Influenza is an upper respiratory virus causing cough, runny nose, nasal congestion, and sore throat. Influenza can be distinguished from the common cold as it generally presents with the abrupt onset of fever, headache, body aches, and fatigue.
Influenza can be dangerous, particularly in high risk patients, with severe complications like pneumonia which can lead to hospitalization or even death.
High risk patients include anyone over the age of 65, infants and babies, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions like underlying lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease.
Protect yourself from the flu by frequent hand washing, avoiding people who are ill, and getting your flu vaccine. Everyone from the age of 6 months on is eligible, and everyone over 65 should receive a high dose flu vaccine.
If you get the flu stay home to rest and avoid spreading it to others. Drink plenty of fluids and use acetaminophen for fever and body aches. Most people recover from the flu in 1-2 weeks on their own. Please schedule an appointment if you experience shortness of breath or trouble breathing, chest pain/pressure, sudden severe dizziness, confusion, or severe vomiting.
If your child is having flu-like symptoms please call our office if he or she starts breathing fast, trouble breathing, starts to turn blue or purple, is not drinking enough fluids, will not wake up or will not interact with you, is overly fussy, gets better from the flu but then gets sick again with a fever or cough, has a fever with a rash.
If you are coming into the clinic with flu-like symptoms please wear a mask provided in the waiting room to avoid spreading the flu to other patients.
Treatment for the flu is available with the prescription antiviral, tamiflu (Oseltamivir), for certain patients, although the majority of people do not require it.