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Flu Causes

Three strains of viruses cause the flu namely influenza A, B, and C. A is responsible for the deadly influenza pandemics around the world, which strikes every 10 to 40 years. Type B meanwhile can lead to smaller and more localized outbreaks while Type C has never been connected with any large epidemic. Type C is also a stable virus compared to A and B since they are constantly changing and new strains can appears regularly.

Flu Definition

Influenza or flu is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system including the nose, throat, bronchial tubes, and lungs. Though it is commonly called flu, influenza is not the same virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting.

Flu Diagnosis

A thorough physical exam is needed to diagnose the flu and a chest x-ray may be needed if pneumonia is suspected. Blood work may also be needed such as CBC, blood cultures, and sputum cultures. An antigen detection test meanwhile is the most common method of diagnosing the flu. If the flu is widespread in the community, no further testing will be required.

Flu Symptoms and Signs

Common signs and symptoms of flu include fever over 101 F among adults and 103-105 among children, chills and sweats, headache, dry cough, muscular aches and pains, fatigues and weakness, nasal congestion, loss or appetite and diarrhea and vomiting among kids.

Flu Treatment

Flu treatment is usually just bed rest and plenty of fluids. In some cases though, an antiviral medication such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) may be prescribed. Said drugs can treat both Types A and B of influenza and work by deactivating an enzyme that helps the virus grow and spread. Oseltamivir is an oral medication while zanamivir is inhaled through a device similar to that of an asthma inhaler. Side effects such as lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and trouble in breathing are the common side effects of both medications.

Drugs used for treatment of Flu

Anti Flu Face Mask

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