In light of the current pandemic situation around the world, the general population has become much more vigilant about their health. Due to the global health crisis caused by the extensive spread of the COVID-19 and its symptomatic proximity to the common flu. Most individuals with early flu symptoms tend to call their doctor to ensure that they have not been infected with the novel coronavirus.
However, it is always better to take precautions and to be prepared for the worst. One should not let panic and anxiety get the better of them. If you ever feel flu-like symptoms developing in your body, the optimal approach is to monitor and attack those symptoms in their early stages.
EARLY FLU SYMPTOMS 2020
Before getting into the intricacies of the management and treatment procedures. Let us first look at some of the most common early flu symptoms.
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. This is more common in children than in adults.
It is important to note that fever is the most common identifying symptom of flu.
To get a better understanding of the common early flu symptoms and how you can fight them off. let us delve into the specifics of each of these symptoms.
Usually, a fever is the characteristic of early flu symptoms. It is the most telling sign that our body is fighting off an infection. Generally, a flu-related fever can cause the body temperature to shoot up to 100.4 F (38 C). Because a virus causes flu, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Therefore, doctors use antibiotics to manage the symptoms. Effective antibiotics advised by the CDC for fever management include ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
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A persistent dry cough can well characterize as early flu symptoms..Other variations include wheezing and chest tightness. In order to manage this coughing, it is advisable to use cough drops or cough medicine. Also, keep your mouth and throat hydrated to prevent irritation and resultant coughing. In the case of a productive cough, you must see your doctor immediately. As wet/productive cough is an extremely rare early flu symptom, it can be indicative of a much more severe and complicated medical condition.
Persistent dry cough generally leads to a sore throat. In some cases, a swollen and itchy throat can develop without the prior onset of coughing. The most organic way to combat a sore throat is by stocking up on caffeine-free tea, chicken soup, and water. Gargling with warm water and salt is another great option to reduce the irritability.
Sudden and excessive fatigue is another common early flu symptoms. It usually manifests itself before any other symptom. Body soreness and fatigue are common symptoms of both flu and cold, but its severity varies in both conditions, with body fatigue being more severe in individuals infected with the viral flu. The best fatigue management technique is to rest as much as possible. Instead of taking painkillers, try limiting your physical activities and allow your body to take a breather. This will assist your immune system to prosper and fight off the virus. You can also prevent feet fatigued by wearing quality shoes.
BODY ACHES AND CHILLS
Other common early flu symptoms include body aches and chills. Individuals infected with the flu virus usually complain of body soreness and aches. These body aches can develop anywhere in the body, especially in the head, back, and legs.
Body chills are also common in individuals down with the viral flu. What is noticeable is that in some instances, patients can experience body chills without the onset of a fever. In order to cope with these body chills, the best management technique is to increase your body temperature. If the chills are accompanied by body aches, the patient can choose to consume pain-relieving medication, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
In some cases of the viral flu, the symptoms can also affect the patient’s gastrointestinal system. Generally, dehydration is considered to be the main cause of diarrhea and vomiting. The best way to prevent dehydration and resultant gastrointestinal issues is by consuming adequate amounts of water and other hydrating products.
A large majority of patients that get the flu usually recover in a few days or weeks. Infected patients that recover generally succeed in effectively managing the early flu symptoms. However, some patients might develop complications due to the underlying flu symptoms. The most common complication in flu patients is pneumonia, which can be quite fatal if not treated properly.
Pneumonia is a severe complication that stems from the viral fu infection or the co-infection of both the influenza virus and a certain strain of bacteria. Other flu-related complications include inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues, and multi-organ failure.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF DURING FLU SEASON?
As we are all aware, the flu virus is highly contagious. It can spread through saliva droplets that are projected by an infected person while sneezing or coughing. However, we can limit the spread of this viral infection by taking relevant precautionary measures like:
- Avoid close contact with people who manifest early flu symptoms.
- Stay home if you’re sick, especially if you have a fever.
- Cover your mouth when coughing.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Avoid touching your mouth and nose.
HOW TO DISTINGUISH: FLU SYMPTOMS VS COLD SYMPTOMS?
It is often difficult to differentiate between the symptoms of a cold and flu due to similarities in their manifestation. Although both of them are respiratory illnesses, they are caused by different viruses. Since we have extensively covered the major early flu symptoms above, we can go over the primary symptoms of the common cold in this section. Cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of the viral flu. The most prominent feature of a cold is a runny or stuffy nose. In conclusion, the symptoms of a common cold do not pose a serious health threat to infected individuals.