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Doctor insights on: Influenza

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Dr. Milton Alvis Jr
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.


Dr. Gurmukh Singh Dr. Singh
Pathology
45 years in practice
University of Pune, Armed Forces Medical College
1

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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.

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Dr. Milton Alvis Jr
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.


Dr. Martin Raff Dr. Raff
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
52 years in practice
University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine
2

2
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.

Dr. Bac Nguyen Dr. Nguyen
Family Medicine
19 years in practice
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
3

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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.

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Dr. Ronda Dennis-Smithart Dr. Dennis-Smithart
Pediatrics
years in practice
The University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
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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.

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Dr. Colton Bradshaw Dr. Bradshaw
Pediatrics
years in practice
Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport
5

5
How soon to return to work after influenza diagnosis?

How soon to return to work after influenza diagnosis?

5-7 days: Influenza is actually contagious 24 hours before the symptoms actually develop! The flu virus can be spread to others as far as 6 feet away--typically by droplets made when coughing, sneezing, or talking. This contagiousness may then last for another 5-7 days after the symptoms occur--hence the usual recommendation to not return to work for a week. Children remain contagious even longer.

Dr. Chirag Vasa Dr. Vasa
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
23 years in practice
University of Pune, B. J. Medical College
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Dr. Alfredo Garcia Dr. Garcia
Pediatrics
52 years in practice
University of the City of Manila College of Medicine
7

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Any quick and easy diagnostic test for influenza?

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.

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David Miller Dr. Miller
Family Medicine
6 years in practice
Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
8

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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.

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Dr. Eric Levey Dr. Levey
Pediatrics
24 years in practice
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
9

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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.

Dr. Robert Robinson Dr. Robinson
Internal Medicine
17 years in practice
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
10

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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.

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Dr. Donald McCarren Dr. McCarren
Neurology
32 years in practice
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine - Georgia Campus
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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.

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Dr. Shabbir Hossain Dr. Hossain
Internal Medicine
12 years in practice
St. George's University School of Medicine
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How long can chills last with influenza? What is the best way to treat chills?

How long can chills last with influenza? What is the best way to treat chills?

Treat fever: Chills are from the fevers. Treat the fevers with something like Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen feel better!

Dr. Jane Eason Dr. Eason
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
29 years in practice
Tel Aviv University, Sackler School of Medicine
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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.

Dr. Ronda Dennis-Smithart Dr. Dennis-Smithart
Pediatrics
years in practice
The University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
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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.

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Dr. Douglas Arenberg Dr. Arenberg
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
27 years in practice
University of Illinois College of Medicine
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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.

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Dr. Martin Raff Dr. Raff
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
52 years in practice
University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine
16

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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.

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Dr. Martin Raff Dr. Raff
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
52 years in practice
University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine
17

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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.

Dr. Ronda Dennis-Smithart Dr. Dennis-Smithart
Pediatrics
years in practice
The University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
18

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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.

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Dr. Ibrahim Al-Sanouri Dr. Al-Sanouri
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
23 years in practice
University of Damascus Faculty of Medicine
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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.

Dr. David Astrachan Dr. Astrachan
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
33 years in practice
Yale University School of Medicine
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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.

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