Flu, also called influenza, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses that infect the sinuses (nose and throat) and sometimes the lungs. Influenza A and B are the two main types that cause the annual influenza outbreak. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are typically more intense and begin more abruptly. Colds are usually milder than the flu.

How do I get the flu? flu symptoms and flu treatment in Caldwell, Idaho

Flu viruses are spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people who already have the flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby.

Who can get the flu?

Flu virus infection is very common, so anyone can catch the flu. You can pick up the flu from being around others who have the flu or by coming into contact with the flu virus. You can help prevent the flu by washing your hands often, staying away from individuals who are sick, drinking plenty of water, and getting rest. 

What does the flu feel like? Symptoms of the flu: 

  • fever or feeling feverish
  • chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • fatigue (tiredness)

Common Flu Symptoms 

Flu symptoms vary from mild to moderate; usually, if you have the following symptoms, please seek medical help immediately. 

Flu Symptoms in Infants and Children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing.flu symptoms in children | Caldwell Family Medicine and Urgent Care Clinic
  • Bluish skin color.
  • Not drinking enough fluids.
  • Not urinating or no tears when crying.
  • Severe or repeated vomiting.
  • Not waking up or not interacting.
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held.
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or belly.
  • Sudden dizziness.
  • Confusion.
  • Flu-like symptoms that get better but then return with a fever and worse, a cough.
  • Fever above 104 degrees Fahrenheit that is not controlled by fever-reducing medicine.
  • Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for children younger than 3 months, regardless of using fever-reducing medicines.

Flu Symptoms in Adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or belly.
  • Sudden dizziness.
  • Confusion.
  • Severe or repeated vomiting.
  • Flu-like symptoms that get better but then return with a fever and worse, a cough.
  • Not urinating.
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions.

Flu Symptoms 2023

The flu consists of two main strains: Influenza A and Influenza B. Influenza A typically appears early in the year and accounts for more than two-thirds of all flu cases. Influenza B tends to show up later in the season—around February or March. Influenza A has been thought to be more deadly; however, both strains can cause severe sickness and hospitalization. In recent years, influenza B has been more severe in children. Another main difference is that influenza A can be spread among humans and animals, while influenza B is only spread among humans. 

Flu symptoms in 2023 have stayed consistent with those of prior years, although reports of stomach flu have been reported. 

Preventing the Flu with the Flu Shot

One of the best ways to prevent the flu is by getting your routine flu shot. The flu shot can help prevent you from getting and giving the flu to others. The flu shot is relatively painless and available at our family medicine practice in Caldwell, Idaho. If you are concerned about the side effects of the flu shot, read more about here. 

The best natural cold and flu remedies at home are: 

  • staying home and having adequate sleep and rest
  • increase fluid intake and drink plenty of fluids (warm water, hot drinks, honey tea with lemon, ginger tea, soup or broth
  • treat aches and fevers with over-the-counter medication
  • supplement with Vitamin C, D and Zinc to boost your immune system
  • use of humidifier to increase humidity or steamy shower
  • gargling warm salt water

Flu Treatments at Core Medicine of Idaho

Core Medicine of Idaho offers rapid influenza tests with confirmation of influenza virus infection in 15 minutes. If your flu is detected early (usually within two days (48 hours) of getting sick), an antiviral treatment such as Tamiflu can be prescribed. It can help decrease the duration of the infection and the severity of the flu symptoms. If you think you may have the flu, walk in to our Caldwell urgent care clinic for immediate care.