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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What are the symptoms of the flu?
The common symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, headaches, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, a runny or stuffed nose, dry cough, sore throat and muscle and joint pain.
What causes the flu?
The flu is caused by an influenza virus. The virus can evolve rapidly, developing into new strains on a regular basis.
Who can develop the flu?
Anyone can develop the flu. People at a particular risk of serious illness and complications include elderly people, young children, pregnant women and people with chronic health problems.
How is the flu diagnosed?
Your doctor will normally diagnose the flu by its symptoms. Laboratory tests may be performed to verify the specific strain of virus that is causing the flu.
How is the flu treated?
The flu is treated by staying at home in bed, drinking plenty of fluids and keeping warm. Medications for relieving the symptoms may help alleviate the discomfort. Antiviral medications can be also be used under certain circumstances.
Is the flu contagious?
The flu is very contagious, infecting others via the droplets that escape an infected person during sneezing or coughing.
Can the flu be prevented?
The best way to prevent the flu is by having an annual influenza vaccination. Other ways of minimizing infection with an influenza virus is by avoiding infected people, keeping your hands and your surroundings clean and disinfected, and maintaining good nutrition …
About this article
Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Votes: 291 (Click smiley face below to rate)