Flu is the short form of influenza, a virus that affects the airways, lungs, throat and nasal cavity. It is air borne and can be spread from one person to the other through hugging, shaking hands, or touching an object that already has the virus from an already infected person. Upon being infected, the body reacts against the virus by making the airways produce so much mucus, making breathing sometimes. Some people often do not know how to differentiate common cold symptoms. Common cold symptoms are mild while those of influenza are a bit severe. This article looks at the initial signs of flu that you should look out for.
- Itchy Scratchy Sore Throat
Upon infection by flu virus, the throat starts to feel itchy and scratchy. You may also feel a burning sensation, which is sometimes coupled with an irritation that makes swallowing of foods and drinks challenging. You may also experience a strange feeling after you take some drinks or certain types of foods. You are advised to keep off sugary drinks. To counter this, you can take over counter drugs to ease soreness or you can gaggle one teaspoon of table salt.
A fever is one of the main indicators that your body is fighting an infection. Your body feels so hot, and sometimes it goes to the extent of feeling as if your body is burning. An average body temperature for people infected with flu is about 100°F or more. However, some people will get a flu infection and not have a fever, while others may experience it.. You are advised to stay in blankets and have lots of rest, to avoid working your body as this will further weaken your immune system and increase the effects of a fever. You may also try some over the counter drugs such as ibuprofen.
- Gastrointestinal Problems
Some problems such as diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration are signs that you are struggling with a gastrointestinal infection. Although a common flu may be different from that of gastrointestinal, it may still go down the gut and affect the way things are ran down there in the bowels. The secret is to take lots of water to counter dehydration. However, for curing the infection, you might want to visit a doctor. Avoiding soft drinks such as soda and caffeinated drinks can also help reduce the effects of gastrointestinal infection.
- Body and Muscle Aches
You may at times experience pains in the back, neck, shoulders, legs and sometimes the muscle rich parts of your body. When you feel these, do not always assume that it is because of the physical activities that you have recently done. Sometimes it could be because of a strenuous exercise but if you have not previously had any of those, then you know that you are most probably fighting flu. The secret to body and muscle pains is to take painkillers and have enough rest as this helps you regain the already weakening immune system.
The flu virus impacts the airways making them produce more mucus that makes it difficult to breathe. The result is wheezing and sometimes coughs. A simple single cough is however not a sign of flu. Deep consistent coughs that sometimes make you shed tears are a clear sign that you are having a flu infection. Sometimes it is coupled with mucus but it may be colored phlegm and this is the point at which you should call a doctor. If you have conditions such as asthma, you are advised to see a doctor immediately as this could worsen the situation and lead to more serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia. You should take lots of warm water to counter the cough, take some over the counter drugs and stay indoors to avoid spreading it to other people.
Most early symptoms of flu are curable by just taking over the counter drugs. At this time, you are advised to keep away from sugary foods and caffeinated drinks such as coffee and soda. This is because virus and bacteria thrive well in sugar rich environments and this will only worsen the effects of initial symptoms of flu infection. You are advised to see a doctor should the symptoms worsen or persist for long, usually more than 3 days. It is advisable to stay at home so that you do not infect other people around you. You should also avoid close contact with your family members to avoid infecting them.