Already on edge from a global pandemic? Time to add flu season into the mix. While some have suggested that the use of masks, gallons of hand sanitizer, and an abundance of caution might make for a less intense flu season, medical professionals are urging people to stay vigilant, get the flu shot, and stay home if they’re feeling unwell.
“If someone has fever, muscle pain, fatigue along with a cough, runny nose, and/or sore throat, there is a high likelihood that he or she has the flu,” says Dr. Amin Seyedkazemi, an Internal Medicine physician with Dignity Health Medical Group in Stockton.
Those with chronic lung diseases or compromised immune systems (like children under two, the elderly, or people on immunosuppressants) are more likely to have complications, but most people will recover from the flu within two weeks.
According to Dr. Seyedkazemi, once you develop symptoms, the best plan of action is to contact your primary healthcare provider or visit a clinic or urgent care as soon as possible. Antiviral treatments (like Tamiflu) are most effective within one to two days of the onset of symptoms. But she insists that the most important thing is to prevent getting the flu in the first place by getting vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available. “Even though it is not 100 percent effective, it still can decrease the severity and duration of flu,” Dr. Seyedkazemi insists.