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Internal Medicine


The symptoms of influenza are similar to those of other respiratory infections but tend to be more intense


Influenza (flu) is a respiratory infection caused by influenza A or B viruses. These viruses are highly contagious and are primarily transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets expelled when coughing or sneezing.

Symptoms can range from mild to severe and, in extreme cases, can lead to serious complications, especially in people with weakened immune systems or in high-risk groups; this is why the attention of an Internal Medicine Physician is essential.

What are the symptoms of influenza?

The symptoms of influenza are similar to those of other respiratory infections but tend to be more intense. Common symptoms include:

  • High fever

  • Sore throat

  • Cough

  • Nasal congestion

  • Muscle aches

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Types of influenza

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is not a uniform disease; instead, it is a diverse group of viruses with a unique ability to mutate and adapt.

  • Influenza A: This type is the most versatile and potentially dangerous. Its subtypes are classified based on the viral surface proteins, hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). These subtypes, such as H1N1 or H3N2, are responsible for pandemics and seasonal outbreaks.

  • Influenza B: Although less common than A, influenza B can also cause epidemics and primarily affects humans. Unlike A, it is not classified into subtypes but presents genetic variants that require attention.

  • Influenza C: Although less frequent and generally milder, C can cause respiratory infections. Often overlooked, its genetic changeability still challenges understanding influenza as a whole.

The Flu Vaccine Works

The influenza vaccine (flu shot) is one of the most effective tools for preventing and reducing the disease's severity if contracted. Each year, public health experts develop a new vaccine based on the strains of influenza viruses expected to be in circulation.

While the vaccine does not guarantee 100% protection, it significantly reduces the risk of contracting the flu and can lessen the severity of the illness in those who receive it.

When Should I See a Doctor for influenza?

Knowing when to seek medical attention if you suspect influenza is essential. Suppose you experience severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion, dehydration, or a persistent fever that does not respond to over-the-counter medications. In that case, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately.

Additionally, high-risk groups, such as young children, senior adults, and those with underlying medical conditions, should be closely monitored, as they are more prone to developing complications.

If you experience severe or persistent symptoms of influenza and are considering medical care, at BlueNetHospitals, we have trained Internal Medicine Physicians who can provide you with the necessary assistance. Do not underestimate the importance of seeking professional help to assess and treat your symptoms, ensuring prompt recovery and preventing potential complications.


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