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Flu Screening

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​1. Do you have a fever?

Yes

In most cases a high fever (over 102o) is more sug​gestive of the flu rather than a cold. Fever due to a cold is usually less than 102o but not always.

It is important to contact your healthcare provider if you experience fever and any of the following symptoms: constant vomiting/diarrhea, stiff neck, severe headache, and shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or any unusual symptoms.

Normal body temperature varies throughout the day, usually lower in the morning and higher in the late afternoon. An elevated temperature is considered to be over 100.3oF (37.8oC). Although an elevated body temperature or fever may be uncomfortable, fever plays a protective role in the body's response to infection, enhancing the body's defense mechanisms.

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are available to help reduce fever and may be taken as per package directions. Do not exceed the recommended dose. If you are under the age of 19, do not take aspirin (also known as salicylate) and products that contain aspirin/salicylates to prevent a rare disorder called Reye's Syndrome, which can cause liver and brain damage. An example of a medicine that contains salicylate is Pepto Bismol, therefore it should be avoided by those under age 19.

If you have a fever and multiple symptoms, it's much more likely that you have the flu. Most cold and flu symptoms do not require a healthcare visit. See our flu page for more advice on self care and when to seek medical care.

No

Did you have a fever earlier in the day? If yes, and you took a medication to reduce the fever, you will want to monitor your temperature every 3-4 hours if you are feeling ill.

Normal body temperature varies throughout the day, usually lower in the morning and higher in the late afternoon. An elevated temperature is considered to be over 100.3o F (37.8o C). Although an elevated body temperature or fever may be uncomfortable, fever plays a protective role in the body's response to infection, enhancing the body's defense mechanisms.

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are available to help reduce fever and may be taken as per package directions. Do not exceed the recommended dose. If you are under the age of 19, do not take aspirin (also known as salicylate) and products that contain aspirin/salicylates to prevent a rare disorder called Reye's Syndrome, which can cause liver and brain damage. An example of a medicine that contains salicylate is Pepto Bismol, therefore it should be avoided by those under age 19.

2. Do you have a stuffy nose and sneezing?

Yes

A stuffy nose and sneezing are classic cold symptoms. This congestion may take a week or more to clear up. Congestion is less common with the flu but may occur.

Be sure to drink plenty of water. You can use saline to rinse out the nose. If you use a nasal decongestant spray, limit your usage to no more than 3 days or you may experience rebound congestion. Medicines with pseudoephedrine (e.g. Sudafed) or Phenylephrine can relieve congestion, follow package directions and contraindications and avoid taking close to bedtime as they can keep you awake.

If nasal congestion is accompanied by pain in the sinuses that lasts more than seven days consult with your health care provider.

No

3. Do you have a sore throat?

Yes

Sore throats are common with a cold but can also be present with the flu. It is important to drink lots of fluids. Salt water gargles may also help to relieve the discomfort. If the sore throat is accompanied by a fever, inability to swallow your own saliva, swollen glands, or vomiting, contact your health provider.

If you have a fever and multiple symptoms, it's much more likely that you have the flu. Most cold and flu symptoms do not require a healthcare visit. See our flu page for more advice on self care and when to seek medical care.

No

For many of us that tell-tale tickle in the throat is the first sign we're getting sick, and usually that irritation is a sure sign it's a cold coming on. Sometimes, however, a sore throat can show up with the flu. No matter which is the cause, gargling with salt water helps relieve the pain. If the sore throat is accompanied by a fever, swollen glands, or vomiting call a doctor.

4. Do you have chest congestion or a cough?

Yes

A cough can appear with either colds or flu.

Water and fruit juice can help loosen a cough. If coughing hurts the chest, or causes sleepless nights, ask your health care provider if a cough suppressant is a good idea. Always call your doctor if the cough is accompanied by difficulty breathing, fast breathing, or wheezing.

Occasionally a cough may last several weeks and is the last symptom to go away. As long as it is not accompanied by the above symptoms it shouldn't be a cause for concern.

