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Doctor insights on: Influenza

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Dr. Andrew Seibert
2 Doctors shared insights

Influenza (Overview)

Influenza is a viral respiratory infection that causes cough, fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches and headache. While most healthy people suffer few complications from the flu, it can be deadly for pregnant women, babies and children, the elderly and those with weak immune systems. That's why it's so important to get the flu shot to protect yourself and your loved ones.


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How does the influenza a virus subtype h5n1 spread to humans?

Contact with: Infected birds or pigs. H5n1, also called bird flu spreads to human through close contact with infected birds or other animals. Human to human spread is rare. ...Read more

Dr. Andrew Seibert
2 Doctors shared insights

Influenza (Overview)

Influenza is a viral respiratory infection that causes cough, fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches and headache. While most healthy people suffer few complications from the flu, it can be deadly for pregnant women, babies and children, the elderly and those with weak immune systems. That's why it's so important to get the flu shot to protect yourself and your loved ones.


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Is itchy skin a flu symptom?

Is itchy skin a flu symptom?

Generally not: This is one of those symptoms which can have numerous causes and is impossible to diagnose accurately without a full picture of whatever else is going on. But this does not usually point to influenza. ...Read more

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Influenza symptoms&its protection?

Influenza symptoms&its protection?

Fast and can be bad: Fever, chills, achiness, cough, congestion, headache, sorethroat starting about 18-72 hours after exposure and u become contagious starting just around onset of symptoms or a bit before and continue for about 5-10 days. Young children may shed for longer period of time. With appropriate treatment/med, shedding should stop in about 72 hours. Prevention is key--vaccination & handwashing.
Good luck. ...Read more

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Common signs/symptoms of influenza?

Common signs/symptoms of influenza?

Feel miserable.: Fever, chills, cough, body aches, fatigue, congestion. Some vomiting/diarrhea, (influenza is not same as stomach flu). I've heard these descriptions: "like a truck backed over me, and I wished he'd come back and finish the job." "everything hurt. My arms, my legs, my head.. . Fingernails and eyebrows hurt." "i hurt so badly, I couldn't even sleep." get shot-2 more strains could infect you. ...Read more

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How soon to return to work after influenza diagnosis?

How soon to return to work after influenza diagnosis?

Wait a week: The germ is spread in your saliva or by droplets in a sneeze or cough. If you get on an antiviral quickly you may feel better & be fever free but the germ will persist until it dies off. You are considered contagious for no less than a week from the initial fever. ...Read more

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I got swabbed to diagnose flu a. Once I start feeling better, can they swab me again to test if I still have the flu?

I got swabbed to diagnose flu a. Once I start feeling better, can they swab me again to test if I still have the flu?

No: It is not necessary to repeat the nasal antigen or pcr test. If you are feeling better then you are cured. There is no chronic influenza. ...Read more

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Any quick and easy diagnostic test for influenza?

Flu test: There is a quick test for influenza done in your doctor's office although it will not rule out the flu if the test turns negative. ...Read more

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How do you know when to be hospitalized when you have influenza type b?

How do you know when to be hospitalized when you have influenza type b?

When your doc says: When to be hospitalized is a decision that only your doctor can make based on not only your symptoms but also your overall history and health. In this case, the reasons for hospitalization would likely revolve around supporting your respiratory function. Don't try to be your own doctor. If you're having problems, go see your doc right away. ...Read more

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What is the cause of influenza a?

What is the cause of influenza a?

Influenza A virus: Influenza viruses are categorized as influenza a or influenza b. Influenza a is the more common and more serious one. Usually two of the 3 strains in each influenza vaccine are influenza a viruses. ...Read more

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If someone close to me has influenza an now I am very sick does that mean I have it now?

If someone close to me has influenza an now I am very sick does that mean I have it now?

You might have flu: Your contact with someone with influenza does put you at risk of developing an influenza infection.

However, many other microbes (viruses, bacteria) can cause influenza like symptoms.

