The flu is caused by influenza viruses which affect the respiratory system, including the nose, throat and lungs. It is a contagious illness that may cause mild to severe illness and, in more extreme cases, can even cause complications that lead to death.
Seniors, young children and people with certain health conditions are at higher risk of developing complications from the flu. In the U.S., an estimated 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 die from the disease each year.
The Difference between a Cold & the Flu
The common cold tends to slowly worsen over two to three days, while the flu comes on suddenly and rapidly worsens over the first one to two days. Sore throat, nasal symptoms, cough and congestion are classic symptoms of a cold. Fever is more common in flu, especially if it is high. Body aches and fatigue also tend to be more common with the flu. Some children may experience vomiting and diarrhea.
Initially, it can be very difficult to tell the difference between a cold and the flu. Sugar Land Physicians offers an instant flu test to help differentiate and treat your illness appropriately.
How Does the Flu Spread?
Flu virus spreads primarily when people infected cough, sneeze or talk. As with colds, the flu can be contracted by touching an object that has the flu virus on it and then touching the mouth, eyes or nose. Influenza can be passed from one person to another even before symptoms appear.
It is hard to tell the difference between a viral or bacterial cause of respiratory illnesses on the basis of symptoms alone. The Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Test can instantly determine whether you have a cold or the flu, so your Sugar Land Physicians clinician can provide the appropriate treatment. Let us help you get healthy!
Influenza antiviral drugs may be used to lessen the severity of flu illness, but they should be considered a second line of defense against the flu. The best way to help prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. Sugar Land Physicians offers flu vaccines to help protect you and your family. It’s important to understand that you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Learn more about flu vaccination here.