Every year, about 8% of the American population comes down with the flu. Though common, the flu can be deadly, especially for people with compromised immune systems. At Yager Family Medicine in Chamblee, Georgia, board-certified family practice physician Joshua Yager, MD, regularly diagnoses and treats the flu. He also administers flu shots and provides patient education to help slow the spread. If you or a loved one has the flu, make an appointment by calling the office, requesting one online, or simply walk in during normal business hours.
Influenza, or the flu, is a common viral infection that affects your upper respiratory system. Every year, millions of people all over the world experience the flu. In fact, it’s one of the leading causes of absence from work.
Most people recover quickly using conservative measures of care like rest and drinking plenty of fluids. However, in serious cases, the flu can lead to hospitalization and even death. It’s particularly dangerous for children under the age of 5 and adults who are older than 65. Fortunately, receiving a flu shot each year can significantly lower your risk of serious complications.
The symptoms of the flu vary from person to person and depend on the severity of the infection. In the early stages, you might experience a runny nose, a sore throat, or frequent sneezing. As the infection gets worse, telltale signs include:
You might also experience a stuffy nose and/or chest congestion.
Anyone can catch the flu, but several factors increase your risk of serious complications, including:
You’re also more likely to catch the flu if you work or live in tight corridors or near others. For example, the flu is particularly common in nursing homes, high-rise apartment complexes, and military barracks.
To diagnose the flu, Dr. Yager conducts a physical exam and asks you questions about your symptoms. He also listens to your breathing and heart rate and evaluates you for other similar problems like upper respiratory illness. If necessary, he might also recommend a flu test.
To treat the flu, Dr. Yager usually recommends conservative, at-home measures like getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers. If your symptoms persist or get worse, he might also prescribe an oral antiviral medication like oseltamivir or zanamivir.
For people who aren’t already sick, Dr. Yager recommends preventive measures. You can significantly lower your risk of catching the flu by receiving a flu shot before the start of each new flu season.
If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, request an appointment at Yager Family Medicine by calling the office or walking in during normal business hours today.