Flu : Symptoms, causes, types and treatment

Flu : Cold Symptoms vs Flu Symptoms, Causes, Prevention, And Treatment

(Last Updated On: April 6, 2018)

What is Flu ?

It’s a super-contagious virus which will make you feel miserable, Doctors call it influenza (flu).

The viruses pass through the air and enter your body through your nose or mouth and infect the respiratory tract.

Between 5 % and 20 % of people in the U.S are diagnosed with flu every year.

It can be serious or maybe deadly for older people, newborn babies, and people with certain chronic diseases.

What are flu symptoms ?

Flu symptoms in adults :

High temperature

Severe aches and pains in the joints and muscles and around the eyes

Generalised weakness

Ill appearance with warm, flushed skin and red, watery eyes


Dry cough

Sore throat and watery discharge from your nose

Diarrhoea or upset stomach

Flu Symptoms in Children :

♦ High-grade temperature


muscle aches


sore throat

dry cough

just plain feeling ill

Vomiting and diarrhoea

Also Read : Flu Symptoms 2018 : 11 Warning Signs of Flu You Shouldn’t Ignore

Cold symptoms vs Flu symptoms

Signs And SymptomsFluCold
Symptom OnsetAbruptGradual
ChillsFairly CommonUncommon
Fatigue and WeaknessUsualSometimes
Stuff NoseSometimesCommon
Sore ThroatSometimesCommon
Chest Discomfort, CoughCommonMild To Moderate

When Flu Season Starts

Flu season formally begins in Oct of each year and extends to may of the subsequent year.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people will follow the development of flu across the united states by following CDC’s weekly update of the locations where flu is developing in the U.S.

How Long Flu Last ?

Most symptoms get well after about five days. however, generally, they’ll last for a week or more.

Even though your fever and aches are gone, you’ll still feel drained for a couple of weeks.

How Flu Virus Spread

Most symptoms get well after about five days. however, generally, they’ll last for a week or more.

Even though you can catch it when somebody who has it sneezes or coughs, sending virus-filled droplets into the air that you inhale.

you’ll also get it if you bit somewhere that the virus landed and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Flu is more common in winter because people spend more time in close contact with each other, so the virus spreads more easily.

Your fever and aches are gone, you’ll still feel drained for a couple of weeks.

Types And Causes Of Flu (Influenza)

Influenza is contagious, which means it is spread easily from person to person.

Viruses that cause flu spread from person to person mainly by droplets of respiratory fluids sent through the air when somebody infected with the virus coughs or sneezes.

Other people inhale the airborne virus and can become infected.

In some cases, the flu is spread when somebody touches a surface (e.g., doorknobs, countertops, telephones) that has the virus on it and then touches his or her nose, mouth, or eyes.

The flu is most easily spread in crowded places like schools and offices.

There are 3 families of influenza virus: A, B, and C. type C more commonly affect ducks, geese, turkeys, and chickens, but, it’s also been included in a small percentage of human cases.

Type b mainly affects humans and causes a milder disease, and it changes very little from year to year.

Type A influenza poses the most serious problems for humans. Strains of this type have also been found in pigs, seals, whales, birds, humans, horses, and ferrets.

Viruses that affect 2 different species sometimes combine and mix-and-match genetic information to form a new strain that nobody is immune to and that no vaccine has been prepared.

There are probably infinite new forms of type a influenza. avian flu could be a type of influenza A that had been seen only in birds, including chickens and ducks, until 1997 when the first human case was reported in Hong Kong.

Although the avian flu occurs mostly in animals, it did cause a few cases of Serious disease with a high chance of death in humans.

Several birds were slaughtered in Hong Kong to stop the disease from spreading. In early 2004, The avian flu re-emerged in Japan, Cambodia, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Human cases appear in Vietnam and Thailand. millions of chickens are affected and killed in the countries listed in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.

