What is the difference between the flu and flu-like virus? Is there an actual distinction? If you are looking for answers, then it must mean that is it that tie of the year again. When you do not feel well, it is important to find the cause. Finding what type of sickness is behind your symptoms will make treatment time much less short. This article will talk about the difference between the flu and other flu-like viruses and how they are diagnosed.
The Flu vs a flu-like virus
The flu and flu-like viruses can have similar symptoms. It can sometimes be difficult to tell which one you have. The general symptoms for both the flu and flu-like viruses are fever, chills, cough and sore throat, body pains and the feeling of being weak and unwell.
These symptoms may or may not be present in each person who suffers from the flu or flu-like viruses. The symptoms usually vary. Usually, for people who suffer from the flu, the symptoms will only last for around one to two weeks, however, for flu-like viruses, the symptoms can last for a more prolonged time. The flu is caused by different strains of the influenza virus. Symptoms that are similar to flu may also be present for flu-like viruses, but the cause is unknown. Flu-like viruses are a much more broad set of viruses.
How doctors can tell
Doctors diagnose the flu when they examine the throat and nose. Doctors would use a swab test to determine if a patient has the flu. For flu-like viruses, they have to be clinically diagnosed. This means that a doctor will have to examine you, and they will decide if you have a flu-like virus.
What to do
Since the flu and illnesses that are similar to it can easily spread through contact with a person who has the virus, we have to find ways to stop ourselves from catching it. It is possible to prevent the flu from spreading. There are ways that a person can use to stop the spread of flu and flu-like illnesses.
Wash your hands
It is important to wash your hands and keep them clean at all times. Wash your hands with soap and water to get rid of any germs and microbes that may be lurking on the surfaces of your hands. If it is not possible to wash your hands and you feel that you have touched something dirty or that may contain an infectious disease, use some wipes and some alcohol to run your hands clean until you can wash your hands properly.
Avoid going out when you are sick
If you feel unwell, it is a good idea to get some rest and stay home. This will not only benefit you but also the people you deal with daily. It is not a bad thing to take a day or two off work to help yourself get better. Drink a lot of fluids and get a good night’s rest. This will help you recover more quickly and give your body the chance to fight the virus.
Cover your mouth
When you cough or sneeze, it is not only for good etiquette and politeness that you need to cover your mouth. It is also an effective way to prevent others from being infected with the same virus or illness that you have. You can use your hand, your arm or a tissue to cover your mouth when you cough. After coughing on your bare hand, it is a good practice to wash your hands or apply alcohol to prevent the virus from staying on your hand. Keep in mind that anything you touch may also become contaminated with the virus, and other people may also come into contact with the virus if they touch those surfaces you touched after coughing or sneezing.
Do not rub your eyes
The virus may also find its way into your body through other openings like your eyes. If your hands are not clean, or if you have just seen or talked to somebody who has the flu, do not rub your eyes. Wash your hands and make sure your hands are virus-free before you touch your face or eyes.
See a doctor when you feel sick
If you suspect that you have the flu or any other flu-like virus, it is a good idea to visit your doctor. They will be able to advise you on the best home treatment methods you can do, or if you need to take antiviral medications to help you manage your symptoms. Remember that the flu and other flu-like viruses cannot be cured, we can only treat the symptoms you get when you have them. This is why prevention is a much better option rather than a cure. You can also ask your doctor about the flu vaccine. This can keep you safe from coming down with the flu.