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Influenza

The influenza virus including symptoms and treatment available

Influenza is most commonly referred to as 'flu' and most typically affects those vulnerable in infection, such as the elderly, children and people with conditions like asthma. Whilst flu is a recognised medical term linked to the common cold, in reality to have the condition is infrequent. When there is an outbreak, however, it is highly contagious with unpleasant symptoms such as aching muscles, headaches and a high fever leaving you bedbound.

Flu can be treated effectively with the right medication, and should be started as quickly as you can so symptoms don't escalate further.

Dr Hilary Jones Dr Hilary Jones
OnlineClinic Medical Advisor

"The Influenza virus is a highly contagious virus and, for certain groups, can be fatal. It can however be treated and prevented effectively with the right medication."

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Tamiflu

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  • Treats strains of the influenza virus in adults and children
  • Deteriorates effects of flu in a matter of days
  • Preventative measure to avoid onset of flu virus
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  • Free delivery next working day
  • Online prescription - No doctor visit

What is influenza?

Influenza is most commonly referred to as 'flu'. Many people mention they have flu from time to time, however the symptoms can in fact be easily distinguished from the common cold, which can also be unpleasant at times.

Flu is a virus that can manifest in three different types named A, B and C. Within these three categories are over 300 strains, the most commonly heard about being bird flu and swine flu. The symptoms of flu can leave you on your back for days so many people order treatment to help alleviate symptoms quicker and it can also be prevented with treatment if an outbreak has occurred.

The most serious cases of influenza tend to be associated with those classed as more vulnerable and the NHS offer a free flu jab during the winter months to combat the virus. If you're in one of the following groups, you will be liable:

  • Over 65 years
  • Pregnant women
  • Asthmatics
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic heart, kidney, neurological or liver disease
  • Diabetics
  • Conditions associated with the spleen
  • HIV and AIDs
  • Chemotherapy
  • Children between the ages of two and four

Influenza causes

Both men and women can contract flu and symptoms vary depending on the severity. If you have asthma for example, you might experience worse symptoms than someone without a respiratory condition. The main causes of influenza tend to depend of the type of virus you have caught, whether that's A, B or C.

Type A and B epidemics can more frequently occur during the winter months when outbreaks are generally more common, with those infected with the virus able to spread it easily up to two metres away and you will experience symptoms fairly quickly after infection as well.

The most common cause is the spread of infection from one person to the next, as it is highly contagious, such as sneezing, coughing and lack of personal hygiene. Avoiding the spread, detailed further under 'Preventing influenza', could be simple steps such as washing your hands frequently.

Influenza symptoms

Symptoms of influenza can vary in severity depending on the strain and how quickly you treat; however you could experience a number of the following:

  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Aches and pains
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cough

Once infected, these symptoms do tend to be experience soon after and come about quite strongly, whereas a common cold takes far more time to develop from manageable to increasingly severe when not treated.

Treating influenza

Whilst influenza can pass through your system with time, many people find treating the virus as necessary to not only cure the symptoms quicker and to alleviate any discomfort, making the virus duration far more bearable.

By treating influenza, you will improve your sleep, which will help fight the virus as well as reducing the spread to others.

Antivirals

Antiviral medications come in the form of Tamiflu tablets and Relenza inhaler. Both are clinically proven and available on prescription. They reduce symptoms and the length of the virus. In particular, Tamiflu can reduce symptoms to around a day and a half.

Over-the-counter

Whilst these methods aren't clinically proven like antivirals, some can help reduce any unpleasant symptoms and lessen the duration of the virus slightly. These include antihistamines and cough medicine as well as strong cold medications that can ease unpleasantness.

Aiding recovery

Drink plenty of fluids and keeping warm can be accompanied with medication, or used by itself to help rid the flu, as can using a sponge to cool yourself down in rising temperature. Using paracetamol and aspirins can also help mild symptoms.

Preventing influenza

Influenza is highly contagious, so prevention cannot not be 100% possible, however these factors can help you avoid an outbreak, or means the symptoms may be more manageable if you contract the virus.

  • Get the flu jab – The flu vaccination is free from the NHS for those more susceptible to it. For example, those with asthma and the elderly.
  • Cover your nose and mouth – When sneezing and coughing, be sure to cover your mouth to avoid the spread and get rid of tissues.
  • Keep surfaces clean – Wipe down and disinfect surfaces such as door handles to kill the virus before it reaches you.
  • Wash your hands – Frequently washing your hands, or simply keeping antibacterial handwash on your person means the virus can't thrive.
  • Exercising – Regular exercise will keep you healthy and your immune system in good shape.
  • A healthy diet – Plentiful fruit and vegetables have the necessary vitamins to build a good immune system against colds and flus.

Buying treatment

Influenza might be well known, however the symptoms are particularly unpleasant and many seek relief through a combination of medication and home remedies. Flu can come on very strong so buying treatment quickly can help alleviate current symptoms as well as stopping them from getting worse. Not only will treating influenza make symptoms far more manageable, but also it will reduce the duration of the condition.

Prescription medication is clinically proven and you can purchase Tamiflu from OnlineClinic from the comfort of your own home. We offer next day and same day delivery free of charge allowing you to defeat influenza quickly.

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