FLU OR INFLUENZA, WHAT DO I HAVE?
What is Flu or Influenza?
Both are the name of same illness caused by same virus namely Influenza. The disease can produce mild to severe symptoms. Flu is different from a common cold but is often used, although incorrectly, interchangeably.
Do I need to take antibiotics for Flu infection?
No, Flu is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not play nay part as the main treatment. In certain conditions when one develops a superimposed bacterial infection, an additional antibiotic can be given and should be taken only as per your chest specialists advice.
Is there an antiviral drug available? Can I start the treatment with antivirals if I have Flu?
Yes, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved antivirals are available, which can be used in the treatment for Influenza infections. But antivirals should not be started as over the counter treatment. If you have symptoms of Flu, visit your physician for an evaluation, diagnosis, and follow their advice.
Is Flu contagious?
Yes. Flu is a contagious disease. It can be spread from person to person when they sneeze or cough. It can be transmitted if a person touches an uncleaned surface which was contaminated by an infected person. Avoid meeting people, going out in public gathering, and if you must leave home, you should wear mask and wash your hands frequently.
How do I protect myself from Flu?
Wearing a mask and physical distancing can help protect you and others from contracting respiratory viruses, like flu and the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the best way to reduce your risk of flu illness and its potentially serious complications is for everyone 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine each year.
Is Flu preventable?
Yes, by getting a flu vaccine, during Flu season, you can reduce your chances of getting the Flu. By vaccinating yourself you can also be protect other people around you who are more vulnerable to serious complications.
Do I need to be hospitalized for Flu?
No, not everyone who suffers from Flu requires to be hospitalized. You may visit your health care provider for checkup. If you are experiencing worsening of symptoms or any of the following, high-grade fever, cough, chest pain/tightness, rapid breathing, or difficulty in breathing, or are unable to carry out routine chores due to shortness of breath, excessive vomiting, and drowsiness, in such situations you may need to visit an emergency department for further evaluation.
Is there any test for the diagnosis of Flu?
Yes, there are certain investigations available, like nasal swabs for H1N1 and some others that can be carried out to make diagnosis of Influenza infection. But a negative test does not completely exclude the presence of Influenza. You must follow the advice of yoor health care practitioner, as their clinical judgment plays a vital role in making diagnosis of any illness.
Can I get Flu, even after receiving the Flu vaccine?
Yes, there are other viruses circulating in the environment during the Flu season. Flu vaccines provide protection against certain most common type of Influenza virus. Certain situation one can get infected with Influenza virus as well, but studies have shown that risk of developing severe illness is relatively less compared to a person who has not been vaccinated. Flu vaccine is a preventive tool. It is not a treatment against the Influenza infection.
Does Flu vaccine protect me from having Complications due to Flu?
Yes, studies have shown that vaccinated individuals after getting infected with Influenza virus show less severe symptoms and a significantly greater reduction in the risk and duration of hospital stay.
Can Flu cause Pneumonia?
Yes, Influenza infection can cause pneumonia directly or a superimposed bacterial infection can lead to development of pneumonia. Both conditions are serious and require hospitalization.
Please get vaccinated in time to protect both yourself as well as your loved ones. Should you or anyone you need to see a pulmonologist, please call The Chest Clinic- Dr. Javed Husain & Associates. We offer both online video consultation as well as outpatient clinic and in-hospital care for all our patients. To make an appointment please call +923018479066 or leave us a message by WhatsApp requesting an appointment and a member of our team will call back and connect with you.