The Influenza Virus
For people with an asbestos-related disease getting influenza “flu” can be very serious because their lungs are move vulnerable than the average persons. The flu is a viral infection. There is also an increased risk that the “flu” may lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia, or in some cases even death. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned below contact your medical provider.
- body aches
- loss of appetite
- dry cough
- sore throat
- More severe symptoms than the common cold.
- Influenza is a virus.
- Flu almost never causes stomach symptoms; the illness that people often call “stomach flu” is not influenza.
- Children and elderly are the most commonly affected groups.
- Generally lasts 7-10 days.
- The worst symptoms generally last 3-4 days.
- Flu season runs from November to April.
- Vaccines have been proven very effective in preventing flu. Get vaccines in October.
- Wash your hands and use hand sanitizers frequently to avoid germs from others.
- Cover mouth when coughing or sneezing.
- Keep all respiratory equipment clean.
- Get plenty of rest in bed.
- Drink plenty of fluid.
- Take medication such as aspirin or acetaminophen to relieve fever and discomfort.
- Antibiotics are not effective against flu viruses.
Complications usually appear after the flu patient starts feeling better. This brief period of improvement is followed by the sudden onset of:
- high fever
- shaking chills
- chest pain with each breath
- coughing that produces thick, yellow-greenish colored sputum.
If these symptoms present contact a medical provider as soon as possible.
Although most people with pneumonia recover after treatment with antibiotics, some pneumonia-causing organisms are resistant to these drugs and more intensive treatments may be needed.