The flu can be life-threatening and lead to severe complications for children, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems. Dr. Ryan Williams provides proactive and reactive health care and treats men, women, and children with the flu at Florence Family Medicine in Florence, South Carolina. If you have questions or concerns about the flu, call or schedule your consultation online with Dr. Williams today.
Influenza — the flu — is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system and while it can resolve on its own, it can also be life-threatening and lead to complications, especially in younger children and people with weakened immune systems.
People with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, heart and kidney disease, and diabetes are at a higher risk of developing complications from the flu.
The best defense and preventive care method to protect you against the flu is to receive an annual vaccination at Florence Family Medicine. Annual flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months.
The flu vaccine — typically administered as an injection — protects against three or four influenza viruses that are expected to be the most common during that year’s flu season.
The flu virus travels through the air when an infected person coughs, talks, or sneezes. You can contract it when you touch an object, such as a computer keyboard, and then transfer them to your nose, mouth, or eyes when you touch your face, or when you inhale the droplets in the air.
When you have the flu, you’re usually contagious while symptomatic.
The symptoms of the flu vary depending on the individual, but can include:
If you have symptoms of the flu, it’s best to visit Dr. Williams for treatment and to lower your risk of complications. He can check other aspects of your health and monitor you to ensure that you’re effectively fighting off the virus.
If you’re in good health overall, you should be able to fight off the flu within a week or two without any lasting effects.
People at a higher risk -- children or those with compromised immune systems -- can develop complications, such as:
If you already have the flu and require treatment, Dr. Williams might recommend an antiviral medication, medical monitoring, bed rest, and plenty of hydration.
If you have concerns or want to learn more about the flu, call or book online with Florence Family Medicine today.