What is Flu(Influenza)?

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza virus. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions like asthma and diabetes are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. The flu shot does an excellent job of preventing severe illness from the flu.

Signs and symptoms of influenza include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, body aches, headaches, and fatigue.

What You Can Do At Home

Treatment for influenza consists mainly of comfort care. Stay home, rest, and drink plenty of fluids. Use over the counter medicines like acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever, aches, and pains. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is a prescription medicine that can reduce flu symptoms if started very early in the illness. It has a number of side effects, and we can discuss whether this option is right for your child in the office.

When To Call Your Pediatrician

Call our office for an appointment if your child has symptoms of influenza. We can test for the flu in our office.

When To Go To The Emergency Room

If your child has labored breathing, they should be seen in the emergency room right away.

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