First comes the common cold. Next comes the flu virus?

Not exactly! While you may feel like you go from one illness to the next, they’re not related, so you can’t get the flu from a cold.

But up to 20% of Americans will be diagnosed with the flu this year. So our team at AFC Urgent Care Cleveland wants to share some basics about the flu.

How Are You Diagnosed With the Flu?

If you think you have symptoms of the flu, it’s important to head to the doctor. If it is the flu, the earlier you receive treatment, the better!

Once you arrive, a physician will complete a physical exam, along with checking out your current symptoms. If the doctor feels the flu virus is in play, he or she will perform a rapid flu test to get a diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan.

Flu Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

How Is the Flu Treated?

There really isn’t a “treatment,” per se. But if your condition is diagnosed early, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication, which can shorten the severity and duration of your illness.

Of course, the best method of treatment is prevention. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from the flu.

Ways to Prevent the Flu

  • Get the flu vaccine, ideally before the flu season begins.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces, like doorknobs and light switches.
  • Steer clear of those who have the flu.
  • Boost your immune system with plenty of sleep, a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Do you think you might have the flu? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Cleveland today! No appointment is needed.