What is the flu?
Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus. Cases range from mild to serious depending on the strain of flu and the person infected. Serious infections can end in death. Older people, children, and people with certain illnesses are at higher risk for serious flu complications. Influenza A and Influenza B are the two main viruses spread in humans and are responsible for the seasonal flu epidemics each year.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Flu symptoms usually appear suddenly and can include:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Muscle or body aches
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Vomiting and diarrhea – more common in children than adults.
When do you need to see a doctor for the flu?
In most cases, the flu is a standard seasonal illness that does not require medical attention, except for diagnosis. Once diagnosed, the flu can often be treated at home with medications to help manage symptoms and plenty of fluids. However, you should seek medical attention if you or someone you know is experiencing the following:
- difficulty breathing
- sudden dizziness
- severe or persistent vomiting
- severe neck stiffness
- chest pain
- loss of consciousness
Cold and Flu in Children
Colds and the flu are common in children, though a cold is a milder illness. Most colds will present with a scratchy or tickly throat, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, and no or very low fever. While the flu is usually more severe, most children will be sick with the flu for less than a week and very few will be sick enough to need treatment in a hospital. However, younger children – those under the age of 5 – are more likely to develop serious complications from the flu. Like most childhood illnesses, colds and flus should clear up on their own within a week. Emergency medical care should be found if your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Quick breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish lips or face
- Chest pain
- Severe muscle pain that is impeding mobility
- Lack of alertness while awake
- Fever over 104℉
- Fever or cough that improve, but then worsen
So sweet and took great care of my son. Added bonus is the WARM blankets provided in the rooms! 🙂– Karyn