Type A flu is the most common type of influenza. Type A influenza symptoms include respiratory symptoms like coughing and sneezing and a runny nose, as well as influenza symptoms like headache, muscle aches, and fever. Flu symptoms are similar to the symptoms of a cold, but fever is rare with a cold and common with the flu. Respiratory symptoms tend to be more severe with the flu. Flu symptoms tend to come on very quickly, as well. You might feel fine one minute and an hour later feel just miserable.
Influenza is spread by contact with others who have the disease. When someone with the flu coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets of the virus are sprayed into the air. If you inhale these droplets, you can catch the flu. If a person with the flu coughs or sneezes on a surface, like a telephone or a doorknob, and you touch this surface and then touch your mouth or nose, you can get the flu.
Flu season generally starts in the fall and lasts through the winter. It is possible to get the flu at other times of the year, however.
You can get vaccinated against type A flu. You have to get a new vaccine each year. Vaccines are usually available by mid-October.
Other than vaccinations, the best way to prevent the flu is to keep your distance from people who are sick and to wash your hands a lot. You can also help prevent the spread of the flu by wiping down common surfaces that may become infected.
There is a homeopathic remedy called Instant Immunity that helps protect against the flu virus. If you are interested in trying Instant Immunity, start taking it at the beginning of the flu season. We'll talk more about it in a moment.
Treatment for type A flu is usually aimed at relieving the influenza symptoms. For instance, antihistamines are often used to treat a runny nose and sneezing. Decongestants are often used to treat a stuffy head and coughing. Tylenol can be used to treat fever. These medications don't cure the flu, but they can make you feel better.
If you have the flu, you should get plenty of rest and drink lots of liquids.
There are antiviral medications that may help speed recovery from the flu. They work by stopping the virus from replicating itself. Antiviral medications are available by prescription only. Doctors don't always prescribe them because flu symptoms generally go away on their own without treatment, but they are available.
Antibiotics don't help with the flu because the flu is caused by a virus, not bacteria.
See a doctor in the fall if you want to get a type A flu vaccine. You normally do not need to see a doctor for treatment of influenza symptoms, but if your symptoms don't go away, if you have a very high fever, or if you have trouble breathing, you should see a doctor. In rare cases, the flu can be very serious, even deadly, so see a doctor if you have concerns.
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