Influenza is a common infection that spreads easily. It is more often called the flu. The illness can range from mild to severe. It can be fatal in some. There are three types of flu: Type A, Type B, and less common Type C.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and past health. A physical exam may be done. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms.
The doctor may take samples from the nose or throat for testing but it is rare.
Most can clear the virus on their own. Treatment can help to ease symptoms. The flu usually lasts 7 to 10 days. A cough or tiredness may last longer. People with severe symptoms or problems may be treated in the hospital.
Treatment options are:
Home care—such as rest and drinking plenty of fluids
Symptom treatment with over-the-counter medicine, such as:
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen—to reduce pain and fever
Decongestants—to ease stuffiness
Antihistamines— to ease a runny nose, or itchy and watery eyes
Antiviral medicines—for severe symptoms or people at risk for them
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