We are in the midst of a flu season that experts say is more severe than average.
Incidence of influenza has been increasing since November. The season typically peaks in December-February.
How do you know if you have the flu?
Your symptoms will seem to start suddenly and can be severe. Watch for these telltale symptoms:
Colds don’t feel the same as the flu. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides a symptom comparison chart here. Usually, colds start gradually and the symptoms are not as severe. Colds rarely cause a fever, chills or headaches.
What should you do if you suspect you have the flu?
Stay home and limit contact with others. Unless you’re in a high-risk group (young children, age 65 and older, pregnant women or people with certain medical conditions), you probably don’t need medical treatment.
Be sure to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and stay home until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours. Wash your hands often to avoid spreading the disease.
If you feel very sick, call your primary care physician’s office. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, you can find one with the first available appointment by searching our Healthy Driven database of physicians, and schedule online.
When is emergency treatment needed?
There are some symptoms that warrant a trip to the emergency room, the CDC reports.
Watch for these emergency symptoms in kids:
In infants, look for any of the above symptoms as well as:
In adults, look for the following:
How do you avoid catching the flu?
You can get through flu season unscathed.
Need a flu shot? Our Walk-In Clinics have flu vaccines, as well as our Immediate Care Centers in Hinsdale, Oak Park and North Naperville!
Find the right primary care doctor for you and your family — search our database of Healthy Driven physicians.
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