Flu & Cold

Comprehensive Pulmonary

Pulmonologist located in Bakersfield, CA

When you have a runny or stuffy nose, fever, and nausea, it can be difficult to determine if your symptoms are from a common cough and cold or a more serious influenza (flu) infection. Triple board-certified pulmonologist Alpha J. Anders, MD, FCCP, at Comprehensive Pulmonary Care in Bakersfield, California, is an expert at diagnosing and treating coughs, colds, and the flu. If you or a loved one experience flu symptoms and are at a high risk for complications, call the office or schedule an appointment online today for prompt treatment.

Flu & Cold Q & A

What is the flu?

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious infection that attacks your respiratory system, or nose, throat, and lungs. The flu is caused by viruses that spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The viruses that cause the flu are constantly changing. That’s why it’s so important to get a flu vaccine every year.

Who is at greatest risk of flu complications?

Most of the time, the flu resolves on its own within two weeks. However, sometimes people develop serious complications of the flu such as pneumonia. Certain groups are at increased risk of developing flu complications, including:

  • Children younger than 5
  • Adults older than 65
  • Pregnant women and those up to two weeks postpartum
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Residents of nursing care facilities
  • People with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease

Pneumonia is the most serious complication of the flu. It can even become life-threatening for older adults and people with chronic health problems.

If you or a loved one is at high risk of flu complications, schedule an appointment at Comprehensive Pulmonary Care at the first signs of the flu.

How can I tell the difference between a cold and the flu?

At first, the flu may seem like a common cough or cold. Though these illnesses share many of the same symptoms, such as a runny nose and sore throat, the flu is more severe and may come on more suddenly.

Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Chills and sweats
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Headaches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat

Fever is another common symptom of the flu, but rarely seen in common colds. However, not everyone who has the flu develops a fever.

How is the flu diagnosed and treated?

First, Dr. Anders performs a physical exam and carefully reviews your symptoms and medical history. If he suspects you have the flu, he may take a swab sample from your nose or throat to confirm the diagnosis.

Then, he recommends the best treatment for your particular needs.

Treatment for the flu includes getting lots of rest drinking plenty of water or warm soups and taking antiviral medication.  But more importantly for many evaluating and providing prevention for flues and pneumonia, but also assisting them when these conditions do occur and adversely affect other conditions.

To find out if your cold is really the flu, call Comprehensive Pulmonary Care or schedule an appointment online today.

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