When To Visit Your Gp
If you are otherwise fit and healthy, there’s usually no need to visit your GP if you have flu-like symptoms.
You should just rest at home until you feel better, while keeping warm, drinking plenty of water and taking painkillers if necessary.
In these cases, your GP may suggest taking antiviral medication.
Colds Dont Usually Come With A Significant Fever
While you may be running a little warmer, colds rarely come with a significant fever. And while you can still have the flu without a fever, the flu typically comes with a few days above 100° Fahrenheit.
A flu fever will likely come on fast. This is an especially common flu symptom in kids. Keep an eye on the little ones and the elderly, as they will be more susceptible to complications. Also, keep drinking liquids and get lots of rest.
What About Influenza Complications
In some cases of the flu, severe illness and complications can develop. This can result in hospitalisation and even death.
The flu can also make some existing medical conditions worse.
In Victoria, flu vaccination is free for people with a higher risk of severe complications associated with the flu:
- children aged 6 months to less than 5 years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 6 months and over
- pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- people 65 years and over
- people aged 6 months and older with medical conditions putting them at higher risk of severe flu and its complications:
- cardiac disease
- children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.
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How You Catch Flu
The flu virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes.
These droplets typically spread about one metre. They hang suspended in the air for a while before landing on surfaces, where the virus can survive for up to 24 hours.
Anyone who breathes in the droplets can catch flu. You can also catch the virus by touching the surfaces that the droplets have landed on if you pick up the virus on your hands and then touch your nose or mouth.
Everyday items at home and in public places can easily become contaminated with the flu virus, including food, door handles, remote controls, handrails, telephone handsets and computer keyboards. Therefore, it’s important to wash your hands frequently.
You can catch flu many times because flu viruses change regularly and your body won’t have a natural resistance to the new versions.
Were Here For Emergencies
You know your body better than anyone else. If your fever and cold symptoms just arent going away, and youre concerned it might be the flu, were here to help. The Wesley EmergencyCare Network has five convenient emergency room locations open 24/7, including:
- Wesley Medical Centers main ER
- Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER
- Wesley Derby ER
- The regions only dedicated pediatric ER
All of Wesleys emergency rooms provide average wait times. Wait times are updated every 30 minutes and are based on a rolling four-hour average provided by Wesleys patient information management.
If you ever feel like you are not physically well enough to go to the ER, or if doing so would put yourself or others in danger, please call 911.
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Get Treatment And Care Without Leaving The House
Whether youre stuck at home with a fever or you arent quite ready to leave your house yet, you can still get quality cold and flu treatment online. You can:
Make a video visit appointment for face-to-face care from a doctor or nurse practitioner. With video visits, your doctor will listen to your symptoms, answer questions and work with you to create a tailored treatment plan if needed.
Start a virtual visit anytime, anyplace through Virtuwell. With Virtuwell, no appointment is necessary and treatment is available 24/7. Getting started is easy. Well ask you a few questions, and youll get your diagnosis and treatment plan from a board-certified nurse practitioner. Each visit is just $59 or less, depending on your insurance.
Theres no prescription medication that can knock out a cold. But if you have the flu, antiviral medications such as Tamiflu and Relenza can help. These fight the flu by keeping viruses from reproducing in your body, and work best when started within 48 hours after symptoms start.
During your video visit or Virtuwell visit, your doctor or clinician will determine whether an antiviral medication should be part of your treatment plan. If needed, theyll write you a prescription and send it to your pharmacy of choice.
Talking With Your Health Care Team About Flu
Prepare for your visit by making a list of questions to ask. Consider adding these questions to your list:
- What flu-like symptoms are common for the type of treatment I’m receiving?
- What problems should I call you about? Are there any symptoms that need urgent medical care?
- When might these symptoms start? How long might they last?
- Should I keep track of any symptoms?
- How much fluid should I drink every day? What types of fluids are best for me to drink?
- Are there medicines I should take to feel better? Are there medicines I should avoid or call you before taking?
- How often should I check my temperature?
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How To Get The Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. It’s offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications.
The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn before flu starts spreading. But you can get the vaccine later.
The flu vaccine is given to people who:
- are 50 and over
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in a long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who is more likely to get infections
- frontline health or social care workers
You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:
- your GP surgery
Medically Reviewed By Dr Ch Weaver Md Medical Editor 4/2020
A flu-like syndrome is a collection of symptoms that are caused as a side effect of many cancer treatments, including some biological therapies and chemotherapy drugs. Symptoms are similar to the flu, and may include general aches and a fever. There is no single treatment for the flu-like syndrome each symptom is managed separately.
- What is flu-like syndrome?
- What therapies cause flu-like syndrome?
- What are the symptoms of flu-like syndrome?
- How is flu-like syndrome managed?
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What Are Potential Complications Of Flu
Complications associated with flu-like symptoms can be progressive and vary depending on the underlying cause. In some cases, flu-like symptoms can be caused by serious diseases, such as meningitis, that can rapidly result in life-threatening complications.
It is important to contact your health care provider promptly when you experience flu-like symptoms. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, following the treatment plan that you and your health care provider design specifically for you can help reduce any potential complications including:
- Absenteeism from work or school
- Dehydration due to accompanying diarrhea or vomiting, reduced fluid intake, fever, or increased sweating
- Inability to perform daily tasks
- Poor quality of life
- Shock, coma, and organ failure
- Sleep disturbance
What Are The Symptoms Of Flu Like Syndrome
Symptoms that commonly occur with flu-like syndrome include:
- Muscle/joint aches
- Runny nose
- Bone pain
Symptoms are often related to the dose of chemotherapy or biologic therapy, meaning a higher dose causes more symptoms, or more severe symptoms. Also, not all symptoms are present with each medication. Another aspect to these symptoms is they may be more severe at first but as the body gets used to the medication, the symptoms become less severe with subsequent doses. Symptoms may reappear or worsen if treatment is interrupted and then resumed or if the dose is increased. Symptoms resolve once treatment is discontinued.
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I Think I Have Influenza Should I See A Doctor
Anyone at a higher risk of serious illness with flu-like symptoms should see their doctor as soon as possible.
Most people who are generally healthy wont need to see their doctor for the flu. As symptoms of the flu are similar to COVID-19, talk to your doctor about testing for COVID-19 infection.
If you have the flu, try to rest, maintain a good fluid intake, and manage your symptoms. This will help you recover and prevent dehydration. Your immune system will fight the infection and symptoms will usually clear up on their own.
If you do need to see a GP for your symptoms, make sure you call ahead first so they can make sure theres no one in an at-risk group around when you have your appointment.
Start With Home Remedies For Colds And Flu
You should stay home if youre sick especially if you have a fever. Actually, its always recommended that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever has gone away without the use of fever-reducing medications. Here are some steps you can take at home to feel better:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink lots of fluids .
- Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help lower your temperature, and get some headache or muscle ache relief. Warning: Do not give aspirin to children or teenagers who have the flu, as it comes with a small risk of causing the potentially fatal Reye Syndrome.
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How Long Does Flu Last And Is It Serious
If you have flu, you generally start to feel ill within a few days of being infected.
You should begin to feel much better within a week or so, although you may feel tired for much longer.
You’ll usually be most infectious from the day your symptoms start and for a further 3 to 7 days. Children and people with weaker immune systems may remain infectious for longer.
Most people will make a full recovery and won’t experience any further problems, but elderly people and people with certain long-term medical conditions are more likely to have a bad case of flu or develop a serious complication, such as a chest infection.
Read more about the complications of flu
What Should I Do If I Get Sick
Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.
If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider .
Certain people are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications and this is true both for seasonal flu and novel flu virus infections. . If you are in a high risk group and develop flu symptoms, its best for you to contact your doctor. Remind them about your high risk status for flu.
Health care providers will determine whether influenza testing and possible treatment are needed. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs that can treat the flu. These drugs work better for treatment the sooner they are started.
