Flu Symptoms

OPES Health Channelside

Dentists & Primary Care Practice located in Tampa, FL

When women, men, or children have muscle aches, fever, and extreme fatigue, they may have the flu. At OPĒS Health Channelside in Tampa, Florida, Victor Cruz, MD offers treatments to combat flu symptoms, so you can get back to living your life as usual. If you want to prevent the illness or make your symptoms more manageable, contact Dr. Cruz today using the online form or by calling the office to schedule an appointment.

Flu Symptoms Q & A

OPES Health Channelside

What is the flu?

The flu, short for influenza, is a respiratory illness caused by several strains of the flu virus. It’s a contagious disease that people spread before they even know they have it. You can also contract it from someone who is sick or even after they’re better.

Typically, the virus is only a serious condition in those who have a weakened immune system or a chronic illness. It’s also a more serious concern for the elderly or for newborns. On average, though, most people have only a mild infection that lasts a week or two.

How does the flu differ from a cold?  

Both a cold and the flu are respiratory infections. However, they develop from different viruses. The flu tends to cause more intense symptoms. Often, they cause similar symptoms like a fever, chills, runny or stuffy nose, coughing, or sneezing. It's also possible you'll experience a headache, muscle aches or weakness, and fatigue from the flu but not a cold.  

Rarely does a cold cause serious health problems. It's more likely for the flu to cause serious complications, such as dehydration.

Does the flu cause nausea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal problems?

It's very rare for the flu to cause gastrointestinal issues of any sort including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms are usually from gastroenteritis instead. Gastroenteritis is either a viral or bacterial infection that causes inflammation and irritation in the stomach and intestines that people sometimes refer to as the stomach flu.

As a result of the inflammation and irritation, you have symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and even stomach cramping.

How does a physician diagnose the flu?

Usually, you know you have the flu based on your symptoms, although you may question whether it could be a cold instead. Dr. Cruz may diagnose you based on your symptoms. In cases where your symptoms are similar to those of another condition, he may test you to determine the bacteria or virus in your system. Usually, he uses a rapid influenza diagnostic test (RIDT) to detect flu antigens.

Is the flu treatable?

Dr. Cruz prescribes ways to ease your symptoms like decongestants. It’s possible to prevent the flu by coming into OPĒS Health Channelside for a flu vaccination, which is available starting in the fall.

Call the office or go online to schedule a visit with Dr. Cruz today to find relief from your flu symptoms.

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