Health

How To Determine What Flu I Have

Influenza is known as a contagious viral infection that assaults your respiratory system. The influenza viruses that infect people are divided into three groups: A, B, and C. Type A influenza infection may be deadly, resulting in large outbreaks and illness.

Common symptoms of Type A infection might be mistaken for those of other illnesses. While lesser episodes of influenza might resolve independently without causing significant symptoms, severe instances of Type A influenza can be fatal.

The flu, unlike an ordinary cold, usually has a fast start of symptoms. The following are common symptoms of influenza infection:

  • spitting up
  • a stuffy or runny nose
  • sneezing is an abbreviation for sneezing
  • throat pain
  • a fever
  • a migraine
  • exhaustion
  • shivers
  • the ache in the body

Symptoms of influenza A may resolve on their own at times. However, if your symptoms linger for more than a week without relief, see your doctor.

People who are known to be at high risks of flu complications, such as those over 65 or those with weaker immune systems, should seek prompt medical attention. The flu can be fatal in rare situations.

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If left untreated, the flu can lead to:

  • inflammation of the ear
  • gastroenteritis
  • giddy
  • gagging
  • feeling of dizziness
  • stomach ache
  • discomfort in the chest
  • bout of asthma
  • bronchitis
  • respiratory infection
  • heart problems

Influenza Type A vs. Influenza Type B

Types A and B influenza are the most frequent types of viral viruses, generating seasonal epidemics regularly. Type C influenza often produces relatively minor respiratory illnesses.

Type B influenza can be just as dangerous as Type A influenza. Type B influenza is similar to Type A influenza, although it is less frequent during the flu season.

The natural host for Type B infection is humans. Type B viruses change significantly more slowly than Type A infections and are classified by strains rather than subtypes. It takes a longer time for the genetic composition of influenza B virus strains to change than it does for influenza A virus strains. It significantly minimizes the likelihood of a global pandemic caused by Type B influenza.

Type A influenza is harmful, causing epidemics and increasing your risk of sickness. In contrast to type B infections, type A viruses are classified by subtypes and strains. Although influenza A mutates quicker than influenza B, both viruses constantly evolve, resulting in novel strains from one flu season to the next. Previous flu vaccines will not protect against illness from a new strain.

A type A virus, often known as avian flu or bird flu, lives naturally in wild birds. This illness has the potential to spread to other animals and people. This, paired with Type A influenza’s capacity to evolve quicker than type B, has the potential to trigger pandemics.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will need to test for the influenza virus before treating your symptoms. The fast molecular assay is the chosen test. Your doctor will swab your nose or throat during this treatment. Within 30 minutes or less, the test will identify influenza virus RNA.

Because the results aren’t always reliable, your doctor may have to make a diagnosis based on your symptoms or another flu testing.

Medications

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With enough rest and drink consumption, influenza A symptoms may resolve on their own in some individuals. In other situations, your doctor may advise you to take antiviral medicine to combat the illness.

Antiviral medications that are commonly prescribed include:

  • zanamivir is a type of antiviral medication (Relenza)
  • oseltamivir is a kind of antiviral medication (Tamiflu)
  • peramivir is a kind of antiviral medication (Rapivab)

These drugs, known as neuraminidase inhibitors, restrict the propagation of the influenza virus from cell to cell, reducing the infection process.

Although these drugs are beneficial, they can induce adverse effects such as nausea and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms or if your condition worsens, stop taking the medication and see your doctor right once.

A new medicine named baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza), developed by a Japanese pharmaceutical firm was licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration in October 2018. (FDA)

This antiviral medication works to prevent the influenza virus from reproducing.

Over-the-counter medicine can also help with flu symptoms. Stay hydrated to help release mucus in your lungs and enhance your immune system.

How long does it last?

If you have the flu, you are infectious from at least a day before you start feeling sick to five days after feeling sick.

In more challenging situations, you may be infectious for even longer after developing symptoms. This influenza causes and treatments level can fluctuate if your immune system is weak or underdeveloped, especially in youngsters and the elderly.

Preventative measures

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The most straightforward approach to avoid the flu is to get vaccinated every year. Each flu vaccination protects against three to four strains of the virus.

Various influenza viruses emerged throughout that year’s flu season.

Other methods of preventing the spread of this illness include:

  • washing your hands regularly
  • avoidance of big crowds, particularly during a flu outbreak
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose.
  • If you get a fever, stay at home for at least 24 hours after it goes away.

The Takeaway

Type A influenza is a contagious viral illness that, if left untreated, can lead to life-threatening consequences. While some cases of this infection can resolve without the use of prescription medicine, a visit to your doctor is advised. If you don’t currently have a doctor, our Healthline FindCare feature can help you find one in your region.

Do not attempt to self-diagnose your ailment. The flu might look like a regular cold, but it can cause symptoms to worsen. If you suspect you have influenza, make an appointment with your doctor to explore treatment options.

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