Influenza may be deadly in some cases especially to those with compromised immune systems such as HIV victims, the elderly and the very young. Flu shots are available at certain times of the year to prevent the flu or to reduce the severity of the ailment. Spotting flu symptoms when you have them may help reduce the spread of influenza by staying indoors and taking care of yourself.
Flu symptoms in adults include a high fever and sweaty appearance. The flu sufferer may have the chills even though the room is warm. Extra blankets may be required to compensate until the fever breaks.
General muscle aches and pains especially in the joints and the shoulders and back. The flu sufferer may feel lethargic and want to stay in bed and sleep.
Flushing in the face is a usual sign of the flu along with a headache and a sore throat. The eyes may appear watery and red and the sufferer looks sick.
A dry cough may accompany flu symptoms along with a red runny nose. Weakness may be severe enough that the sufferer may be unsteady on his feet and need support to walk to the bathroom.
The flu sufferer may breathe faster than normal due to being feverish. If the fever rises above 102 degrees F despite being given medications to relieve fever, a trip to the doctor's office may be necessary. If the symptoms last longer than 6 days without getting better or if shortness of breath is noticed, a doctor's visit is recommended.
Complications may develop in certain high-risk groups including those with diabetes, pregnant women and chronic diseases of the lungs such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Asthma sufferers and those with cystic fibrosis or heart patients are at risk and should be watched for complications.
Plenty of clear fluids should be encouraged to keep the flu sufferer hydrated. Over-the-counter remedies work well to minimize the severity of the symptoms. Dairy products should be avoided in flu sufferers with high fevers.