Human Body

What is the flu?

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If you’ve ever been unlucky enough to have the flu, then you know it can make your feel pretty crummy! What exactly is the flu, and how does it get into our bodies?

Like certain kinds of other germs, the flu (short for influenza) is a type of virus. The flu is a respiratory illness (which means it affects the nose, throat, and lungs), although when you have the flu, you can feel sick or have symptoms in other parts of the body, too. (For example, achiness or vomiting.) – Among others, common symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, aches, coughing, sore throat, runny nose, and fatigue. While the symptoms of the flu are similar to the common cold, most people agree that with the flu they are even stronger and more intense.

Because the flu is not caused by bacteria, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Most doctors recommend lots of rest and sometimes over-the-counter medicines that can help lessen the discomfort. You can also usually get a flu shot to help you prevent getting the flu – by putting a small amount of dead flu germs into your body, the shot helps your system to be prepared for recognizing the unwanted germs and kicking them out the minute they arrive! Another good way to help avoid getting the flu is to make sure to wash your hands a lot. Just like lots of other germs, the flu spreads mostly by person-to-person contact. Washing your hands regularly, especially before eating or touching your nose, mouth, or eyes, can help you avoid putting the germs into your body!

Exploration

Get well soon! When you’re sick with something like the flu, what are some things you do to feel better? Drinking tea is often very helpful because it can sooth a sore throat. Taking a nice bath can also be really good! Have a grown-up help you make a list of your best Get Well Techniques and then hang on to it for a day when you’re feeling under the weather!

Further Information

The flu can range from mild to more serious, depending on the person. Lots of people get over the flu without too much trouble, but some might need more care from a doctor. Remember to always cover you nose and mouth when you sneeze or cougt. – This can help you to avoid spreading the flu and other germs to people around you. There is more than one kind of flu virus. The most common kinds that tend to come around every winter are type A and type B. In recent years, there have also been widespread cases of other type of flu, such as the Avian flu and the H1N1 flu.