Influenza: 9 Early Symptoms of The Flu

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

It’s officially flu season! Seasonal Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, can cause a wide variety of symptoms and outcomes. While some people may experience only a mild case of the flu, others may develop serious and life-threatening complications. It’s important to be able to recognize the early symptoms of the flu so that you can seek medical attention if necessary. 

I just went to the doctor in December 2022 and was tested and it showed I had Influenza A. I tried for a week to kick it myself but I couldn’t. At my age, I can’t risk it. I was having trouble breathing. I had a great physician and it took another week to kick it. All was well for the holidays, thank goodness. My opinion has always been when in doubt seek help from a medical care professional.

Influenza: 9 Early Symptoms of The Flu

Influenza Symptoms

What is the Flu?

The flu, also known as influenza, is a viral infection that primarily affects the respiratory system. The flu is caused by the influenza virus droplets, which are spread through contact with respiratory secretions from a person’s own mouth to others, from the noses of people, or contact with contaminated surfaces where you experience the spread of germs. 

Although the flu can affect us all, including healthy people, the flu can be especially dangerous for young children, the elderly, and people with medical challenges like heart and lung diseases, and weakened immune systems. For more information on the flu and who is at risk, be sure to check the Centers for Disease Control website.

Each year, the flu virus mutates, making it difficult to predict which strain will be most prevalent. As a result, scientists develop a new flu vaccine each year to keep up with the evolving virus. While the flu vaccine is not 100% effective, it is still the best way to protect yourself from the disease.

If you do happen to catch the flu, there are a number of antiviral medications that can help to lessen the severity of your symptoms. That’s why it’s important to get an annual flu shot, so those antiviral medicines can do their job for you and your family

Types of Influenza

There are two main types of flu viruses: Influenza A and Influenza B.  Influenza A viruses are classified according to the subtypes of their surface proteins, which are designated by letters. For example, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus was an influenza A (H1N1) virus. The Bird Flu is another influenza virus but is not as common in humans.

Influenza B viruses are not as variable as influenza A viruses and don’t have subtypes. Because of this, Influenza B viruses aren’t classified in the same way as influenza A viruses.

What is the difference between influenza A and B?

The main difference between influenza A and B is that influenza A viruses are classified according to subtypes, while influenza B viruses are not. Influenza A viruses are constantly changing, which makes them more difficult to prevent with vaccines. In contrast, influenza B viruses change much less frequently, making them easier to prevent with vaccines.

Read More of My Articles  Hydrogen Peroxide-25 Amazing Ways to Use It Today

Both types of influenza viruses can cause severe illness, but influenza A viruses are typically more virulent and cause more possible side effects. Influenza A viruses are also responsible for pandemics, which are global outbreaks of disease.

9 Early Symptoms of the Flu?

If you have a headache or sneezes, it can be tough to know if it’s a cold or an early sign of the flu. Here are some of the most common early flu symptoms to look out for:

1. Fever

The first sign of the flu is usually a high fever reaching 102 degrees or higher. Although a low-grade fever may occur, the flu is usually characterized by a high fever.

2. Body Aches and Pains

These muscle aches and pains can be generalized, meaning they affect your entire body, or they can be localized, meaning they only affect one specific area.

3. Fatigue

Fatigue is a common symptom of the flu, and it can be severe. People with the flu often describe feeling exhausted and as though they have been hit by a truck.

4. Cough

A hacking dry cough is another common symptom of the flu. This cough can become more productive, meaning it produces mucus, as the infection progresses.

5. Sore Throat

A sore throat is another common symptom of the flu. This symptom is usually accompanied by a dry, scratchy feeling.

6. Runny Nose or Congestion

A runny nose is another common symptom of the flu. This symptom is usually accompanied by a stuffy nose as well.

7. Chills

Chills often accompany a fever and can make people feel cold even when they are wrapped in blankets. You may also have moments where you feel hot and then really cold.

