Influenza is caused by three different types of viruses: influenza A, influenza B and influenza C. All three of these flu viruses have similar symptoms, yet influenza B is the most common flu virus during the winter and the one that leads to the most localized outbreaks of the flu. Receiving a flu vaccination can keep people from contracting influenza B. Taking medication specifically designed to treat the flu, such as Tamiflu, within the first day or two of the symptoms developing can help reduce the duration of the illness.
People who contract influenza B will develop symptoms suddenly. There is generally no warning symptoms that can help a person determine if he or she has contracted the virus. Individuals may wake up feeling healthy and within a few hours be very ill.
Just as with the other types of the flu, influenza B causes a fever. This fever can be very high, especially in young children. Individuals often experience chills with the fever and will shake. They may wear extra layers of clothing and cover up with blankets but still feel cold. As the body’s temperature rises and falls, bouts of sweating may be intermingled in with the chills.
Coughing and Headache
Influenza B produces a hacking cough that is very dry. This cough is unproductive and can be very intense. Chest pain is common. Headaches can also be severe and can hurt worse when coughing.
Body Pain and Fatigue
People who contract influenza B will feel extremely tired, and just walking through the home may seem to require too much energy. Body pain accompanies this fatigue and exacerbates the problem. Body pain is generally felt all over and even blankets and garments against the skin may seem to cause pain.
Anyone who has been in contact with a person who has the flu should contact their doctor to see if they can be prescribed a flu medication such as Tamiflu. This medication can inhibit the virus from attacking the system. The medication is generally prescribed for 10 days for people who have been exposed to influenza.