Only laboratory testing can confirm if you have an influenza infection. ...Read more

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Is neuropathy associated with guilain barre syndrome treatable and if so, how do I treat it and relieve the painful symptoms? My neurosurgeon just informed me that I have g.B.S. And had it since may 2011 following a stomach flu I had 2 weeks before my sym

Is neuropathy associated with guilain barre syndrome treatable and if so, how do I treat it and relieve the painful symptoms? My neurosurgeon just informed me that I have g.B.S. And had it since may 2011 following a stomach flu I had 2 weeks before my sym

Your: Your case presents a few dilemmas. Gbs is a group of autoimmune diseases targeted at the peripheral nerves and causing acute progressive weakness, usually an ascending paralysis.

The history usually entails the following:
•upper respiratory or diarrheal disease within previous 1–3 weeks in 50–70%: c. Jejuni (~40%), cytomegalovirus (13%), epstein-barr virus (10%), mycoplasma pneumoniae (5%), or hiv
•dysesthesias (painful tingling), paresthesias (tingling) of the feet and hands are usually the earliest symptoms.
•pain is common- especially back pain which can radiate to the legs and not usually associated with myalgias (muscle pain).
•gait disorder common in all age groups- this is the most common presentation in children
•neck muscle weakness, dysphagia, and dysarthria are predictors of respiratory failure.

The physical exam frequently reveals the following:
•acute, symmetric, and usually ascending weakness of limbs within days of dysesthesias
•areflexia (no reflexes) or hyporeflexia (reduced reflexes) and muscle weakness, decreased position and vibratory sensation
•respiratory muscle paralysis 30% if untreated
•cranial nerve involvement <50%; usually facial weakness, 10–20% ophthalmoparesis (loss of eye movement)
•dysautonomia (abnormal autonomic nervous system responses) (50%): labile blood pressure, arrhythmias, ileus (paralysis of bowel function), urinary retention;
•miller-fisher variant: ophthalmoplegia, ataxia, areflexia

important lab tests
•csf: elevated protein and normal white blood cells (wbcs; albuminocytologic dissociation) are characteristic with a normal opening pressure.
•emg: this shows a pattern of demyelination with prolonged latencies and a reduced motor compound action potential.

The medications usually used are one or more of the following:
•immune globulin (ivig)
•plasmapheresis or plasma exchange

most patients reach the plateau phase within 3 weeks of admission, and muscle strength is expected to improve. The prognosis is:
•complete recovery: 50%
•some residual disability: 45%
•severe permanent disability: 5%

hence, the dilemma as you report no improvement and in fact worsening. Furthermore, a lesion within the spinal cord (myelopathy) can present with similar symptoms as the ones you provide. A few pertinent questions to help discern the cause would include whether you have had a lumbar puncture and EMG and what did these results show?
I hope this answers your questions. Good luck and well wishes. ...Read more

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Got treated for influenza A. Was hospitalized for 4 days. Am I still contagious? Can I pass it on to others even after a week?

Got treated for influenza A. Was hospitalized for 4 days. Am I still contagious? Can I pass it on to others even after a week?

Flu: The contagious period generally is from one day before onset of symptoms/illness until 24 hours after fever has resolved. Once past that point, you are no longer infectious to others. ...Read more

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Can someone die from influenza a?

Can someone die from influenza a?

Yes: Influenza a can be deadly. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with underlying health problems are at the greatest risk; but even perfectly healthy people can die from it. That is why we strongly encourage everyone to be immunized. We know that we can't predict who will have a severe case; and everyone who gets influenza risks harming others when it spreads. ...Read more

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What is the best treatment for influenza?

Rest, fluids, and...: ...Fever reducers (aspirin, or acetaminphen). There are two approved drugs that can reduce symptoms, but only if started within ~24 hours of symptoms. Most people will have a self-resolving illness. But its not fun to have the flu, and the best strategy is prevention. Get your annual flu shot. Wash your hands a lot (during flu season especially). Buy and use hand sanitizer gel. ...Read more

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What are the signs / symptoms of influenza and what are the treatments of influenza disease?

