Influenza is an infection caused by viruses. High fever, cough and sore throat are typical symptoms. It usually hurts the body and you feel generally ill. The problems usually go away without treatment within a couple of weeks. If you have underlying medical problems, are pregnant or over 65, you should vaccinate yourself against the flu.
APPOTEK can help you with influenza.
Influenza is an infection of the respiratory tract caused by viruses found in the air. The virus causes an infection that damages the mucous membranes of the airways and causes fever and muscle aches. The symptoms are similar in many ways to a common cold, but the difference between the flu and the cold is that the flu is also characterized by fever and muscle aches. In addition, the recovery time is usually longer.
The flu virus is most common during the winter and usually reaches its peak in February. It is highly contagious and transmits through the air, for example through coughing and sneezing.
You may become infected through close contact or if someone coughs or sneezes near you. People who have a general impairment are particularly easy to get infected.
Outbreaks of influenza can occur in different parts of the world and can cause widespread pandemics, such as the Spanish flu, the Hong Kong influenza and the swine flu.
Approximately 33% of people with influenza are asymptomatic.
Symptoms of influenza can start quite suddenly one to two days after infection. Usually the first symptoms are chills and body aches, with fever, also common early in the infection, with body temperatures ranging from 38 to 39 °C. Many people are so ill that they are confined to bed for several days, with aches and pains throughout their bodies, which are worse in their backs and legs.
- high fever, sometimes with chills
- cough and sore throat
- chest pain
- Red eyes
Influenza-like symptoms can sometimes be signs of bacterial pneumonia, bronchitis or other viral infections such as coronavirus.
Prevention and protection
Vaccination: If you belong to an at-risk group, you should vaccinate yourself against the flu. This applies to those older than 65 or with a reduced immune system. Adults and children with heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, liver failure or kidney failure should also be vaccinated, as well as people with severe obesity, neuromuscular disease or multiple dysfunctions. Pregnant women should also be vaccinated against the flu because they may have more severe symptoms during pregnancy. In addition, your baby receives good protection as a newborn.
If you are healthy and under 65, there is no general recommendation on vaccination, but you can vaccinate if you want.
If you need the flu vaccine as a preventative measure, you usually get a syringe in your upper arm. In some cases, children and adolescents up to the age of 18 can also receive a nasal spray vaccine.
During the flu, it is important to rest so that the body is able to recover. Be sure to get enough fluids if you have a fever. At pharmacies there are nasal sprays and non-prescription drugs that are analgesic – they do not shorten the course of the disease but can alleviate the symptoms.
Transmission: normally you are already a carrier from a day before you get sick until about five days after the first symptoms. As long as you have a fever, you should stay home – this applies to both children and adults as the virus spreads easily in schools and workplaces.
To reduce the risk of infection:
- wash your hands frequently
- do not touch your face
- Avoid close contact with people who have disease symptoms
- Avoid large crowds during flu season if possible.
Influenza is usually not treated if you are otherwise healthy. However, medical risk groups and pregnant women may need antiviral drugs.
If the flu turns into pneumonia, for example, there may be a reason to treat with antibiotics.
Influenza in children – usually goes away by itself after about a week. Since it is a viral infection, antibiotics do not help. Once the child is infected, it is usually sufficient for the child to rest and it is important that he drinks a lot. The child should stay at home for about a week to rest and avoid the risk of infecting other children.
Those children who are at risk and who may suffer from complications may need to be given an antiviral drug. In order for these drugs to work, they must be taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.
It is also possible to vaccinate children for prevention against the viruses that WHO believes will be the most common during the year. This is not necessary for otherwise healthy children.
Vaccinations are not always 100% effective, so be sure to wash your hands frequently.
When to consult a doctor
If you have a high fever that has not normalized after five days, you should seek care. This also applies if the fever has gone down and then comes back, or if you have taken a fever-reducing agent without effect.
If your child has a high fever that is not normalized after five days, you should seek care. This also applies if the fever has gone down and then comes back, or if you have taken a fever-reducing agent without effect.
If you or your child belong to a risk group and have flu symptoms, you should contact your health care provider directly.
In case of flu symptoms with chest pain and respiratory problems, you should seek emergency treatment.
How APPOTEK can help
You can contact APPOTEK for help with influenza. A doctor or nurse will make an initial diagnosis during the video consultation. They can also give prescriptions or refer you for further examination, if needed.
If your child is sick, he or she needs to attend the consultation.