Understanding the Different Types of the Flu and Available Treatments

Understanding the Different Types of the Flu and Available Treatments

Jan 01, 2022

One of the most common illnesses in the human species is the flu. It manifests seasonally and is often a mild illness that can resolve on its own. However, the flu has the potential to evolve from an epidemic to a pandemic, which has happened severally over the years. As such, some flu complications are very severe and can even be life-threatening.

What Is a Flu?

It is a term used to refer to a viral infection of the respiratory system, medically called Influenza. The virus targets the nose, throat, and lungs and is very common among children and adults alike. The flu is so common that there is a season for it where many people are likely to catch it. The good news is that the symptoms of the virus very likely clear out on their own in about three days to a week. However, some patients have it rougher than others, enough to need Influenza treatment in the ER.

​What Causes the Flu?

Flu viruses are passed through droplets through the air because it is a highly contagious disease, especially during the first five days of infection. While everyone can catch the flu, some people are at a higher risk of getting it than others. This includes:

  • Children under 5 years
  • Pregnant women
  • Patients with weak immune systems – mostly due to underlying chronic health illnesses.
  • Adults older than 65 years
  • Healthcare providers – especially those working in ERs for flu and other respiratory health problems.

Different Types of the Flu

Influenza is a common viral infection that comes in four main strains. They are influenza A, B, C, and D.

  • Influenza A is the most common type, often referred to as a seasonal infection. It commonly affects people during the winter season and is spread from one person to another among infected persons. Although many cases of type A Flu resolve after a week or two, the cases of severity are very high. This type of flu can and has caused pandemics.
  • Influenza B is also spread among human beings, and can potentially be dangerous. This type of flu can easily turn into an epidemic, but not so much a pandemic.
  • Influenza C is centered primarily on human beings. It manifests milder symptoms than type A and B but can be serious for high-risk patients like pregnant women and children under 5 years.
  • Influenza D is an infection common in animals instead of human beings.

Treating Influenza

Although not all flu cases are severe, you should not be shy about seeking medication when you catch it. It affects people differently, and you must be careful to manage your symptoms before they get out of hand. Some of the complications that necessitate urgent care when you have the flu are:

  • Wheezing sounds when you breathe
  • Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
  • Symptoms that do not resolve after two weeks and instead become severe as you go.
  • Vomiting
  • Ear pain and fluid from your ears
  • When your temperature is too high

If you go seeking for Flu treatment near you, it may take different forms. While you may require medication, lifestyle changes will also be necessary for Managing and treating flu symptoms. Some treatment alternatives include:

  • Vaccination – did you know that you can get a flu vaccine before the flu season comes us? The flu shot will help your body to counter the effects of the flu virus and mitigate any potential complications common with flu symptoms.
  • Antiviral drugs – patients with severe symptoms needing flu emergency care may benefit from antiviral drugs like zanamivir, oseltamivir, or baloxavir to manage the serious complications of the influenza virus.
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever – to manage your body aches.
  • Resting – do not be shocked if the recommendation of a doctor at Express Emergency Room in Temple is for you to rest. Resting allows your body’s immune system to focus on healing and fighting the infection.
  • Hydrate – drinking plenty of water and warm fluids will help in the management of your flu symptoms.

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