Many viruses can make people feel miserable, but influenza strains can be particularly dangerous. Every year, Americans have plenty of options when it comes to low-cost shots, but everyone should know the warning signs and telltale symptoms of the flu so they can seek medical treatment right away. The flu is potentially deadly to some people, especially very young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems or immune system disorders.
Similarities to Other Viruses
The influenza virus causes many symptoms similar to other viral infections like the common cold, such as coughing, headaches, and a fever. While the common cold usually causes sneezing, sore throat, and congestion, the flu often causes intense body aches, fatigue, and a high fever lasting several days. A cold can build up symptoms gradually over several days while flu symptoms generally have a rapid onset.
The common cold may only result in minor complications whereas the flu virus can lead to potentially life-threatening conditions like pneumonia. Medical researchers have identified more than 100 types of cold viruses, and the influenza virus mutates on a regular basis, requiring the medical treatment community to develop new vaccines every year. Antibiotics do not work on viruses, so most people who develop the flu simply let the sickness run its course while treating the symptoms. However, some antiviral medications such as Tamiflu can help symptoms and shorten recovery time for some patients.
Flu Treatment with Tamiflu
Oseltamivir, commonly sold under the brand name Tamiflu, is an oral antiviral medication that can reduce symptoms like stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, chills, muscle aches, and coughing and shorten recovery time by one to two days. Tamiflu works best when taken as soon as symptoms appear, or even as soon as an individual confirms exposure to the flu. To treat the flu, prescribing doctors generally advise two tablets each day for five days. To prevent flu symptoms after exposure, one tablet every day for ten days is the usual prescription.
Premier Urgent Care in Chicago can provide Tamiflu prescriptions to patients who test positive for influenza. Flu symptoms can develop very quickly after exposure, so prompt treatment is necessary if you want to avoid a week or longer in bed with awful symptoms. Tamiflu is a low-risk medication with minimal side effects, but it may not be appropriate for patients taking certain kidney medications or blood pressure medications. Our healthcare providers can discuss with you if you are an appropriate candidate for the medication.
If a family member or coworker recently developed the flu, it’s a wise idea to get tested for exposure, especially is you or your child is in a high-risk population, and begin treatment with Tamiflu before symptoms appear and disrupt your life. Premier Urgent Care offers several options for flu prevention and treatment, so consider a flu test if you believe you’ve recently been exposed to influenza.
For more information on the influenza and other injuries and illnesses visit our urgent care services page or https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.
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