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Influenza: What causes the flu? 

 

Youíre well aware that itís all too easy to contract the flu.  

You can acquire this viral infection either through direct or indirect contact in a myriad of ways.

 

If youíre near someone who sneezes, you have the chance of catching it from him.  If your co-worker coughs too close to you, you may develop it.

 

Another excellent way of coming down with the flu is to use a drinking glass which has been previously used by an infected individual. 

 

Once the virus infects your body, it invades the lining of your respiratory tract.  This causes inflammation and many of the symptoms weíve come to dread.

 

The virus is especially frustrating to the medical community because of its elusive ability to change its unique form yearly.  This means that every year each of us is once again at the mercy of a new viral strain.  And this means that even if you had the flu the year before, you have to start at square one in protecting yourself from the new strain.  Your body has no immune resistance to this updated version of the virus.

 

If you do acquire it from someone else, donít think youíll know within hours.  However, if you were unlucky enough to catch it youíll know within a day. The influenza viral lurks in your body for a full 24 hours before surfacing.  If you were near an infected person who sneezed at 3 p.m. Monday at work, youíll know by 3 p.m. Tuesday if youíre infected as a result of that encounter.  If you havenít come down with any symptoms by then, it means you didnít catch the flu Ė this time!  You still need to take precautions to keep yourself free of the infection.

 

Your first indication that the flu has a good hold of you is the sudden onset of chills.  This will undoubtedly be followed by a fever typically rising to 101 or 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  Youíll also experience a headache, a general malaise or lethargic feeling, as well as muscle aches and weakness, particularly in your arms, legs and back.

 

Other symptoms of the flu include coughing, sometimes accompanied by laryngitis or hoarseness, running nose and watery eyes.

 

The majority of these symptoms subside after three to five days.  You may discover, though, that your cough and your weakness persist a little longer.  This is normal and unless it is extremely bothersome, no real cause to worry.

 

If your fever lasts longer than five days, though, you should consult your health care practitioner.  This continue presence of this stubborn symptom could indicate that youíve developeda health complication as a residual reaction to the flu.  Your body may even be trying to tell you that you have pneumonia.

Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

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Inside Mother

Home
Subscribe!
What's New?

Mother's Tea
Guest Article
Homebirth
Editorial
Best Articles
Breastfeeding
Dear Mother Dear
Reader Letters
Eternally Pregnant
Circumcision
 

Site Features

Book Reviews
Mother Books
Cartoons!
Poems
Links
Birth Stories
Site Map
Advertising

Contact Us


Birth, Joy, & Raspberry Leaves
-a new video compiled by Catherine and Amanda Young
of The Compleat Mother

Go HERE for more information on the waterbirth video!


Click here to read: The Farmer and the Obstetrician

Click here for the Home Sweet Homebirth (Video)

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Greg Cryns
The Compleat Mother Magazine
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