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Influenza In Adults
What is it? Influenza (in-flew-en-zuh) or flu is an infection of the nose, throat, windpipe, lung airways (tubes), and muscles. It is easily spread to others and is most common in fall and winter. You should feel better in 7 to 10 days.
Causes: It is caused by a germ called a virus and is spread to others by coughing and sneezing. The flu shot may keep you from getting certain kinds of flu. But it does not keep you from getting the flu because the flu is caused by more than one virus.
Signs and Symptoms: You may have chills, fever, body aches, cough, sore throat, or headache. Or you may have vomiting and diarrhea. Other signs may be runny nose, earache, and red, watery, and sore eyes. You may also feel tired and have a cough.
Care: There is no cure for the flu. But sometimes antibiotic (an-ti-bi-ah-tik) medicine may help. You should rest and drink 6 to 8 glasses (soda pop can size) of liquids each day. Take acetaminophen (uh-c-tuh-min-o-fin) for body aches and fever. You may need medicine for your cough. Stay away from others to keep from spreading the flu. Do not take aspirin. If you are over 65 or have other diseases, you may want to get a flu shot next fall. Stay away from those who have the flu.
You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about influenza and how it can be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care will be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.