If you have a persistent cough and have traveled to a developing country, especially if you also have fatigue or night sweats, contact the advice nurse, let her know of your travel history, and she will advise you of the need for further evaluation.

If you have a fever and multiple symptoms, it's much more likely that you have the flu. Most cold and flu symptoms do not require a healthcare visit. See our flu page for more advice on self care and when to seek medical care.

No

A cough can appear with either colds or flu but is more common with the flu. And a severe cough usually signals the flu.

Water and fruit juice can help loosen a cough. If coughing hurts the chest, or causes sleepless nights, ask your health care provider if a cough suppressant is a good idea. Always call your doctor if the cough is accompanied by difficulty breathing, fast breathing, wheezing or high fever.

Occasionally a cough may last several weeks and is the last symptom to go away. As long as it is not accompanied by the above symptoms it should gradually go away.

If you have a persistent cough and have traveled to a developing country, especially if you also have fatigue or night sweats, contact the advice nurse, let her know of your travel history, and she will advise you of the need for further evaluation.

5. Are you exhausted or weak?

Yes

Slight fatigue can occur with a cold, but extreme exhaustion is a definite sign of the flu. Though the worst of any flu is usually over within three or four days, flu fatigue can linger for weeks. Lots of rest can help, whether it's a cold or the flu.

Always seek urgent health care if severe fatigue lasts for more than a few days or is accompanied by changes in behavior, constant vomiting or diarrhea, a stiff neck, severe headache, or difficulty breathing.

If you have a fever and multiple symptoms, it's much more likely that you have the flu. Most cold and flu symptoms do not require a healthcare visit. See our flu page for more advice on self care and when to seek medical care.

No

Slight fatigue can occur with a cold, but extreme exhaustion is a definite sign of the flu. Though the worst of any flu is usually over within three or four days, flu fatigue can linger for weeks. Lots of rest can help, whether it's a cold or the flu.

Always call the doctor if severe fatigue lasts for more than 3-4 days or is accompanied by changes in behavior, constant vomiting or diarrhea, a stiff neck, severe headache, or difficulty breathing.

6. Do you have a headache?

Yes

Generally, headaches are more common with the flu than with a cold. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen will relieve the pain. Don't give aspirin/salicylates to people under age 19 because it may increase risk of Reye's Syndrome.

Call the doctor if you have a severe headache that is accompanied by a change in behavior, skin rash, neck pain, or difficulty walking. Severe headaches can be a sign of other problems such as meningitis or infection.

If you have a fever and multiple symptoms, it's much more likely that you have the flu. Most cold and flu symptoms do not require a healthcare visit. See our flu page for more advice on self care and when to seek medical care.

No

Generally, headaches are more common with the flu than with a cold. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen will relieve the pain. Don't give aspirin to people under age 19 because it may increase risk of Reye's Syndrome.

See your health care provider if you have a severe headache that is accompanied by a change in behavior or skin rash or neck pain, or difficulty walking. Severe headaches can be a sign of other problems such as meningitis or infection.

7. Does your body ache?

Yes

Body and muscle aches are common flu symptoms. Though a cold can produce a touch of achiness, it's generally slight. Treat body and muscle aches with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Avoid aspirin/salicylates for people under age 19 because it increases the risk of Reye's Syndrome.

Keep the flu at bay during flu season -- November through March -- with the number one defense: a flu shot. Colds are most common September to April, and you can avoid them best by staying away from people who are sick and by washing your hands often. >

If you have a fever and multiple symptoms, it's much more likely that you have the flu. Most cold and flu symptoms do not require a healthcare visit. See our flu page for more advice on self care and when to seek medical care.

No

Body and muscle aches are common flu symptoms. Though a cold can produce a touch of achiness, it's generally slight. Treat body and muscle aches with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Avoid aspirin/salicylates for people under age 19 because it increases the risk of Reye's Syndrome.

Keep the flu at bay during flu season -- November through March -- with the No. 1 defense: a flu shot. Colds are most common September to April, and you can avoid them best by staying away from people who are sick and by washing your hands often.