Influenza, also known as the flu, is a highly contagious respiratory virus that affects 5-20% of the population in the United States each year. If you think you have the flu, Jay Lao, NP, at A+ Total Care in Elko, Nevada, offers a rapid flu test for a quick diagnosis. He also offers the flu vaccine to help reduce your risk of getting sick. For the prevention or treatment of the flu, call the office or schedule an appointment using the online booking button.

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What is the flu?

The flu is a contagious viral infection that affects the respiratory system. Older adults, children, and people with compromised immune systems are at a greater risk of developing flu complications that can result in serious illness such as pneumonia.

You can get the flu at any time during the year, but it’s more common during the fall and winter months. Doctors believe the flu is most often spread through droplets created when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes, or talks. You’re most contagious during the first few days of the illness, which may include one day before you start to show symptoms.

What are flu symptoms?

Your flu symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they usually begin around the second day of infection. Common symptoms include:

  • Body aches
  • Fever and chills
  • Cough and runny nose
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

Flu symptoms are often confused with cold symptoms, which can delay a diagnosis. But the flu often comes on very suddenly and always causes a fever. The flu also often causes body chills, which isn’t normally experienced with a cold.

Your health care expert at A+ Total Care can determine if you have the flu with a rapid flu test, which can provide results within 15 minutes.

Can I get treated for the flu?

There is no cure for the flu, but your health care expert at A+ Total Care can give you antiviral medication that may decrease the duration of your illness and prevent serious complications. Getting treatment early is especially important for those who are more vulnerable, including children, older adults, and people with compromised immune symptoms.

Your health care expert will also recommend that you get rest, drink plenty of fluids, and use over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and reduce your fever.

Can the flu vaccine prevent me from getting sick?

The best way to protect yourself from the flu is by getting vaccinated every year. The vaccine helps your immune system build up antibodies against the virus, so when you get infected, the antibodies can fight it off. It may not fully protect you from getting sick, but it may shorten the duration of your illness and protect you from more serious health complications.

For the prevention or treatment of the flu, A+ Total Care can help. Call today or schedule an appointment using the online booking button. Walk-ins also welcome.