Getting the Facts About Flu

Influenza can spread rapidly from person to person through droplets expelled by coughing and sneezing. Most people who contract the flu can recover at home within seven to 10 days. However, it is possible to develop serious complications of the flu that may require emergency care at a community hospital. The doctors at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center urge Las Vegas-area residents to consider protecting themselves this flu season by getting vaccinated .

Is the Flu a Serious Infection?

The severity of flu symptoms can vary from person to person and from season to season. Not everyone will experience very severe symptoms; however, it’s important to realize that the flu can sometimes result in serious or fatal complications. Certain people are at a higher risk of developing complications from the flu. These individuals include the following:

  • Pregnant women and women up to two weeks after giving birth
  • Children younger than five, particularly those younger than two
  • Adults ages 65 and older
  • Long-term care facility residents

Additionally, individuals with certain chronic medical conditions are considered to be at a higher risk. These include the following conditions:

  • Kidney disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Blood disorders
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Asthma
  • Chronic lung disease

Which Complications May Develop?

Pneumonia and bronchitis are two of the possible complications that may develop in someone with the flu. Other examples are ear infections and sinus infections. People with chronic medical conditions may experience worsening health. For example, those with asthma may suffer from asthma attacks and patients with congestive heart failure may experience a decline in health.

When Is Someone Contagious?

If you do contract the flu, you can protect others by staying at home to recover, especially when you are contagious. A person is contagious one day before experiencing symptoms and up to five to seven days after the onset of symptoms .

What Are the Symptoms of Influenza?

Not every patient will experience all possible symptoms of influenza. However, they could develop fever, chills, runny or stuffy nose, and sore throat. Headaches, fatigue, cough, and body aches are other possible symptoms.

The emergency care team at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is available 24/7 to assist individuals with severe flu symptoms or complications of the flu. Families will also find exceptional stroke care and heart health services at our community hospital in Las Vegas. To request a physician referral, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 233-5300.

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