Do I have the flu?


If you are sitting upright and still have the will to live…. probably not. Kidding aside I see so many patients that believe they have the flu when it is actually a common cold or sometimes even allergies.

Common cold virus symptoms include the following: mild to moderate hacking cough, sore throat, sneezing, runny and or stuffy nose, NO fever, mild aches and less often a mild headache. You can typically perform your daily functions.

Influenza (flu) symptoms: very sudden onset of symptoms, moderate to severe headache, fever (102-104 degrees Fahrenheit), severe body aches, exhaustion, severe cough, chest tightness or discomfort. You are unable to work or do much more than rest.

Allergic rhinitis symptoms: mild cough, some fatigue is possible, NO fever, itchy watery eyes, possible rash, runny nose and sneezing.

Treatment:  In 2016 there is still no cure for the cold.  There are antiviral medications that are often used to shorten the course and decrease the severity of the flu. But why not arm your immune system with a Flu vaccine to hopefully avoid it all together!  Allergies are best managed with antihistamines or topical nasal steroids (Flonase, Nasacort).


The manufacturers of Flonase made this easy chart to help explain what I’ve covered above.know-your-enemy.jpg

Author: Nurse Meesh

I am a disabled nurse practitioner, mom, wife and woman.

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