Flu Specialist

Omar Aref, MD -  - Board Certified Family Physician

Omar Aref, MD

Board Certified Family Physician & Aesthetic Specialist located in Plant City, FL

Every year, the flu inflicts misery on millions of American. For some, the disease can even be life-threatening. Don’t let influenza catch you off guard. Dr. Omar Aref, a board-certified family physician in Plant City, Florida, can prevent the flu with vaccinations, or if you catch it, lessen its severity with powerful anti-viral medications. Call or book online today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Aref.

Flu Q & A

What is the flu?

Flu, or influenza, is a virus that attacks the respiratory system. It has many strains and new ones appear every year, making it challenging to prevent with vaccines. Usually transmitted in the sneezes and coughs of those infected, the flu is highly contagious. For babies, small children, and the elderly, influenza can be deadly.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Often, the flu begins with a few sniffles and sneezes, and can be mistaken for a cold. From there, the disease progresses quickly and many other symptoms appear:

  • Aching arm, leg, and back muscles
  • Chills and sweating
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Sore throat

Although vomiting and diarrhea are rare with influenza, they are sometimes seen in children.

Am I at risk for the flu?

Influenza takes the greatest toll on children and adults over age 65. Pregnant women and some ethnic populations like Native Americans are also at greater risk.

People with chronic medical conditions are acutely susceptible to influenza and can experience severe complications. If you have any of the following maladies, it’s critical to get an annual flu vaccination:

  • Asthma
  • Blood, kidney, and liver disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Immune system diseases like AIDS, HIV, or cancer
  • Lung disease
  • Neurological disorders

What are treatment options for the flu?

The best treatment for the flu is prevention. Be sure to get immunized against the annual outbreak of influenza before flu season gets underway in October.

Once you contract the flu, it’s usually just a matter of riding it out. For most people, getting bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids is the best way to recover. Typically, the worst symptoms subside within 2-3 days. However, fatigue and coughing can persist for up to a week.

If you are in a high-risk population, Dr. Aref can prescribe antiviral medications like TamifluⓇ or RelenzaⓇ. Although they won’t significantly shorten your illness, the drugs can prevent more serious complications from developing.

Don’t give the flu a chance to compromise your health. Dr. Aref has the vaccinations you need to stay healthy during flu season and the experience to prevent complications if you do contract influenza. Call or book online today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Aref.