies to reduce fever like cold compresses, tepid sponge baths and drinking more fluids than usual can significantly reduce fever.
- A chilling sensation is felt as the body tries to reduce moderate to high fever in influenza.
- Cough is present in people with the flu. Cough together with sneezing is the body’s natural way to defend itself from harmful organisms like the flu virus. Coughing also reduces and expels the accumulation of mucus in the airways. You can reduce excessive coughing by taking lozenges and homemade remedies.
- Body pains are due to the body’s inflammatory response. A generalized body weakness and pain is felt especially deep in the muscles causing limited activity and overall feeling of weakness. Rest and taking vitamin supplements and a healthy diet can reduce symptoms of weakness.
- Nausea and vomiting can sometimes be present. Some individuals may also suffer from gastric upset and diarrhea while with the flu.
- A person with the flu may have loss of appetite and may even have difficulty in sleeping due to fever, colds and cough. Encourage a healthy diet and increase fluid intake as soon as a person feels well enough to eat. Provide vitamin and mineral supplements instead.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan