Influenza is a common contagious illness, but there is a new vaccination available each autumn for several strains of this viral infection.
- Painful joints
- Sore throat
- Sinus congestion
- Runny nose
- Aching muscles
Most individuals can recover from influenza naturally in approximately 10 days, but it is possible to have a complication from this infection. For senior citizens and infants, influenza is particularly dangerous, leading to complications such as pneumonia or bronchitis that can require hospitalization.
If you have a heart or lung condition that makes it dangerous to have illnesses such as influenza, then getting a test for the disease as quickly as possible can reduce your chances of having a complication. To learn if you have influenza, you can visit an urgent care center where a physician can perform rapid influenza diagnostic tests. These tests are completed in approximately 15 minutes by finding the antigens that are creating an immune response in your body. A physician will collect the mucus from your nose to test it for signs of the antigens. There are also viral culture tests for influenza that can take as long as 10 days for a result, but these aren’t as useful for a beginning effective treatment for the illness.
When you believe that you or a child has influenza, it is vital to have the rapid influenza diagnostic test during the first three to four days of the illness to begin a treatment plan. A physician won’t prescribe antibiotics when you only have influenza, but if you have another condition with the illness, including strep throat or tonsillitis, then these medications are essential for these infections.
A physician can prescribe anti-viral medications for influenza, and studies reveal that early treatment with these drugs can shorten the amount of time that you are sick by one to two days. You should begin treatment with these types of medications during the first two days of your illness, and by taking these drugs as soon as possible, you can prevent some of the dangerous complications that can lead to hospitalization.
If you have any symptoms of influenza it is imperative that you see a medical professional right away to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan started. Come into WellCare Urgent Care today to learn more about influenza tests. You can book an immediate appointment online at our Cascade and Leonard offices.