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While the summer of 2011 may be remembered for a heat wave, many are reporting both symptoms of influenza as well as the more common summer ailment stomach flu. (Stomach flu is more common because the summer heat provides the perfect warmth for bacterial growth in food).

If you think you have flu symptoms, it’s the same procedure as during the winter…rest, drink lots of fluids, and see your health care provider if symptoms last more than two weeks. Since influenza is usually caused by a virus, antibiotics won’t be effective.

Summer Flu Symptoms:

Influenza (regular flu) is a respiratory infection–summer triggers may include allergies (which can cause inflammation leading to congestion, and then infection). Some people believe that air conditioning, or the dramatic change from hot outdoor whether to a cool indoors, may cause illness such as the flu.

There’s no study to support this, rather, doctors think that air conditioners may recirculate stale (pathogen filled) air that triggers allergies (this can be mitigated by changing filters and clearing dust out of air ducts before turning them on). If you are concerned about air conditioning, try a cardigan or light sweatshirt, or a fashionable scarf (your neck is a major source of heat loss; fortunately, scarfs are popular for both sexes right now).

The symptoms of flu are the same in the summer as they are in the winter. Chills, ache, fever, coughing, nausea, and a sore throat.

Stomach flu, on the other hand, can be caused by a virus or bacteria. Stomach flu symptoms include nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhea. For most people stomach flu passes in a couple of days, but it can last for up to two weeks. For tips on avoiding the stomach flu, Click Here.

Have you suffered through flu in the summer? What do you think triggered it?

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