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Flu

Flu is a common respiratory infection caused by influenza virus. The flu virus attacks mostly during the winter and spring season. It is a highly contagious disease. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, droplets of sputum are released in air which if inhaled by a healthy individual can cause infection. Individuals with the weaker immune system are easily susceptible to develop flu. Flu outbreaks can cause serious illness and can spread easily in the surrounding areas.

Signs and symptoms

Most of the flu symptoms are similar to a common cold. When you are suffering from flu infection, you may start having the following symptoms:

  1. Fever
  2. Severe body aches
  3. Runny nose
  4. Headache
  5. Sore throat
  6. Nasal congestion
  7. Muscle and joint pains
  8. Nausea
  9. Extreme fatigue
  10. Watering of eyes

Diagnosis of flu

Proper and accurate diagnosis is necessary to control flu infection. The doctor would recommend certain tests to confirm the diagnosis of flu.

Blood tests

Presence of infections can be indicated by a routine blood test. Increase in the white blood cells count indicates infection.

Rapid flu tests

These rapid flu tests can detect influenza virus in a throat swab and provide results within less than 20 mins. However, the test results are not highly sensitive and accurate as other flu tests.

Antigen detection test

Rapid influenza antigen test helps in the detection of viral antigens in your nasal secretions. However, the test results are not accurate and can detect only 50-70% of flu cases. A negative rapid antigen test can be followed by a molecular test or viral culture.

Molecular test (RT-PCR)

Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and certain molecular tests can detect viral genetic material (RNA) in your sputum or throat swab respiratory samples. This test is more specific and accurate than rapid antigen detection tests.

Viral culture

A viral culture is an expensive test, and requires 3-10 days to obtain the test results. Your sputum sample or throat swab is cultured to identify the specific strain of influenza virus that is causing the infection. Viral cultures are less helpful in providing specific treatment options for flu.

How to treat flu?

Home measures

  1. Humidify: Taking a steamy shower and breathing moist air can clear the nasal congestion. Inhaling steam eases the symptoms of flu.
  2. Vitamin C: Foods rich in vitamin C like limes, oranges and certain fruits and vegetables help to boost your immune system and help in relieving respiratory tract infections.
  3. Menthol: The smell of menthol helps to clear the nasal passages.
  4. Decongestant/salt water sprays: Salt water sprays help loosen the nasal secretions, while decongestant sprays enable faster relief for a stuffy and blocked nose.
  5. Probiotics: Probiotics strengthen your immune system and reduces your risk of getting an upper respiratory tract infection.
  6. Vapor rub: The smell of a vapor rub reduces congestion and clears the air passages. Application of a vapor rub during night time improves your sleep.
  7. Echinacea: Echinacea is a herb that has effective anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in reducing the bronchial symptoms.

Medical intervention

Medications – Your doctor may recommend various combinations of antihistamines, decongestants, cough suppressants and analgesics to treat the symptoms of flu. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also relieve the symptoms associated with flu.

Oral and nasal decongestant spray help in reducing the swelling in the nasal passageways. Using saline sprays in the nasal passageways can loosen the thick mucus. Antihistamines are helpful in relieving your flu symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and nasal discharge. Antiviral drugs help in treating serious flu complications.

Preventive measures

  1. Good hygiene: Make a habit to wash your hands regularly, this helps you to protect yourself from germs. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills the flu germs on your hands.
  2. Avoid close contact: Avoid direct contact with the people who are sick. Do not shake hands and avoiding sharing towels, eating and drinking utensils with the people who are affected with the flu
  3. Keep your surroundings clean: Maintain cleanliness in your surroundings to get rid of germs. Clean the surfaces of your workplace and door handles regularly.
  4. Stay indoors while you are sick: Avoid stepping outdoors when you are sick to prevent the spreading of infection to others.
  5. The flu vaccine: Getting a flu vaccine annually helps in reducing the risk of acquiring flu.

Why choose Apollo Diagnostics?

We have the expertise of 34 + years in healthcare. Our labs are equipped with EQUAS (External Quality Assurance System) and loaded with full automated machines to ensure error free reports, with a quick turnaround time, and at an affordable price. For your convenience, we offer free home collection of samples.

For appointments, please call 4444 2424.

References

  1. Influenza (flu). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/symptoms-causes/dxc-20248062 . Accessed on 17-10-2017
  2. What does the flu feel like? https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/adult-flu-symptoms . Accessed on 17-10-2017
  3. Influenza tests. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/flu/tab/test/ . Accessed on 18-10-2017
  4. Preventing the flu: good health habits can help stop germs. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm . Accessed on 18-10-2017
  5. Self-management. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/manage/ptc-20248168 . Accessed on 18-10-2017
  6. Flu treatment. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/flu-treatment#1 . Accessed on 18-10-2017


Patient Testimonials

“Finding the best place for a diagnostic test is as important as consulting the best doctor. The Apollo name was what guided me to Apollo Diagnostics and I am indeed glad that I came here. From attending us on time to sample collection, everything flowed so smoothly. I was particularly impressed by the hygiene. It was definitely a value for money experience. Thanks a lot Apollo Diagnostics…keep up the good work!”

