Can the Flu Lead to Pneumonia?

SG-Can-the-flu-turn-into-pneumonia-722x406 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx The typical flu season occurs between October and May. While these are the most common months that the flu is spread, you can actually contract it at any time throughout the year. The flu is extremely contagious. It can also make you very miserable if you have it. Some of the flu symptoms include:
  • Fatigue
  • High-grade fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Head and chest congestion
While the flu is awful on its own, it can result in serious complications. The most common complication is viral pneumonia. The flu virus can invade your lungs, which will make them swell. This can make it difficult to breathe. According to the Centers for Disease Control, pneumonia when combined with the flu is the 8th leading cause of death in the United States. The people who are most at risk of developing pneumonia from the flu are people over 65 years old, pregnant women, young children, and people with weakened immune systems. Viral pneumonia often clears up after a week or two, depending on the severity of the case. The symptoms of viral pneumonia are much like the symptoms of the flu, just more severe. The symptoms include:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blueness in the lips
  • Sweating
  • Shaking and the chills
  • Constant fever of 102 degrees or higher

How To I Prevent Viral Pneumonia Caused By the Flu

The best way to keep from developing viral pneumonia caused by the flu is by preventing yourself from getting the flu. There are a few ways to protect yourself from the flu.

The Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine is the most effective way to keep from contracting the flu. In order to keep from getting the flu, you would need to be vaccinated every year. The flu vaccines that are developed are created according to the particular season’s strain of the flu. Many people avoid getting vaccinated against the flu because they are worried that they will get the flu. The traditional flu vaccine does not contain the flu virus at all. The FluMist vaccine does contain the flu virus, however, it is not enough to make a person sick. There are some side effects associated with the flu vaccine. The side effects are typically very mild and they typically don’t last longer than 24 hours.
  • Redness, soreness, or swelling at the injection site
  • Low-grade fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

Wash Your Hands

It is important to wash your hands often during flu season. Just by touching a doorknob, sink fixture, or counter top that was touched by an infected person can infect you as well. Washing with antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer can be very effective. When you wash your hands often, you will greatly reduce our risk of contracting the flu.

Avoid Contact With Anyone Who is Sick With the Flu

It is best to avoid anyone who is sick, just in case they have the flu. If you have a child with the flu, you should wear a mask when in the same room with them and wash your hands often. Also, when they are feeling better, be sure to wash their blankets and disinfect any areas where they spent their time. The flu can make you very miserable. Not only are the symptoms enough to keep your bedridden for days, you are also contagious and can get others around you sick. Should your flu develop into something more serious such as pneumonia, it can be even worse, therefore, flu prevention is very important.
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