On average between 9 million and 35 million Americans get sick with an influenza virus annually. Dr. Matthew Levin, a family physician in Delmont and Greensburg, Pennsylvania helps patients of all ages take precautions against the flu virus and find relief from symptoms. Call or schedule an appointment online.
Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is a virus that attacks your respiratory system. It affects your lungs, throat, and nose and is different from other “stomach flu” viruses that cause vomiting and diarrhea. For those in overall good health, flu symptoms usually go away on their own with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medications. However, many senior adults and young children are at risk from serious complications as a result of the flu virus.
Serious health complications, or even death, may occur for those at higher risk of contracting the flu virus. This high-risk group includes:
At first, for many, the flu and its symptoms seem like a common cold. However, a cold develops slowly, whereas the flu hits suddenly. When it’s the flu, you typically feel much worse than when you just have a cold.
Typical flu symptoms include:
Since the flu usually runs its course and you can recover on your own, it isn’t always necessary to see a doctor. In rare cases, if left untreated, you can die from complications from the flu, so you should take it seriously, especially if you’re at higher risk.
If you fall into one of the high-risk groups for the flu, call Dr. Levin’s office as soon as you begin experiencing symptoms. He may be able to prescribe antiviral medications that reduce the duration of your illness and help prevent subsequent serious health problems.
One of the best ways to treat the flu is through preventive measures like the flu vaccination. The flu vaccine protects you from three to four potential viruses for the upcoming flu season. If you need a flu vaccine or treatment for symptoms, call or schedule an appointment online for either the Belmont or Greensburg location.