The flu seems to make an appearance every year starting somewhere during the late autumn and may continue to spread through early spring. There are different strains of the influenza virus including influenza A and B.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that anywhere from five to 20 percent of the population come down with the flu every year. Although most people recover in a week or two, the flu can lead to serious complications. In the United States, about 200,000 people are sick enough to be hospitalized and roughly 35,000 die.
Complications include ear infections, pneumonia and respiratory failure. Anyone can develop complications. But those with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease are most at risk.
The flu is most commonly spread through breathing saliva droplets from a sneeze or cough of an infected person. Someone with the flu can be contagious about a day or two before they experience symptoms and up to a week after symptoms started.
Symptoms are sometimes similar to a cold. But there are differences. In many cases, flu symptoms come on suddenly, and they are often more severe than with a cold. Recognizing symptoms as soon as possible helps prevent spreading the illness. Below are common symptoms of the flu.
If you have the flu, one of the most common symptoms is fatigue. Fatigue and tiredness may start even before other symptoms. Everyone has times their energy level seems to dip. But there is a big difference between feeling tired and the type of fatigue associated with the flu. It’s worse than just not having the energy that you normally have. Although fatigue is common with a lot of other conditions, with the flu, it can be the kind of fatigue that makes it difficult to get up and do even the simple things. When fatigue is due to the flu, it often comes on suddenly. The reason you may feel so worn out is your body is working hard to fight the infection, which leaves you little energy to do anything else. It’s your body’s way of telling you to take it easy, and you should.