Colds and Flu by Nathan Kiskila, M.D.

The flu (also called influenza) virus typically presents itself with symptoms of feeling tired, fever, body aches or muscle pains, chills and sweats. Symptoms usually occur suddenly and may also include symptoms of the common cold like sore throat, runny nose, cough, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and no appetite.  Flu seasons are unpredictable and the timing varies each year; the season can start as early as October and happen as late as May.  Typically, it is at its peak around January or February.

Antibiotics don’t work against colds and the flu although some medicines like ibuprofen or Tylenol can help relieve symptoms. Some prescription medicines like Tamiflu can help shorten the duration of flu symptoms. This only works if you start taking it within the first 72 hours of symptom presentation.

If you have the flu, stay home and rest, drink plenty of clear fluids and wash your hands and cover your cough to avoid spreading it to others. See your doctor if you think you have the flu, your symptoms last for more than 3 days, or if the symptoms are progressively getting worse. Secondary complications like ear pain, sinus pressure or pain, fever, wheezing or shortness of air, sore throat, cough, dizziness, confusion or vomiting are good reasons to see your doctor.

To help prevent the flu, get a flu shot, stay away from others who are sick, wash your hands frequently and take care of yourself by getting plenty of sleep, exercise, and eating healthy foods.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.



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