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Flu or Influenza, which is its correct title, is brought about by a virus the strains of which are varying all the time. It is especially serious if contracted by the elderly or patients with compromised immune systems or heart conditions. It is highly contagious and if you suspect you have contracted the virus you should stay away from work and vulnerable people.

The symptoms normally begin with a high fever, shivering, muscular aches especially the back and headaches. After a few days a sore throat and a cough may develop. Because it is caused by a virus, and the strains are changing from year to year, there is no specific treatment.

Vaccines have been produced which can be used to help decrease the chances of catching the illness in vulnerable people. Antibiotics are only used if a chest infection for example develops as a result of the influenza infection. The best line of action is to keep in the warm, rest in bed if need be, take plenty of fluids to reduce the risk of dehydration, and take aspirin or paracetamol to help with the headache and muscle pains.

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