Flu Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Insurance | Royal Sundaram
What is Flu?
Flu, or as commonly known as influenza, is a contagious infection that attacks your respiratory system. It is an illness caused by a virus and can spread by coming in contact with the infected person. It can also spread by the cough and sneezes of the infected person. Physical contact, such as shaking hands, can spread this infection.
Adults can spread this infection 1-2 days before getting the symptoms and up to seven days after becoming sick. It means you can be responsible for another individual getting this infection before you even know you are infected.
Here is the list of some of the common facts that you should know about influenza or flu:
- Although there is no particular flu season, it is observed that early monsoon is the time when most people are vulnerable to this infection.
- This type of Flu cannot be treated with antibiotics. But some antivirals can prove to be helpful.
- Experts believe that the best way to prevent flu is to get vaccinated each year. However, the flu vaccine is not suitable for everyone, such as for those with specific allergies.
Flu symptoms are often misunderstood as common cold symptoms. Flu and cold symptoms may both include a sore throat, cough, runny/blocked nose.
Below is the list of flu symptoms that are different than cold:
- Chills and shivers
- Cold sweats
- Aching joints
There may also be stomach issues such as diarrhoea, vomiting. However, this is more common in children than in adults.
Symptoms will vary from person to person. For example, it is possible to have flu without your body aching or even without a fever. Normally, the symptoms last for about a week. However, the feeling of tiredness and exhaustion may continue for several days.
First and foremost, your doctor will conduct a physical examination to look for symptoms of flu. He will ask you whether you remember coming in close contact with an infected person or anyone in your family and friends has recently developed this infection. He may only order a test that may detect flu viruses. One of the most common tests includes rapid influenza diagnostics tests, which collects samples from the back of the nose or throat. This type of test can provide results in a few minutes. However, this test does not always provide accurate results. Your doctor may still treat you for flu infection if the symptoms suggest.
Flu Treatment and cost in India
As stated earlier, antibiotics cannot help in treating the flu infection. So, what are other methods to treat this condition? Let’s find out:
A medical professional may prescribe antivirals such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Zanamivir (Relenza) in some cases.
This treatment is suitable if you are:
- Aged 12 years or above
- Have had symptoms for less than 48 hours
There may be possible side effects of this treatment. So, it is advised to take medications prescribed by a certified doctor.
Pain relief medication can help you deal with symptoms such as body pain, headache. Again, it is imperative to not take any painkiller without the advice of a medical professional. Few pain killers, such as aspirin are not suitable for children under 12 years of age.
Ideally, the infection can go away on its own without specific treatment. Drink plenty of fluids as well as take proper rest. Avoid coming in close contact with anyone else. However, do visit a doctor if the symptoms worsen, fever doesn’t go away after 4-5 days, or if you experience shortness of breath.
The cost of the treatment may vary from doctor to doctor. You will be charged the doctor’s fees, and there will be expenses for the prescribed medicines you purchase. However, the cost can certainly inflate if the flu leads to other critical illnesses.
Health Insurance in India
There may or may not be the inclusion of flu in a health insurance policy. But it can certainly save you from expenses incurred if the flu leads to some other critical health condition.
Here is why you should buy a health insurance policy:
- Considering the rising healthcare cost in India, it has become difficult for people belonging to the average income group to afford quality treatment.
- A health plan will offer complete coverage against expenses incurred during the treatment of you and your family.
- A good health insurance plan will provide compensation for hospitalisation expenses, cost of medicines, diagnosis, pre and post hospitalisation, etc.
However, the coverage may vary from policy to policy and provider to provider. Look for a provider with a better claim settlement ratio and compare different policies to get the one that best suits your needs.
Health insurance policies in India provide an extensive cover for a number of diseases. Some of them are listed below
- Brain tumour
- Heart attack
- Organ transplant
- Maternity cover
- Pre-existing conditions with a specified waiting period.
Every policy will have different coverage options. So, it is advised to check with your provider for detailed information.