Influenza, commonly known as the flu, exists year-round but is especially virulent in the fall and winter. Besides getting flu vaccines, doctors recommend that people see a doctor for a proper diagnosis within 48 hours of noticing flu-like symptoms, which include high fever, headaches and muscle soreness. If a doctor has confirmed that you have the flu, the medicine they administer will be the most effective treatment available.
Wu Wei-han, a doctor in the Department of Family Medicine at St Martin De Porres Hospital in Chiayi City, says that the flu is an infectious respiratory disease, which is divided into three types — influenzavirus A, B, and C. The type A viruses are the most virulent human pathogens, with the H1N1 and H3N2 strains being the most common.
Wu says the main things that distinguish the flu from the common cold are the headaches, fatigue and high fevers that usually persist for several days with the flu. The incubation period for the flu is typically one to three days.
Wu suggests frequently washing your hands, reducing time spent in public places, and getting a flu vaccine. She says that the three available vaccine jabs, which are made by Adimmune Corp, Novartis AG and Sanofi-Aventis SA respectively, currently being offered by the government are all equally effective.
However, Wu says people who are protein intolerant and infants less than six months old should not get vaccinated. People who do get vaccine jabs may experience some soreness and swelling in the vaccinated area and feel tired, but drinking plenty of water and waiting for the drug to be metabolized will ease the side effects.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)