Since the coronavirus came into the public eye a few months ago, many people have debated how serious it is. President Trump, and others, have spoken about how it is not more perilous than the flu. The number of deaths belies this claim, but it is worth talking about the flu and its dangers.
Here are some flu facts that you might not know about so that you can get an accurate picture of this common infection.
The Flu is a Viral Infection
In the United States, between 34,000,000 and 49,000,000 people will catch the flu between October and March. That’s a significant percentage of the population. The flu:
- Is a viral infection
- Can be deadly in some cases, especially if you’re in a high-risk group
The flu most commonly attacks the throat, lungs, and nose. It can be a truly miserable experience for those who contract it.
Who is Most at Risk for the Flu?
Those who need to be especially careful to avoid the flu bug include:
- Older adults
- Pregnant women
- Younger children
Also, if you have a compromised immune system, the flu can be dangerous or even lethal. Any of the groups we mentioned might not be strong enough to fight off the infection, and they can potentially weaken and die.
Young, healthy adults do not have as much to fear from it, but even if they survive, it can incapacitate them for days or weeks.
What are Some of the Most Prominent Flu Symptoms?
If you contract the flu, you’ll likely deal with chills, a high fever, coughing, and congestion. Muscle aches, fatigue, a runny nose, and headaches are possible as well.
Simply put, having the flu is awful. It’s like the common cold but amplified significantly. Those who contract it but survive sometimes report feeling weak to the point that they can barely stand.
How Do You Fight It?
The most common way that you fight the flu, once you’ve contracted it, is to rest and allow the body the change to heal itself. That is why young, healthy adults have the best survival rate. They’re strong enough to fight off the virus and get back on their feet if you give them enough time.
You should ingest lots of fluids to flush out the virus. People often employ hot, clear broth, Gatorade, or something else with lots of electrolytes, water, and vitamin C supplements as they recover.
Many people lose weight with the flu due to appetite loss. Their relatives and loved ones usually have to help them, particularly in the early phases. Many people also use over-the-counter pain medications and anti-inflammatory agents to help them along.
Is There a Way to Prevent It?
There is a flu shot, and doctors recommend that you get one every year, especially if you are in a high-risk group that we mentioned. You can often get the vaccine at your local pharmacy or your doctor’s office.
Recently, an anti-vaxxer movement has appeared in this country. There is talk by many parents and other individuals about vaccines being harmful to you for all kinds of obscure reasons.
There is no evidence whatsoever that vaccines are harmful. The flu vaccine could potentially save your life, especially if you are in a high-risk group.
What Else Should You Know About the Flu?
Preventing the flu’s spread is similar to avoiding the coronavirus’s spread. The best way not to get it and prevent spreading it if you have contracted it is to stay away from other people. Wearing an appropriate mask that covers both your nose and mouth during flu season is not a bad idea.
You can also get out of the habit of shaking people’s hands when you meet them. This is a way that individuals spread many pathogens.
You should also cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze. It is usually airborne particles that spread the flu. This is true of the coronavirus as well.
The flu can live on surfaces for a little while. You might brush against a doorknob or counter and then touch your face. That can be enough for transmission.
You can catch it from saliva. Kissing someone or sharing a drink with them could do it.
For most people, the flu is no fun, but they survive it within days or weeks. For high-risk groups, you need to take the danger seriously. Get the shot each year and take precautions around other people.