Symptoms can include runny nose, cough, sore throat, high fever, fatigue, chills, headache and muscle aches and inflammation (usually Influenza B)
Patients are contagious with the flu for 1 day BEFORE symptoms begin up to 5-7 days AFTER becoming ill.
On physical exam the patient is typically ill-appearing, but the lung examination is usually unremarkable.
Complications usually are associated with children under 5 years of age, and they include secondary infections of the middle ears (otitis media), sinuses (sinusitis), and lungs (bronchitis, pneumonia).
The virus is transmitted by breathing in secretions from an infected individual who coughed, sneezed, or was even talking in close proximity.
It does not respond to antibiotic therapy.
The acute illness lasts for several days, but the cough and fatigue may last for weeks.
Influenza is believed to affect 20% of children and 5% of adults worldwide every year.
Because the virus changes each year, you are not immune to the flu after you are infected.FLU-VACCINE:Current recommendations are that all individuals over the age of 6 months receive the flu vaccine. This is considered by the CDC to be the most important step in flu-prevention.