Influenza season is here, know the warning signs

Posted at 7:01 PM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-23 19:01:35-05

Influenza is starting to go around Mid-Michigan. Doctors want to make sure you know the warning signs so you can get treatment as soon as possible.

Dr. Dennis Perry at McLaren Greater Lansing Primary Care says symptoms include a fever of 101 degrees or more that lasts for as long as three days. The flu also causes intense body aches, fatigue, sore throat, cough, headache and chills. The common cold has some of the same symptoms but the fever is usually lower and the pain less severe.

The worst part of the flu is the first three days. Symptoms tend to clear up on their own after 7 to 10 days but the coughing and fatigue can last more than two weeks. You can treat it with anti-viral drugs, if you see a doctor within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Drink plenty of fluids and take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for the fever and pain.

Doctors say this year's flu shot is a good match for the most-common strain of influenza. They recommend anyone who has not been vaccinated yet, get a shot.

Influenza is not the same as "stomach flu," which is a common term used for gastroenteritis. They're caused by two different viruses.