The flu season is here and already hospitals are treating confirmed cases of those suffering from influenza. With strains of the influenza virus constantly mutating and changing, it can be difficult for those outside of the medical health system to clearly diagnose symptoms of the flu compared to the common cold and in addition, understand how to help the sufferer.
The most common symptoms of influenza include:
- Fever and high temperatures – although usually the patient will feel cold
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Extreme fatigue
- Loss of appetite
When these symptoms become severe and somewhat unmanageable, it is advised to seek advice from a medical professional, so they can assist with management and assess if further medical intervention is necessary as in some instances the virus can lead to dangerous complications such as pneumonia.
In regard to influenza, unfortunately there is no quick fix, the virus has to run its course. In the interim, management of the patient comes down to:
- Keeping them rested.
- Ensuring the patient is kept well-hydrated.
- Constantly monitoring temperature to accommodate any sudden changes.
- Reinforce hygiene practices such as washing hands and having showers to minimise the chance of picking up other germs in addition to spreading the virus through contact.
- Minimising contact to others for both the patient’s wellbeing and the wellbeing of others who could possibly contract influenza.
- Consult GP or hospital if symptoms become too severe or there is an infant or elderly patient showing symptoms.
In order to prevent the outbreak of influenza, the Australian Government has released a vaccine which is free to Australian residents with several versions available to accommodate over those over the age of 65 and young children. For more information on The Flu Vaccine click here to read the information issued by the Australian Department of Health.
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