There are many different types of flu that people can become infected with, which is why it can be difficult to treat at times. Understanding some of the most common types of flu will help you decide if you should seek medical attention at an urgent care facility.
Types of Flu – A, B, and C
We call the different types of flu – A, B, and C. Types A and B produce symptoms that are more severe than C and usually plague 20% of the population during the cold, winter months. Type C is a flu that most people will call just a cold even though a flu test will come back positive for it.
Type A Flu
Influenza A or type A infects animal and wild birds are the hosts for it. This is the flu that people usually suffer from during the winter. Type A is always changing and that’s why it’s responsible for flu epidemics. People become infected by others who have it, and that can be from either coming into contact with bodily fluids (as in the case of someone sneezing near someone else) or a surface someone who is sick touched. When people touch an infected surface and then touch an orifice, they are more likely to become sick with the flu.
Type B Flu
While type A is found in humans and animals, type B is only found in humans. This type produces less severe symptoms. The good news is that this type does not have a subtype and doesn’t cause pandemics.
Type C Flu
Influenza C is found in humans, but the symptoms are even milder than that of type B. This type of flu doesn’t cause epidemics, so it’s not dangerous.
Strands of the Flu
In addition to types of flu, there are are also strands of the flu. Each type can have many different strands. The flu shot seeks to prevent the latest strands of the flu, but since there are so many, that’s why some people end up with the flu even though they received the flu shot.
The Bird Flu
One type of flu that received media attention not too long ago was the bird flu, which is a Type A flu. The subtypes are H5, H7, and H9. H7 is not as much of a concern as H5 and H9, as they are life-threatening. H5N1 is the most dangerous, especially since it can be passed on from wild birds and poultry. While this form of the virus is dangerous, humans don’t usually become infected by it. High temperatures kill the virus, so anyone eating cooked chicken shouldn’t get it. Human to human transmission is very rare.
Flu Types and Urgent Care
Most people will decide to visit urgent care when they suffer from Type A and B. These are the types that make people feel the worst. Please remember urgent care should be reserved for moderate cases of the flu. Signs you may be suffering from a severe case of the flu include:
- Chest Pain
- Respiratory Distress
- Difficulty Breathing
Anyone who is a high-risk group, such as the elderly, pregnant women, and children should consider going to urgent care if they are suffering from:
- Sore Throat
- Runny Nose
A high fever can be a sign of infection, so seeking medical attention as soon as possible is wise.
Reliant Urgent has locations in Los Angeles, Santa Fe Springs, Huntington Park, and Montebello. Visit one of our locations if you or your loved one is suffering from one of the types of flu.