Many people have trouble distinguishing between the flu and a common cold. In general, symptoms associated with the flu will be more severe and will come on much faster than those of a common cold. People who catch a cold may notice their discomfort ramping up over a period of days, while the flu can strike suddenly and with far more intensity. It is important to know that a cold will rarely bring about a temperature greater than 101 degrees. Weakness or fatigue that lasts more than a few days is also indicative of the flu. Severe aching or pain is another symptom of the flu, especially if those sensations persist for more than a couple of days.
In some cases, people are able to weather the flu virus at home using self-care methods of treatment. However, the flu can quickly become very difficult to manage, leading many people to seek urgent care treatment. One thing that should be a cause for concern is heavy accumulation or expulsion of mucus from the lungs or noticeable chest pain. These are both common signs of pneumonia, an infection of the lungs. The flu can easily lead to other complications, some of which are very serious conditions in their own right. Anyone who is concerned that they are not getting better after a few days, or who have symptoms that suggest more than just a normal cold, should come in for assessment.
When a patient comes in with symptoms that suggest the flu, the first step is to attain an accurate diagnosis. The flu presents in a similar manner to many other illnesses, some of which are very serious. Once a diagnosis has been reached, a common initial treatment is to administer IV fluids if the patient has become severely dehydrated. Antiviral drugs might also be given as well as a range of medications to help soothe the symptoms and relieve the patient’s discomfort.
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