Influenza A – When to See a Doc?

This 2022 Cold and Flu season really kicked off with a bang! Some of the worst viruses in a while seem to be making their way around the general population. When it comes to colds and the flu, it can be really hard to decipher what type of virus you are suffering from, and when your symptoms warrant a visit to your doctor. In some cases, your symptoms may definitely warrant a visit, but you may be to afraid to go to the doctor because either you don’t have health insurance, or you don’t have an insurance coverage that will cover the visit you need, or you have a coverage plan that carries too high of a co-pay cost or deductible. Some employers require a note from the doctor if you miss work for illness – forcing you into the visit. Whatever the case, you definitely want to make sure you have the best and most affordable health insurance plan that’s suited to your specific needs. That’s where Sean comes in. By now, you’ve probably seen it all over my website and have figured it out – I’m THE INSURANCE GUY. So if your lack of insurance or inadequate insurance is weighing more on your decision to see a doc or not then your actual health symptoms and needs – it’s definitely time to get a hold of me for some no-obligation information. Let’s chat – in the meantime, let me talk about this flu that’s making its way around:

“The Flu” is the shortened and common name for Influenza. There are many different strains of the influenza virus. The one that seems to be taking the US by storm this cold and flu season is a “sub strain” of the Influenza A virus. Typically if you go to a doctors office with cold and flu symptoms right now, they will run semi-rapid tests for Influenza, Covid, and RSV. Those are the 3 harshest viruses currently circulating. Unfortunately there is not really a “cure” for any of these viruses – but there are medications out there that can help to minimize the symptoms or shorten the time you experience symptoms. So going to the doctor with your symptoms does have purpose. Also, with all 3 of these viruses – some people may experience extreme or even life threatening symptoms. Especially if you are immunocompromised or you have an infant or toddler that is getting hit hard with symptoms, it is important they be checked and monitored by medical professionals. Again, don’t let your insurance or lack there of be the reason you don’t get the proper care you need and deserve for you and your family. Sean’s got information and can help you get an affordable insurance right for you as an individual, or whatever your family situation may be.

What are the Symptoms of Influenza-A?

You will likely notice as you read these symptoms that there definitely is an overlap of symptoms with the flu and Covid. Getting tested by a medical professional is the only way to for sure know if you indeed have influenza-A or something else. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Congestion
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of Appetite

Symptoms typically arise 1-4 days after exposure, and can last for 7-10 days. The flu also tends to come on a lot more rapidly, whereas common colds or Covid in a lot of cases progresses a bit more slowly. Again, it is impossible to truly tell the difference without getting tested.

When Should you go see a Doctor for the Flu?

In some cases, extreme symptoms can occur. If you experience any of the following, it is highly recommended you seek medical attention:

  • Difficulty Breathing (especially if you have labored breathing while at rest)
  • Severe Chest Pain
  • Severe Cough
  • Blue Lips or Face
  • Confusion or Faintness
  • Signs of Dehydration

Even if your symptoms aren’t those of the more extreme cases, getting tested and knowing for sure what virus you are working through will help you to know how to best treat your illness.

What can a Doctor do for you when you have the Flu?

IF you are diagnosed with the flu in the earlier stages (typically within the first 2 days of symptoms), your doctor may be able to prescribe an antiviral medication such as Tamiflu in order to try to reduce the severity of symptoms and shorten the duration of the symptoms. But there is no cure – and antiviral medications do not necessarily work for everyone. A medical professional could better determine if you’re a good candidate and explain the options for treatment based on your individual circumstances. In some instances you doctor may recommend a steroid injection to boost your immune system in the effort to decrease your risk of developing secondary infections (such as pneumonia and the like). Basically, if you are not feeling well – a medical health professional is your best bet to get the best recommendations and treatment options. 

I am not a Doctor, I’m just The Insurance Guy. If you’re ready to chat about insurance options and get more information – contact me today.