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Influenza, also known as the flu is a contagious respiratory illness that is caused by the influenza virus. The symptoms can range from mild to severe.
Flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
COLD VS FLU SYMPTOMS
It is impossible to tell for sure if you have flu based on symptoms alone. If your doctor needs to know for sure whether you are sick with flu, there are laboratory tests that can be done.
A number of tests are available to detect flu viruses in respiratory specimens. The most common are called “rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs).” RIDTs work by detecting the parts of the virus (antigens) that stimulate an immune response. These tests can provide results within approximately 10-15 minutes
If you get sick with flu, antiviral drugs may be a treatment option.
Check with your doctor promptly if you are at higher risk of serious flu complications and you get flu symptoms. People at higher risk of flu complications include young children, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant people, and people with certain medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.
When used for treatment, antiviral drugs can lessen symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by 1 or 2 days. They also can prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia. For people at higher risk of serious flu complications, treatment with antiviral drugs can mean the difference between milder or more serious illness possibly resulting in a hospital stay. CDC recommends prompt treatment for people who have flu or suspected flu and who are at higher risk of serious flu complications.