What are the signs / symptoms of influenza and what are the treatments of influenza disease?

Complex: Fever, muscle aches; respiratory symptoms including sore throat, congestion, cough; gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, among others. ...Read more

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Is there a cure for the swine flu aka: h1n1 influenza a?

Antivirals: There are antiviral medications which can modify and shorten the duration and severity of influenza, but no cure other than allowing it to run its course and become immune to that strain. A better idea would be to maintain your immunity through vaccination yearly. ...Read more

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What are good remedies to get rid of influenza?

What are good remedies to get rid of influenza?

Tamiflu (oseltamivir): Tamiflu, an antiviral medication may be given to reduce the severity and duration of influenza. It must be started within the 1st 48 hr of illness, or is ineffective. Influenza lasts 7-10days, tamiflu only reduces flu by 2 days, so the best treatment is prevention (vaccinate). If already sick, tylenol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen, lots of fluids rest, vaporizer, cough suppressant. Hope you're better soon. ...Read more

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My child is very sick w/ haemophilus influenza in his lungs. It's resistant to penicillin and he's allergic to sulpha. What other drug can he take?

My child is very sick w/ haemophilus influenza in his lungs. It's resistant to penicillin and he's allergic to sulpha. What other drug can he take?

Macrolides: A class of medication called macrolides particular mixifloxacin it should be sensitive to it it 400 mg IV daily and also refer to the sensitivity pattern they should have. ...Read more

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I'm having flu continuously for three years, tablets only work for few days and no permanent relief is yet obtained. Can you please help me...?

I'm having flu continuously for three years, tablets only work for few days and no permanent relief is yet obtained. Can you please help me...?

Not the flu: You may be having symptoms that seem like the flu, but it is not the flu. If your symptoms are primarily nose and head then a chronic sinus condition is likely. If more systemic a multitude of possibilities exist. You need to see a doctor for a good evaluation. ...Read more

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How do I prevent spreading influenza b to other people?

Stay home/wash hands: Influenza is highly contagious, especially by droplet transmission. That means that by coughing, sneezing, or talking as many as six feet away from someone can transmit the disease to them. It is also believed that less often, influenza can be transmitted by touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching the face. So, stay home to avoid people, wash hands often, and clean surfaces. ...Read more

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I get flu easily...Can u give me some advices to avoid influenza? Thank u....

I get flu easily...Can u give me some advices to avoid influenza? Thank u....

Handwashing and rest: One of the best things you can do to reduce the chances of getting sick is to wash your hands properly and often. Soap and water are fine, and alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also very effective.
Keeping your immune system in good shape is also important, so make sure you are getting enough sleep, keep stress low and eat properly. ...Read more

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How could I not get influenza?

Hygiene: Since you can't live in a bubble, keep away form people who you know have the flu, wash your hands, cover your cough and sneeze and get the flu shot! ...Read more

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How can I keep from spreading influenza?

Basic stuff: First, get vaccinated so you don't get it in the first place. But if you do get it, stay home, wash your hands often, sneeze into your arm rather than your hand, and avoid touching or kissing people. ...Read more

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How fast can I make my influenza go away?

How fast can I make my influenza go away?

Antiviral: In some situations antiviral medications (Tamiflu, Relenza, Flumadine) may be prescribed within the first couple of days of symptoms to hasten healing or they can be used after flu exposure to prevent illness. Hydrate well w water, herbal teas, soup or juice. Drink sufficiently to have pale to light yellow urine. You can use pain relievers like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or NSAID’s. Rest A LOT! ...Read more

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If someone close to me has influenza an now I am very sick does that mean I have it now?

You might have flu: Your contact with someone with influenza does put you at risk of developing an influenza infection.

However, many other microbes (viruses, bacteria) can cause influenza like symptoms.

Only laboratory testing can confirm if you have an influenza infection. ...Read more