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The flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Some patients confuse influenza with the “stomach flu,” which is actually a gastrointestinal infection caused by a different virus.
The symptoms of the flu may include:
The symptoms of the flu are similar to the symptoms of other illnesses, including colds and strep throat. However, these illnesses are different. Colds usually develop slowly over time, while the flu comes on suddenly. In addition, flu symptoms are usually worse than cold symptoms.
Like the flu, strep throat can cause fever and a sore throat. However, nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and cough are less likely with strep infections.
Your doctor may suspect the flu based on your symptoms. However, if they want to be sure, he or she may recommend an influenza test. If an influenza virus is causing your symptoms, that test usually comes back positive.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick cure for the flu. However, most patients get better on their own after a few days. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to shorten your illness or help with symptoms. Your doctor may also tell you how to deal with your symptoms at home so you can be more comfortable while you recover.
A flu shot is a vaccination makes it harder for you to get the flu. This vaccination contains an inactivated form of the flu virus that helps your body build up immunity. If you encounter a live form of the virus after getting the flu shot, you’ll be less likely to get sick.
The flu virus is always changing, so scientists must guess which form of the virus will be most dangerous each year. For this reason, the flu shot isn’t always 100% effective. You’ll also need to get it every year to give yourself the best chance of avoiding the flu.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!