Flu Specialist

Flu Q & A

What are the signs and symptoms of the flu?

The flu, or influenza, is a highly contagious viral respiratory illness that infects your nose, throat, and potentially your lungs. It’s typically spread through tiny droplets that become airborne when you cough or sneeze. The best protection against the flu is the flu vaccine, but even then you may still be susceptible to flu symptoms, including:

  • Fever or chills
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Sore throat or cough
  • Runny nose and congestion
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Not everyone who has the flu gets a fever, though, and symptoms typically come on suddenly. In some cases, you may also experience vomiting or diarrhea, but these symptoms are more common in children than adults.

Who is at risk for contracting the flu?

Anyone can get the flu, but those at the highest risk for contracting the influenza virus include:

  • Babies under 2, and children under 5
  • Adults over 65
  • Pregnant women
  • Those with weakened immune systems or autoimmune conditions
  • Those with chronic conditions like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease
  • Those who are extremely obese
  • Adults in nursing homes or long-term care facilities

In some cases, the flu can lead to additional health complications or even death.

How long am I contagious if I have the flu?

If you have flu symptoms, you’re most contagious to others within the three to four days after the symptoms first appear. It may be possible to spread the flu virus before you even realize you’re sick.

In some cases, you may even be able to infect others beginning one day before you experience any outward signs of the flu, and up to seven days after you get sick.

How can I prevent the flu?

The best way to prevent the flu virus from spreading, or from contracting it, is to get the flu vaccine each year. The Centers for Disease Control also recommends taking precautions every day, such as washing your hands frequently, staying away from those who are already infected, and covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.

If you’re experiencing signs and symptoms of the flu, Dr. Bazel may be able to prescribe antiviral medications to help manage your symptoms and prevent the illness from becoming worse. Call or schedule an appointment online today at the office location that’s most convenient for you to get help fighting the flu.

Scroll to Top