I’ve had avian flu for two weeks and am so ill I can barely move….how long should I feel like this for?

I’ve had avian flu for two weeks and am so ill I can barely move….how long should I feel like this for?

DR Jeff Foster is The Sun on Sunday’s resident doctor and is here to help YOU.

Dr Jeff, 43, splits his time between working as a GP in Leamington Spa, Warks, and running his clinic, H3 Health, which is the first of its kind in the UK to look at hormonal issues for both men and women.

Dr Jeff Foster is The Sun on Sunday’s resident doctor and is here to help you

See h3health.co.uk and email at [email protected].

Q. FOR almost two weeks I have felt awful – temperature, headache, lethargic, can barely lift my head – so I went to A&E.

They put me on a drip and monitored me and said I had influenza type A.

I went home and Googled it, which said it is actually avian flu. Is that correct and how long should I feel like this for?

Laura Ryman, Wembley

A. Influenza is the flu virus and it affects hundreds of thousands of people each year.

In mild cases patients experience headaches, temperatures, aches and pains, and feel exhausted for up to several weeks.

In severe cases, or in those who are immuno-suppressed or elderly, it can result in pneumonia, cardiac issues, sepsis and even death.

This is why we give influenza vaccines to at-risk groups every year.

There is influenza A, B, C and D. Influenza A is one of the common groups.

There are more than 18 subtypes of this and one of them is H5N1 – avian flu.

Although you can give antiviral medications for patients suffering with flu they are less successful than antibiotics are at treating bacterial infections.

There are several reasons for this, but even at basic level we only have a handful of anti­virals, and dozens of types of influenza viruses that can mutate so quickly the treatment becomes ineffective.

Even in fit and healthy young people, flu can leave sufferers exhausted for months and with a condition known as “post-viral fatigue”, which has no known treatment or cure.

This is why doctors and healthcare practitioners try so hard to make sure those at-risk groups get their yearly vaccines.

Q. MY eardrum perforated two weeks ago and I’m still hard of hearing in that ear, as well as having the constant sensation that my ear has popped (like on a flight).

Is this still a sign of infection?

I had antibiotics for a week after the perforation happened.

Jim Listman, Dover

A. An eardrum perforation in itself does not always need antibiotics unless there is secondary infection or risk to your inner ear.

Therefore, the key to understanding your symptom is working out why the perforation occurred in the first place.

Adults are more prone to external ear infections than inner ear ones, or we perforate our eardrum due to trauma (such as cotton buds), but this would not need antibiotics to treat.

It can take four to six weeks for the eardrum to heal properly but we advise all patients they should be checked at just over a month after a perforation to make sure the eardrum is back to normal.

What symptoms does the flu cause?

A sudden high temperature of 38C or above
An aching body
Feeling tired or exhausted
A dry cough
A sore throat
headache
Difficulty sleeping
Loss of appetite
Diarrhoea or tummy pain
Feeling sick and being sick

   

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