How Do I Know if I Have the Flu?

Influenza season is here and in full force. The CDC currently lists flu levels in Nebraska as ‘widespread’ – their highest level. Of course, you should always take precautions to avoid catching the flu from others (hand-washing, not touching eyes and mouth, avoiding close contact people with the flu when possible, etc.) but what if you are already feeling sick? Do you have the flu? Could it be the common cold?

These are the typical flu symptoms: fever, coughing, sore throat, body aches/chills, headaches, and fatigue. To catch influenza, you must be exposed to the droplets spread by an infected person when they cough or sneeze. Someone suffering from the flu may be contagious from the day before symptoms become noticeable up to four days after the illness starts. If you’ve been around someone with the flu, you’ll start feeling ill within two to three days if you’ve caught it yourself.

Both influenza and the cold share a lot of the same symptoms which can make it hard to tell which one you may have. A lot of it comes down to how intensely you are feeling the symptom. A symptom from the flu will always be stronger than one from a cold. You should get tested for the influenza virus to determine if you have it or not. The flu can result in some serious health issues while the common cold will not.

One difference is how fast symptoms typically appear. Influenza symptoms will usually appear abruptly while cold symptoms will come on more gradually over time. If you believe you may be suffering from the flu, don’t hesitate to stop by our clinic and be tested. The sooner you do, the sooner you can start to feel better.

Cold Versus Flu [CDC]

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Twin Rivers Urgent Care offers convenient, quality healthcare when you need it most. We’re open for walk-in service seven days a week with extended hours, to get you in and out quickly. Our medical team is ready to focus on you – whether it’s a cold or flu, a strain or sprain, or something more complicated.

For a serious condition, stroke or stroke-like symptoms, chest pain or heart attack symptoms, severe bleeding, head trauma with loss of consciousness or other major trauma-go directly to the nearest Emergency Room.

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