Flu information courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Preventing The Spread Of Illness
Unfortunately, theres no magic cure-all and no secret to preventing the spread of illness. Respiratory viruses can linger on surfaces grocery cart handles, door knobs, even the office coffee pot. The person next in line to touch those surfaces then rubs their eyes or nose, and the virus continues to spread. Maintaining a polite distance from people roughly six feet can help, using a face mask while in public, and, of course, hand washing, staying home when sick, covering coughs and most important of all – getting vaccinated.
The sad fact is that we under-utilize influenza vaccine, Temte said. The current estimate is that only 40 percent of children aged 6 months to 4 years are vaccinated, while only 30 percent of school-age children are.
While critics may argue the vaccine isnt always effective, the reality is that the vaccine does help reduce the risk of getting influenza. Perhaps equally important is that the vaccine can lessen the severity of influenza, which ultimately helps reduce complications, which can include death from flu-related causes.
At any point and time there are approximately 10 million individuals in the U.S. who are on an immunosupressent drug. Then there are individuals who have infants at home or visit long-term care facilities who are at a greater risk or of transmitting the virus to others, Temte explains. Preventing one illness or additional complications is critical.
Understanding The Differences Between Influenza And Influenza
“Unfortunately theres a lot of mis-use of words out there, which can lead to confusion,” he says. “Flu is often used as a generalized term that stands for influenza but is also used to describe colds and even the stomach flu which is totally different. SARS-CoV-2 can present with a very wide variety of symptoms including those suggestive of influenza.”
Don’t leave the sofa. Have a video visit with a provider using your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Temte, who researches influenza and influenza-like viruses in local communities, explains that there are many viruses that are contagious and cause similar symptoms to influenza. The only way to know for sure whether someone with symptoms has influenza, COVID-19 or a flu-like illness due to another respiratory virus is to perform a laboratory test to confirm it.
To someone suffering from body aches and a sore throat, the distinctions between influenza, COVID-19 or another flu-like virus probably doesnt matter as much they feel lousy either way. But the subtle difference can lead to some erroneous beliefs, like the influenza vaccine causes the flu.
Influenza vaccination is of critical importance this year as we combat the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. “If we reduce the likelihood of influenza in our patient with significant symptoms, we can focus more on the pandemic.”
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How Do Public Health Authorities Investigate Cases Of Gbs
CDC and the Food and Drug Administration closely monitor the safety of vaccines approved for use in the United States. CDC uses two primary systems to monitor the safety of flu vaccines:
How Common Is Gbs How Common Is It Among People Who Have Been Vaccinated Against Flu
The background rate for GBS in the Unites States is about 80 to 160 cases of GBS each week, regardless of vaccination. The data on the association between GBS and seasonal flu vaccination are variable and inconsistent across flu seasons. If there is an increased risk of GBS following flu vaccination it is small, on the order of one to two additional GBS cases per million doses of flu vaccine administered.
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What Is The Difference Between Influenza And Covid
Influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus first identified in 2019. Flu is caused by infection with a flu virus .
From what we know, COVID-19 spreads more easily than flu. Efforts to maximize the proportion of people in the United States who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines remain critical to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. More information is available about COVID-19 vaccines and how well they work.
Compared to flu, COVID-19 can cause more serious illnesses in some people. COVID-19 can also take longer before people show symptoms, and people can remain contagious for longer periods of time. More information about differences between flu and COVID-19 is available in the different sections below.
You cannot tell the difference between flu and COVID-19 just by looking at the symptoms alone because they have some of the same symptoms. Thats why testing is needed to tell what the illness is and to confirm a diagnosis. Testing is also important because it can reveal if someone has both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
While more is learned every day about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it, there are still things, such as post-COVID conditions , that are unknown. This page compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date.
How Can I Avoid Getting Influenza
Getting an influenza vaccine every year is recommended for everyone aged 6 months or older. People in the above groups are eligible for free flu vaccination each year under the National Immunisation Program.
While not 100% effective, the flu vaccine provides a high level of protection and can reduce symptoms in those still getting sick.
can be co-administered with a flu vaccine. There is no requirement for a time interval between these vaccines.
Wearing a face mask and practicing good hand hygiene can help to reduce your chances of catching the flu or passing it on to others.
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