What are the Effects of Influenza?

Jacob Queen
Jacob Queen
Coughing and a runny nose are two common symptoms of influenza.
Coughing and a runny nose are two common symptoms of influenza.

The effects of influenza, which is also commonly referred to as the flu, are very diverse. The influenza virus targets the respiratory system, but people feel the symptoms all over their bodies. It can cause a lot of different ailments, including fevers, upset stomach, coughing, and runny nose. It’s also very common for people to experience severe aches in their muscles while suffering with the flu. In some cases, the effects of influenza can become dangerous because of certain complications that develop, particularly pneumonia.

Fevers stemming from the flu may be so severe that they cause mental confusion and delirium.
Fevers stemming from the flu may be so severe that they cause mental confusion and delirium.

For some people, the effects of influenza may be no more severe than a mild cold, and they may never realize they are suffering with the flu. Others get much sicker than that, and they might get so sick that they basically become confined to a bed for more than a week. One of the most severe effects of influenza that often makes it worse than a cold is the severity of the fevers people develop. It’s not uncommon for flu fevers to be so severe that people may become somewhat delirious, while fevers from colds tend to be much lower.

Stomach upset is a common symptom of influenza.
Stomach upset is a common symptom of influenza.

Another thing that separates the flu from a cold is the way it starts. The effects of influenza tend to appear rather suddenly. People may be going about their daily business in perfect health and then suddenly become severely ill within an hour or two. The onset of a cold tends to be more gradual, and it can take a whole day for the symptoms to come into full focus.

Antibiotics may be necessary to treat a patient with the flu who then develops a sinus or other bacterial infection.
Antibiotics may be necessary to treat a patient with the flu who then develops a sinus or other bacterial infection.

One of the most dangerous effects of influenza is the potential for pneumonia. This sometimes actually happens after the main symptoms have lessened and the virus is no longer present. The flu often leaves behind severe respiratory congestion, and for some people, this quickly develops into a bad infection, leading to pneumonia.

Severe effects of influenza, such as pneumonia, tend to happen much more commonly in the elderly, and sometimes in very young children. There is potential for these problems to happen in younger people as well, but it’s less likely. For most people, the best way to deal with the flu is to simply let the body fight it off. This can sometimes take a couple of weeks, but most people are able to recover successfully without any medical treatment. Those in higher-risk age groups may need to take greater precautions to avoid catching the flu and rely more on doctors when treating it.

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    • Coughing and a runny nose are two common symptoms of influenza.
      By: Subbotina Anna
      Coughing and a runny nose are two common symptoms of influenza.
    • Fevers stemming from the flu may be so severe that they cause mental confusion and delirium.
      By: Ocskay Bence
      Fevers stemming from the flu may be so severe that they cause mental confusion and delirium.
    • Stomach upset is a common symptom of influenza.
      By: Julija Sapic
      Stomach upset is a common symptom of influenza.
    • Antibiotics may be necessary to treat a patient with the flu who then develops a sinus or other bacterial infection.
      By: emde71
      Antibiotics may be necessary to treat a patient with the flu who then develops a sinus or other bacterial infection.
    • Untreated influenza may cause pneumonia, particularly in elderly individuals.
      By: vbaleha
      Untreated influenza may cause pneumonia, particularly in elderly individuals.
    • Those infected with influenza can reduce the chance of spreading the virus by regularly washing their hands.
      By: peacebuts
      Those infected with influenza can reduce the chance of spreading the virus by regularly washing their hands.