Influenza, commonly known as flu, is an infection that affects respiratory system including nose, throat and lungs. It is caused by virus.

There are actually three kinds of influenza. Type A is the most common form. Together with type B, it causes outbreaks in the winter. In the US, flu season continues from November to April, but duration may vary from year to year.

BetterMe App helps women achieve their body goals with ease and efficiency by helping to choose proper meal plans and effective workouts.

Start using our app and you will see good results in a short time.

Type C of flu causes mild symptoms and doesn't take part in seasonal outbreaks.

We often say that we have the flu, even if we actually experience common cold.

Symptoms of these two viral infections may look really similar, but the flu is felt much worse. It starts suddenly, causing high fever (110.4F and over), chills, runny nose and sore throat. People often complain of extreme fatigue, headache and muscle aching.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

It takes from one to four days for the virus to incubate in person's body. However people can spread infection one day before the first symptoms appear. They usually remain infectious for seven to ten days.

READ MORE: 3-ingredient recipe for homemade sugar wax

In normal cases, symptoms resolve within one or two weeks.

However sometimes those, who have weak immune system (children under the age of 5, older adults, pregnant women and individuals with chronic disorders, HIV infection) may develop serious complications like pneumonia, otitis and heart problems.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

If you are in high-risk group, it's worth contacting with your doctor, when feel ill.

For others, the best treatment is having a rest and drinking plenty of fluids. To decrease high fever and alleviate discomfort, over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines may appear helpful.

READ MORE: How great sex in a long-term relationship is achieved

In some situations, doctor may recommend you antiviral medications, which can shorten your illness and relieve symptoms. Oseltamivir and zanamivir work good, if taken within two days of the beginning of the symptoms.

These medicines were found to be effective in preventing flu for people, who have already had contact with infected person.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

The most effective preventive option, known for today, is flu vaccination. It is designed to protect you from several types of influenza virus.

Components (antibodies) of flu viruses changes every year. Therefore, you need to get new vaccination every year to avoid infection.

It's also important to remember that flu vaccines start to act only after two weeks from getting injection. So, the earlier you get vaccine, the higher protection you'll get.

Specialists advise against vaccination for babies under 6 months and people who were allergic to previous shots.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

Despite its high efficacy, flu vaccine can't provide 100% protection. To minimize your risks for disease, try to avoid crowds, especially during peak of flu outbreak.

Wash your hands thoroughly, using soaps or alcohol-contained hand sanitizer.

BetterMe App helps you increase your self-esteem and achieve your personal goals by opening the doors to the world of fitness and healthy lifestyle.

Try it now to see the best version of yourself as soon as possible.

When you sneeze or cough, don't forget to cover your face. Remember that influenza is highly contagious, and it's extremely important to improve your immune system and do everything to prevent spreading infection.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

READ MORE: Discover the secret risks of taking anti-anxiety drugs

The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!

Please share this with your friends and family and let us know what you think in the comments below.