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February 08, 2019

You’re Feeling Lousy: How to Tell if it’s the Flu? 

Joyce Knestrick, PhD, CRNP, FAANP

Flu season is in full swing, and even though it’s shaping up to be milder than last year, it’s still widespread, and nine states are experiencing high flu activity. Since flu season can run through May, we’re not out of the woods yet, however. If you feel sickness coming on, here are four signs it’s the flu:

  1. Sudden onset. Colds happen gradually, while the flu can hit you like a ton of bricks.  
  2. A fever. Higher temperatures are usually flu-related.  
  3. Aches and pains. The flu causes more physical discomfort and less sneezing and stuffiness.  
  4. Feeling wiped. Fatigue and weakness are often telltale signs of the flu.   

If you suspect you’re getting the flu, call your nurse practitioner. They can help mitigate symptoms, reduce the duration and in severe cases, avoid serious complications. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot, it’s not too late! A quick immunization can save you from a miserable encounter with the flu and potentially keep you from spreading it to others.