The flu is a nasty virus that can come on suddenly. While it typically is not hazardous for your health, it can leave you feeling miserable and tired for a number of days. The typical types of flu bugs that go around will usually go away on their own; however, if you visit a doctor quickly, you might be able to get medication that will help reduce the length of time this common illness affects the way you feel. Here are several things you should know about the flu and treatment options for it.
What Causes The Flu?
The flu is a highly contagious virus you can obtain simply by being exposed to someone that has this condition. If a person has the flu, tiny particles of the virus can get in the air. All it takes for you to catch this illness is breathing in air that is contaminated with the virus. There are multiple types of flus you can get, and visiting a doctor is the only way to find out if you should take medication or not to treat the symptoms you are experiencing.
When Is Treatment Recommended?
If you are suffering from a fever, chills, sore throat, and other respiratory symptoms, you may have a type of flu that can be treated with antiviral medications. The only way you can get these types of medications is by visiting a doctor. If your regular doctor is not available to see you, you can visit an urgent care clinic.
The doctor you see will most likely test you to see what type of flu you have. This test typically involves rubbing a cotton swab on the back of your throat. This specimen is then tested (typically in the doctor's office), and it will determine if you test positive for the types of flus that can be treated with antiviral medication.
The downside to this test is that it offers the most accurate results if it is completed within 48 hours of getting the flu. If you wait too long, the test may not show a positive result. In this situation, the medications would not be helpful at all.
The purpose of antiviral medications is to shorten the span of the flu symptoms. If you test positive and can take this medication, your chances of developing other illnesses from the flu will be reduced. If the flu is left untreated, it can turn into pneumonia in some cases, and this can be a dangerous condition for babies, seniors, and people with major health problems.
Will A Flu Shot Help?
When you already have the flu, getting a flu shot is not likely to help with the symptoms you are currently experiencing. Flu shots are helpful in general though, but they are not able to stop all types of flu strains. The flu is an illness that changes from year to year. Because of this, researchers are not able to make flu vaccinations that completely stop the chances of developing a flu illness.
When they make the vaccinations each year, they try to speculate as to what types of strains might occur. Based on this, they will make vaccinations to stop these particular strains. Each year, the vaccinations made are unique, and this is why you must get a flu shot each year if you want a way to protect yourself from the potential risks of the flu.
In most cases, flu symptoms will go away on their own, but they will go away faster if you can take antiviral medication. If you are suffering from the flu and want to get over it faster, visit an urgent care center like Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc. today.