The flu is an infection that can cause fever, cough, body aches, and other symptoms. The most common type of flu is the "seasonal" flu. There are different forms of seasonal flu, for example, "type A" and "type B."
All forms of the flu are caused by viruses. The medical term for the flu is "influenza."
Related Symptoms
  • ​Fever (temperature higher than 100ºF or 37.8ºC)
  • Headache or body aches
  • Runny nose
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
Flu symptoms can come on very suddenly.
If you think you have the flu, stay home, rest, and drink plenty of fluids. You can also take acetaminophen (sample brand name: Tylenol) to relieve fever and aches.
Do not give aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin to children younger than 18. In children, aspirin can cause a serious problem called Reye syndrome.
Most people with the flu get better on their own within 1 to 2 weeks. But you should call your doctor or nurse if you:
  • Have trouble breathing or are short of breath
  • Feel pain or pressure in your chest or belly
  • Get suddenly dizzy
  • Feel confused
  • Have severe vomiting
Take your child to the doctor if he or she:
  • Starts breathing fast or has trouble breathing
  • Starts to turn blue or purple
  • Is not drinking enough fluids
  • Will not wake up or will not interact with you
  • Is so unhappy that he or she does not want to be held
  • Gets better from the flu but then gets sick again with a fever or cough
  • Has a fever with a rash
If you decide to go to a walk-in clinic or a hospital because of the flu, tell someone right away why you are there. The staff might ask you to wear a mask or to wait someplace where you are less likely to spread your infection.
Whether or not you see a healthcare provider, you should stay home while you are sick with the flu, or keep your child home if he or she is sick. Do not go to work or school until your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours, without taking medicine such as acetaminophen. If you work with patients, such as in a hospital or clinic, you might need to stay home longer if you are still coughing. Also, always cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
People with the flu can get medicines called antiviral medicines such as Tamiflu. These medicines can help people avoid some of the problems caused by the flu. Not every person with the flu needs an antiviral medicine, but some people do. Your doctor or nurse practitioner will decide if you need an antiviral medicine.
Antibiotics do not work on the flu.
What To Expect
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Nytingale Business Office
3983 Teays Valley Rd #G1
Hurricane, WV 25526