The flu is a highly contagious illness that can make you very sick for days or weeks, and it can cause potentially life-threatening complications in the elderly, the very young, and people with compromised immune systems. Gaylene Soloniuk-Tays, MD, is an expert physician who offers flu vaccinations and treatment in Visalia, California. To learn more, or to make an appointment, call Compassionate Family Care today, or book online.
Influenza, or the flu, is an acute illness caused by the influenza virus. Although there are many different strains of the influenza virus, they all attack the tissues of the nose, throat, and lungs. Some viral strains are mild, while others cause severe symptoms.
The majority of flu cases resolve on their own, but in some cases, the flu causes dangerous complications that can be life-threatening without treatment.
Specific populations have a high risk of developing dangerous flu complications. These include:
If you have asthma or a chronic disease such as diabetes, you also have an increased risk.
The most common symptoms of the flu include:
The flu shares some symptoms with colds and other respiratory viruses. However, flu symptoms tend to come on quite suddenly and are often more severe than other viral infections.
Because the flu is caused by a virus, extra rest and fluids are the best way to support your immune system while your body recovers from the illness. In some cases, Dr. Soloniuk-Tays may prescribe an antiviral medication, which can shorten the duration and severity of your symptoms when taken in the early stages of the flu. Antivirals may also help reduce the risk of complications from the flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of six months be vaccinated against the flu every year. A new version of the vaccine is released each year to guard against 3-4 strains of the virus that are determined to be the most prevalent in the current flu season.
The flu shot provides you with the best possible protection against the flu and helps prevent it from spreading. Even if you’re not at risk for severe complications, you help protect those who are, like children and the elderly, when you get your yearly vaccination.
To make an appointment or to schedule a flu vaccination, call Compassionate Family Care today, or book online.