Swine flu is another type of influenza A that’s commonly found in pigs. swine flu is transferred from pig to pig, and though it normally only affects pigs, there are periodic infections in humans, leading to H1N1 flu virus (human swine flu).

Most of those cases occur in people with direct exposure to pigs (e.g., people working on pig farms). Person-to-person transmission of the H1N1 flu virus (human swine flu) will occur, but, it’s not clear how quickly the virus is spread between people.

The flu takes one to four days to incubate in humans, however, infected people become contagious before symptoms seem, often just the day after the virus enters the body.

Adults remain contagious for about 6 days, and children remain contagious for up to 10 days.

Flu Prevention

Most of the malady and death caused by influenza will be prevented by annual influenza vaccination.

The CDC’s current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued recommendations for everybody 6 months of age and older, who don’t have any contraindications to vaccination, to receive a flu vaccine every year.

Flu vaccine (influenza vaccine made up of inactivated and sometimes attenuated [noninfective] virus or virus components) is specifically suggested for those who are at high risk for developing serious complications as a result of influenza infection.

A new vaccine type, Fluzone Intradermal, was approved by the FDA in 2011 (for adults 18-64 years of age).

This injection goes only into the intradermal area of the skin, not into the muscle (IM) like most conventional flu shots, and uses a much smaller needle than the standard shots.

This stopped viral development is assumed to be about as effective because the IM shot but claims to provide less pain and fewer side effects (see section below).

Other simple hygiene methods will cut back or prevent some people from obtaining the flu.

For example, sharing drinks or food, avoiding kissing, and handshakes, with flu infected people and avoiding touching surfaces like sinks and different things managed by people with the flu, are smart preventive actions

People with the flu ought to avoid coughing or sneezing on uninfected people; fast hugs are most likely okay as long as there is no contact with mucosal surfaces and/or droplets that will contain the virus.

Flu Diagnosis

To Diagnose Flu Doctor ask about patient’s history, whether patient meet someone who has flu and doctor also check symptoms of flu (listed Above) Usually, a quick test (for example, nasopharyngeal swab sample) is done to check if the patient is infected with influenza A or B virus.

Most of the tests will distinguish between A and B varieties. The check is negative (no contagious disease infection) or positive for types A or B.

If it’s positive for A, the person might have a conventional flu strain or a probably more aggressive strain like H1N1.

Most of the rapid tests are based on PCR technology that identifies the genetic material of the virus. Some rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) will screen for influenza in about 10-30 minutes.

Flu Treatments

Usually, you’ll need nothing more than bed rest and lots of fluids to treat the flu.

however, in some cases, your doctor might prescribe an antiviral medication, like oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza).

If taken soon after you notice symptoms, these medicines might reduce your flu day or so and help prevent serious complications.

Oseltamivir is an oral medication.

Zanamivir is inhaled through a device just like an asthma inhaler and should not be used by anyone with respiratory problems, like asthma and lung disease.

Antiviral medication side effects might include nausea and vomiting.

These side effects could also be lessened if the drug is taken with food.

Oseltamivir has also been related to delirium and self-harm behaviors in teenagers.

Some researchers suggest further study on both of these medicines due to uncertainty about their effects beyond a small reduction in the time of illness.

Some studies have advised that these medications may help cut back the severity of complications.

The Centers for disease control and prevention still recommends their use for some people.

A further issue is that some strains of influenza became immune to these medicine (mentioned above), which are older antiviral drugs.

How to Treat the Flu at Home

Here Is Some Home Remedies which help you to treat flu at home :

Drink plenty of liquid









Also Read : Detailed Article on 15 Ways to treat flu at home

 Side Effect Of Flu Shot (Vaccine)

Reaction at the injection site

Headache and other aches and pains

Dizziness or fainting


Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)

Severe allergic reactions

Also Read : Detailed Article on 7 Side Effect Of Flu Vaccine You Need to know

Reference :

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Infectious Diseases Society of America

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