Fulshear Medical Associates
Internal Medicine & Psychiatry located in Houston, TX
The influenza virus causes the flu, which infects the nose, throat, and, possibly, the lungs. While most people acquire the flu and suffer several days or weeks of miserable symptoms, others have long-term health effects after contracting the illness. At Fulshear Medical Associates in Houston, Texas, Syed Abrar, MD, offers flu vaccines to help protect you from the virus. He can also help with the management of symptoms if you do contract it. Call today to learn more about flu precautions or use the online tool to book an appointment. Telemedicine visits are available.
Flu Q & A
What is the flu?
The flu is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system. Flu season, when your risk of contracting it is highest, is from October to May, but it can occur at any time of year.
The makeup of the flu virus changes slightly every year, so having it in the past does not mean you’re immune in the future.
What causes the flu?
The influenza virus causes the flu. You contract this virus when you come into contact with someone else who is infected. It passes when droplets of saliva pass through coughing, sneezing, or talking.
It’s less common but possible to contract the flu by touching a surface containing the flu virus and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
You’re at greater risk of contracting the flu if you:
- Spend time in crowded places, such as a school
- Choose not to get a flu shot
- Have a weakened immune system
- Are obese
- Are pregnant
- Have a chronic illness
People with compromised immunity, especially the very young and very old, are at greater risk, too.
How do I know I have the flu?
The flu has symptoms similar to many other respiratory conditions, including the common cold and COVID-19. Suspect the flu if you have a:
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches and weakness
- Dry cough
- Nasal congestion
If you visit Fulshear Medical Associates with these symptoms, Dr. Abrar evaluates you for flu as well as for COVID-19. Both require a nasal swab test.
What flu treatments are available?
The best treatment for flu is prevention. An annual flu shot significantly reduces your risk of developing this uncomfortable illness.
If you develop the flu, you may be eligible for an antiviral medication that reduces the duration. Dr. Abrar must administer this medication 24-48 hours after the onset of symptoms.
When you do have flu symptoms, the best treatment is rest. You should drink plenty of fluids and control your fever with fever-reducing medications. Stay home to avoid spreading the flu to others at work or school.
If you’re showing symptoms of the flu, contact Fulshear Medical Associates.
We are a primary care practice and offer annual physicals. Call us to book your appointment today.
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