8. Difficulty Breathing

If you’re having difficulty breathing, it is important to seek medical help immediately, as this could be a sign of a more serious complication, including a contagious respiratory illness or a sign of congestive heart failure.

9. Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea

While nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are not common symptoms of the flu, they can occasionally occur, particularly in children.

When to Seek Medical Attention?

If you or your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately since they may relate to serious flu complications:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Persistent chest pain
  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness – could be a sign of ear infections
  • Fainting
  • Severe or persistent vomiting and related loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • High fever in infants less than 3 months old

These symptoms may be signs of a more serious complication, such as pneumonia, and it is important to seek medical attention right away. Additionally, if you are high risk, meaning you have chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, problems with your lungs, pregnant women, or are immune compromised, it’s important to talk to a doctor right away.

How is the Flu Diagnosed?

The flu is typically diagnosed based on symptoms. However, if you are pregnant, have a weakened immune system, or are experiencing severe symptoms, your doctor may order a test to confirm the diagnosis. There are two types of tests that can be used to diagnose the flu:

  • Rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs): These tests can detect the influenza virus in about 15 minutes. However, RIDTs are not always accurate and may give false positive results. This means that the test may show that you have the flu when you actually don’t.
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests: These tests can confirm the presence of the influenza virus and are more accurate than RIDTs. PCR tests usually take a day or two to get results.

How to Prevent Getting the Flu

According to the CDC, the best way to prevent getting the flu is by getting an influenza vaccine. The flu vaccine is an inactivated vaccine, meaning it contains dead viruses. These dead viruses can’t infect you with the flu.

Read More of My Articles  How To Benefit From Using Apple Cider Vinegar

The flu shot is typically given as an injection, but there is also a nasal spray version of the vaccine for people who are unable to receive injections. The flu vaccine is typically given once a year, and it is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine at least annually.

In addition to getting a flu vaccine, there are other things you can do to prevent the spread of the flu:

Wash your hands often and thoroughly

This is one of the most important things you can do to prevent the spread of the flu. Be sure to wash your hands often, and use soap and water. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Avoid touching your face

Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth can help the flu virus spread. Be sure to avoid touching your face as much as possible, particularly if you’ve shaken hands with others, touched possible contaminated surfaces, or think others around you may be infected.

Change Your Toothbrushes

Change your toothbrushes as often as your budget will allow.  It is recommended that you change your toothbrush every 3-4 months.

Use Clorox Wipes

Wipe all light switches in every room, toilet seat handles, door knobs, lamp switches, cabinet door knobs, remote controls, phones, etc. with Clorox Wipes. Use care when cleaning cell phones so they don’t get moisture inside them.

Use Hand Sanitizer

Use hand sanitizer whenever you are out in public and have to touch things that other people have touched. When going through your bank, handling ATM canisters, or buttons, after filling your gas tank, etc, use hand sanitizer.

Stay Healthy

You can also do things to keep your body healthy such as eating fruits & vegetables, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and taking vitamins.  These things will help your body fight off the flu virus. Make sure you are stocking up on supplements

What to Do if You Get the Flu

If you do get the flu, there are things you can do to make yourself feel better:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids
  • Take over-the-counter medication to help with fever and pain such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • If you have a fever, stay home until it goes down
  • Avoid contact with other people as much as possible to prevent the spread of the flu virus

These are just a few things you can do to prevent the flu, and what to do if you get it. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

More Ways to Stay Healthy

Final Word

The flu is a serious virus that can cause severe illness in people of all ages. The best way to prevent getting the flu is by getting a flu vaccine. In addition to getting a flu vaccine, we’ve discussed many other things you can do to prevent the spread of the flu. Share these suggestions with other family members, co-workers, if appropriate, and those in your area of influence you feel may be most at risk, including elderly friends and neighbors.

None of us wants to get sick, and for some, it can be life-threatening. Do your part to protect yourself and those you love. Don’t think serious illness will only happen to others. May God bless this world. Linda

Copyright Images: Influenza Woman with Lemons AdobeStock_29037567 By nyul

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *