Flu symptom guide

What does the flu feel like?

Cold and flu symptoms can be confusing and it’s not always easy to know what you have – or when to seek care. When you have the flu, it often comes on with a bang and knocks you off your feet. Learn how to spot the signs of the flu with this handy checklist.


Frequently asked questions

Is the flu contagious?

The flu is a viral infection – and very contagious. It’s really important to stay home when you are sick in order to prevent spread of illness to your friends, family, and coworkers. A good rule of thumb is to stay home from work or school for at least 24 hours after your fever has gone away without the use of fever reducing medication such as Tylenol or ibuprofen.

When is it best to be seen in-person for the flu?

Most people with flu-like symptoms can be treated from home. The following groups and those with symptoms noted below should be seen in-person:

  • Children younger than 2 years old
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain or pressure in your chest
  • Sudden dizziness or confusion
  • Severe vomiting

Are there medicines to treat the flu?

Many people experiencing flu symptoms will recover on their own without the need for prescription medications. For others, including those is high risk groups, anti-viral medications like Tamiflu® may help to shorten and reduce flu symptoms.

Are antibiotics effective against the flu?

No. Antibiotics are designed to treat bacterial infections. Influenza and most other seasonal cold and crud illnesses are caused by viruses. It’s important to use antibiotics only when they’re necessary, because bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotics over time. You can help keep antibiotics effective by not taking them to treat the flu or other viral infections.

What do I get with my treatment plan?

Treatment plans include your diagnosis and recommended medications, including prescriptions. You’ll pick up and pay for any prescriptions at your pharmacy, just like a typical clinic visit. We’ll also outline what you can expect while following your treatment plan and future prevention tips. Plus, any follow-up care related to the visit are included, free of charge.

What if I'm not feeling better?

If your treatment plan isn't working for you, follow-up care and any adjustments related to your initial visit are included at no charge. Simply select Help in your treatment plan to Request a Follow-up with a nurse practitioner.

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