Millions of Americans catch the flu each year. It isn’t pleasant, but there are ways you can help yourself feel better. Take good care of yourself this flu season by learning about flu treatment.
The flu is primarily diagnosed by a medical provider based on your symptoms. You can even speak to a medical provider virtually to be diagnosed.
The most common flu symptoms are:
Shortness of breath
The flu can also be diagnosed through lab tests. PCR flu tests can even identify the type of influenza that’s causing your symptoms.
When an influenza virus enters your body, it starts to replicate and attack your body’s tissues. In about 1 to 4 days, you will begin to have symptoms of the flu.
You should see a doctor for your flu symptoms if:
You have a fever that improves, but suddenly gets worse
Your flu symptoms last longer than 2 weeks
You have concentrated pain in one area
You develop thick mucus and a persistent cough
You are in a high-risk group
People with the highest risk of severe flu complications include:
People aged 65 years and older
Those with chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or asthma
People who are pregnant or up to two weeks post-partem
Nursing home residents
Children younger than 5 years (with the highest risk being for children under 2 years)
See a medical professional right away if you’re at a higher risk of complications. Prescription antiviral treatment for the flu can help protect you, but it needs to be taken quickly.
The most common treatment of flu symptoms is self-care at home. There are also over-the-counter medicines that can ease your flu symptoms. These include painkillers, decongestants and cough syrups.
For high-risk patients, it’s important to get a medical provider involved in your flu treatment. Antiviral medications can reduce the length of illness and lower the chances of complications. Antivirals are most effective when used within the first two days of having symptoms.
Most flu cases resolve themselves with rest and home treatment. If you have the flu, self-care is important for a
Home treatments for the flu:
Get plenty of rest to help your body’s immune system do its work. Rest includes getting lots of sleep and reducing your daytime activity levels.
Drink lots of water and other fluids. This will help prevent dehydration and also help ease a sore throat. Herbal teas, water, and soups are good options. Avoid caffeinated drinks.
Use hot compresses or heat packs to ease sore muscle pain.
The flu is a very common and infectious illness. In the United States, about 3% to 11% of people get the flu each year. The flu circulates rapidly in the colder months, but you can get it at any time of year.
Some common flu complications include ear and sinus infections. Pre-existing conditions like asthma or diabetes can also become worse as a result of the flu.
Severe flu complications include inflammation of the brain, heart, and other tissues. Organ failure, sepsis, and viral pneumonia can also result from flu infection.
The flu can be serious. If you have any of the following symptoms, please seek immediate medical help.
Severe (emergency) symptoms of the flu:
High fever (over 103°F or 40°C)
Little to no urination
Persistent pain in chest or abdomen
Extreme muscle pain and weakness
Cyanosis (lips or fingernails take on a bluish hue on light skin, or a grey or whitish hue on darker skin)
The flu is common, but it doesn’t have to be quite so miserable. To get treatment for the flu and many other medical needs, you can see an expert healthcare provider online. WellNow Urgent Care’s medical team can help get you the right care when you need it the most.
Information contained in this blog is for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. The content is not meant to be complete or exhaustive or to apply to any specific individual's medical condition. Always refer to the personalized information given to you by your doctor or contact us directly.