Is It Flu, Or Flu-Like? The Distinction Issues

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JAN. four, 2018 — We’re in the course of flu season, so should you get sick and head to the physician for assist, you would possibly assume you might have the flu.

However what in case your physician as a substitute diagnoses you with “flu-like sickness?”

It may be a complicated time period. So WebMD talked with some specialists to interrupt down the distinction between the 2 diagnoses and what it means for you.

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What’s the distinction between the flu and flu-like sickness?

The flu is “a contagious respiratory sickness brought on by influenza viruses that infect the nostril, throat, and generally the lungs,” the CDC says. It says signs embody some or all the following:

“Influenza-like sickness,” additionally known as “flu-like sickness,” is a extra wide-ranging class. The CDC says that with flu-like sickness, you might have a fever of a minimum of 100 F and a cough or sore throat, however the reason for the signs isn’t recognized.

How can docs inform you probably have flu or flu-like sickness?

The flu is recognized from a swab take a look at of your nostril or throat. flu-like sickness is a medical prognosis, which means it doesn’t contain an official take a look at. A health care provider merely decides by inspecting you.

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Flu-like sickness might be the prognosis when docs aren’t certain what virus is at play since indicators and signs of unhealthy colds and a number of other different respiratory viruses might be troublesome to differentiate from the flu.

“Flu-like sickness can embody different respiratory viruses that might make folks really feel that approach — frequent chilly viruses, RSV, parainfluenza, even rhinovirus — the commonest reason behind the frequent chilly,” says Angela Campbell, MD, a medical officer within the CDC’s Flu Division in Atlanta. “All may cause signs much like the flu.”

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