What to Look For
Flu season is in full swing, and preparation is your key to staying healthy. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, the flu can still strike. If it does, early detection and appropriate responses are essential to treating this draining bug. One problem: How do you know if you actually have the flu?
“There are many infections that could present [themselves] like the flu,” Sherif Mossad, M.D., staff physician in Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Infectious Disease, told weather.com. “Many things in their early stage can be mistaken for the flu, but there are other factors that need to be accounted.”
Dr. Mossad said the only way to know for certain if your sickness is the flu is through a flu test, but there are some identifiable signs that could mean you need to see a doctor, and some signs that you likely don’t have the flu.
“Some [similar conditions] occur in the summer, which is an atypical time for influenza to occur in the Northern Hemisphere,” he said. “In late summer, flu has not circulated yet. Usually it starts in younger people, in schools, in early-mid fall until April… with the peak coming in late December to late January.”
Time of year and the corresponding weather conditions are just some of the many ways to distinguish between the flu and other conditions. Click through for some easy tips to identify a cold and the flu.