Do You Have These Symptoms of the Flu?

It’s December, and that means we’re officially entering the heart of flu season. This year, the COVID-19 crisis means it’s more important than ever to understand if your symptoms point to the flu or if they point to another viral infection, so you can get the right care. 

The experienced providers at Integrative Primary Care offer expert diagnosis and treatment for patients in the Houston area suffering from the flu. Read on to learn more about this infectious disease and how to identify it. 

What are the symptoms of the flu?

The flu is an infectious respiratory disease that puts more than 200,000 Americans in the hospital each year. Here’s a look at some common symptoms associated with the flu: 

High fever

A high fever is often an early sign of influenza, though not everybody with the flu develops a fever. When people get a fever with the flu, it’s usually over 100ºF. A fever shows your body is working hard to fight the virus. 

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can help lower your fever, and if you develop chills along with hot spells, try keeping warm with blankets in layers so you can adjust as needed. 

If you have a fever and you think it’s the flu, contact your provider at Integrative Primary Care, as antiviral treatments, such as Tamiflu®, are more effective when given within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.  

Body aches and fatigue 

The flu can also cause sudden and intense body aches and fatigue. If these symptoms are accompanied by other symptoms of the flu, it’s a good sign you have the virus. 

Getting plenty of rest and taking it easy is the best thing you can do to combat these symptoms. Rest allows your body time to fight the infection, and it helps speed along the healing process.

Coughing or wheezing

Because the flu is a respiratory infection, it affects your breathing and lungs. It can even turn into pneumonia. When the flu sets in, you may develop a dry, persistent cough or wheezing. If it becomes difficult to breathe, contact your provider at Integrative Primary Care right away. 

Other flu symptoms

Other signs of the flu can be easy to confuse with symptoms of other illnesses, such as the common cold or allergies. But flu symptoms usually come on quickly and are more severe. Here is a list of other flu symptoms to watch for:

How can I be sure my symptoms aren’t COVID-19?

Although they are different viruses, the flu and COVID-19 share many symptoms. Both illnesses are respiratory infections that can affect your lungs and breathing. And both can cause fever, body and muscle aches, cough, sore throat, headaches, and result in pneumonia.

In addition, both the flu and COVID-19 can be very severe or very mild. As a result, in the early stages, it can be nearly impossible to tell which disease you have without testing. 

COVID-19, however, can lead to a loss of smell and taste, something not seen in flu patients. Plus, COVID-19 symptoms tend to last longer than the flu, which usually resolves in 7-10 days. People with COVID-19 can feel ill for weeks and even longer. 

The bottom line is if you have any flu-like symptoms, it’s important to contact your provider at Integrative Primary Care to go over your condition and arrange for testing. Stay home and out of contact with others as much as possible while you recover, and be sure to wear a face mask and practice social distancing.   

To learn more about the flu, get a flu vaccine, or get flu treatment, book an appointment online or over the phone with Integrative Primary Care today.

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