Is It Flu Or Something Else

Along with New Year celebrations, January brings a warning that this is one of the most active months for the flu. With the CDC announcing that the flu has reached epidermic levels, Doctors want to raise awareness about the difference between the flu and a “stomach bug” so people know when it’s time to see the doctor and when they can take care of their symptoms at home.

One of the biggest myths about the flu is that is causes vomiting. But the flu is actually a highly contagious respiratory disease and vomiting is NOT on the list of flu symptoms. Doctors have been seeing several different stomach bugs (gastroenteritis) go around which are contagious infections of the stomach and intestines.

Symptoms of the flu:

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • chills
  • runny nose
  • fatigue

*The biggest danger of the flu is that it wears your body’s ability to fight OTHER infections that you may get while you have the flu, such as pneumonia. Sometimes these infections can cause death.

Symptoms of the “stomach bug:” (gastroenteritis)

  • nausea
  • vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • possible fever

*Most people recover completely. Stomach bugs can be serious for infants and the elderly who are unable to drink enough fluids to replace what they lose through vomiting and/or diarrhea.

According to the CDC, flu activity is “high” in nearly half the country. And, the past 32 flu seasons have shown that February is the most active month for the flu, followed by December and then January. I’m happy to set up interviews with our local AFC/Doctors Express physicians so they can help your audience prepare for two of the worst flu months of the year.

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