Unlike the common cold, the flu is usually much more severe and sudden. A high fever, dry cough, severe sore throat, headache and muscle aches, as well as a pronounced sickness feeling from being bedridden for days, can occur within a few hours. Also, the flu is caused solely by flu viruses activated and usually lasts five to seven days. However, symptoms and serious consequences can persist beyond the actual period of illness.
Important: You should always take a possible flu seriously. At the latest from a body temperature of 39 ° C you should Contact your family doctoras a further increase in temperature is extremely dangerous – from 41 ° C there is also a risk of death.
Influence: These long-term consequences are imminent
After surviving the flu infection, the body can still be greatly weakened for days or weeks. During this time, there is also the greatest risk of long-term consequences, as sufferers feel reasonably fit again and again expose their bodies to daily stress and physical exertion. A delayed flu can lead to serious illness:
- inflammation of the heart muscle
In sports clubs, coaches regularly warn against sports with a cold or even the flu. And the warning is absolutely justified: if you catch the flu and still exercise physically, you risk damaging your heart. In addition to cardiac arrhythmia or heart failure with reduced pumping capacity, so-called myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle can occur if the infection spreads to the heart. Therefore it applies strict sports ban with existing symptoms and even in the days following the survival of the flu.
- brain damage
Anyone who has ever had a severe infection knows that in the acute phase of the flu, mental capacity is limited and you feel dizzy. Using mice, researchers from Braunschweig Technical University have shown that surviving the flu can also leave long-term traces in the brain. 30 days after survival of infection rodents suffered from significant limitations in learning and memory tasks, as well as structural changes in neurons in the brain. Of course, the results of animal experiments cannot be transferred one by one to humans, but they do give food for thought. TU researcher Dr. Kristin Michaelsen-Preusse said: “Extrapolated to a person’s life expectancy, the recovery process would take a few years”.
- pneumonia and heart attack
According to the Federal Center for Health Education (BzgA), “seniors have a higher risk of complications and secondary illnesses such as pneumonia or heart attack, which can even be fatal. Most flu deaths occur in this age group.” Older people in particular, but also people with previous illnesses who suffer from diabetes or chronic lung disease, have a higher risk of severe influenza courses. The potentially deadly consequences therefore pose a real danger to these risk groups and should be taken seriously even by the healthiest young people.