Some local doctors tell us they’re already seeing flu cases. And now some patients are starting to come in with a virus that appears to be the flu, but isn’t.
It’s a virus that’s lasting several days.
Dr. Debra Wagoner says here’s how you can tell if you have the flu: It comes with a high fever, body aches, joint pain and sore throat that can last a week to ten days.
She says her office at Family & Internal Medicine Simpsonville hasn’t had any flu cases yet but that their pediatrician practice has.
“The flu is just so much more intense,” said Dr. Wagoner. “Sometimes if they have a GI bug and they get nausea and vomiting, they may think they have the flu, but that’s not. The flu is typically a respiratory infection and not gastrointestinal.”
If you’re not sure what you have, doctors say go ahead and schedule a checkup as soon as possible so you can get the right treatment started.
If it is the flu, you’ll need an antiviral like Tamiflu.
“If you can catch it within the first 48 hours of having the symptoms then we have a treatment that will shorten the course a little bit so that’s why it is good to get it diagnosed early,” said Dr. Wagoner.
If you don’t have the flu, doctors can help determine if it’s a viral or bacterial virus.
Wagoner says for viral infections like a cold, over-the-counter treatments are best. If it’s bacterial, antibiotics will work.
Doctors are also still pushing for everyone to get the flu vaccine. You can get one for free at two upcoming flu clinics through the Greenville Health System.
•Thursday, October 15, 2015 – 7:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m., at Greer Memorial Hospital
•Thursday, October 22, 2015 – 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., at Hillcrest Memorial Hospital (drive-thru clinic)