Mrs. Ferha Jabeen, Old Bowenpally, Secunderabad

“I Have heard a lot of good things about Apollo Diagnostics from our family physician as well as from relatives and friends. So then next time I needed a diagnostic centre, I visited Apollo Diagnostics and I was really glad I did. For one, I didn’t have to wait. The technician was extremely good, and the place was really clean. It was certainly a value for money experience. Great job Apollo Diagnostics!”

Ms. T. Jaya, Nakkalagutta, Hanmakonda

“I must say Apollo Diagnostics places a great value on time and patient comfort! I am a fan of their home collection service which is not only on time and technically sound, but the hygiene and cordiality of the visiting technician is also commendable. Hats off! I’ll continue to recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my family and friends.”

Mr. B. Pochaiah, Mallikarjuna Nagar Colony, Old Bowenpally, Secunderabad

“I have always had a great experience with Apollo Diagnostics. The calls are unfailingly answered. The scheduled appointment is kept to the minute. The phlebotomist is well-trained in both technique and putting the patient at ease. Apollo Diagnostics undoubtedly delivers value for money. They will always be my top option for all the diagnostic needs of my family.”

Mr. Prasanta Kumar Jena, JP Nagar, Bengaluru

“I came to know about Apollo Diagnostics from my relatives and friends. So, when I required a check up to be done, I thought about trying their service once. From sticking to the appointed time to accuracy of technique, it was really a great experience overall. Hygiene of the technician and the centre as well, was also quite admirable. I certainly felt it delivers value for money service. From now on, I’ll always visit Apollo Diagnostics for all my checkups.”

Mr. Venkateshwar Rao, Hanmakonda

“I was looking for a good diagnostic centre to get some checkups done. I was confused as there are so many of them all over the city. Some of my friends recommended Apollo Diagnostics as the best one. I’ll always remain thankful to them. The technician at Apollo Diagnostics was not only punctual but his competency was certainly praiseworthy. I never felt any discomfort as he was so confident and compassionate. Great job Apollo Diagnostics!”

Mr. T Radhakishan Rao, Hanmakonda

“My experience with Apollo Diagnostics has been consistently good. Securing the appointment was very easy and the schedule was maintained to the dot. The behaviour of the technician was pleasant and he was well–versed with his job. The place was noticeably clean and I did not face any discomfort during the process. The reports were delivered as promised and surprisingly, the service was pretty affordable. I would recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my circle without any hesitation!”

Mr. Arif Ameer, JP Nagar, Bengaluru

“Apollo Diagnostics came highly recommended by my friends. I was particularly impressed by their cordiality, time management and process competence. Another must mention is the hygiene factor that is impeccable. Given the quality delivered, this is certainly a value for money experience. Thanks a lot Apollo Diagnostics…keep up the great work!”

Ms. A.Madhavi, Warangal

“Our family physician strictly instructed me to get the checkup done at Apollo Diagnostics. I am glad I respected his opinion. I was attended to as soon as I went in. The technician was a true expert at his job and made it a painless experience for me. I also observed that the centre was spotless and all the staff members were particular about maintaining hygiene. Apollo Diagnostics certainly delivers value for money. I’ll always recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my family and friends.”

Ms. Vimala, Hanmakonda

“My Apollo Diagnostics experience has thus far been truly amazing. Besides unfailingly maintaining the schedule – be it sample taking or report delivery, their sense of cleanliness is also tops. The technicians are well-trained and do their job with diligence and in a friendly manner that puts patients at ease at once. Apollo Diagnostics is setting a very high standard indeed! Now that’s what I call a fine job!”

Ms. G. Jyothi, Warangal

“My mother needed a blood test, but was unable to walk due to pain in her leg. A Phlebotomist from Apollo Diagnostics came home and collected the sample. I was informed, via SMS, that the report could be collected from any of the 3 centres in Dibrugarh, downloaded online or even delivered home for a nominal fee. Although the rates were reasonable, my mother also received a senior citizens discount too! This saved my time, money & energy. My aachhe din really seemed to have arrived! Thank you Apollo Diagnostics and hats off for displaying true professionalism.”

Mr. Alokk Kar Dowerah, Dibrugarh

“Whenever I need to have a blood sample collected from home, I ask for Vasu. He is punctual, courteous and so skilled I hardly feel any pain when he draws the sample. Plus, I truly appreciate how quickly the reports are delivered. Thanks Apollo!”

Mr. Sukumar, Film director, Sriram Nagar, Hyderabad