Flu and COVID-19 are currently active in our community. Beth Casady, DO, family medicine physician with CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates – Spring City, discusses the importance of appropriate testing for quickly addressing these conditions that often have overlapping symptoms.
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an airborne, viral illness that occurs when droplets are spread through the air as an infected individual coughs, sneezes or talks. Flu can spread from up to six feet away, and in some cases is transferred from surfaces as well. The symptoms of the flu can be severe – including headache, body ache, fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Left untreated, the flu can last between three and seven days, but the elderly and those with lung disease may experience symptoms for greater than two weeks.
Because of the current situation with COVID-19, it’s nearly impossible for someone to tell the difference between coronavirus and the flu. That’s why it’s so important to come in for testing to determine if you have the flu, COVID or another bacterial infection. If you have the flu, there are specific medications like Tamiflu or Xofluza that stop the replication of the virus. This helps to lessen symptoms and shorten the duration of your illness overall.
It's also helpful for your physician to know if you’ve tested positive for COVID and on what date – particularly if your breathing worsens. For appropriate patients, monoclonal antibody infusions may help lessen symptoms.
I strongly recommend that people not tough it out when it comes to illnesses like these. If you’ve had symptoms for more than two days, it’s time to see your doctor. In addition to video visits, our practice makes it very easy for people to access testing for the flu and COVID. From the comfort of your car, we can have a diagnosis in a matter of minutes.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Casady, call (424)365-2171. Same day appointments and video visits are available. CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates – Spring City is located at 225 Clinton Avenue, Spring City, TN 37381. The practice is open Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Learn more at CHI Memorial Medical Group.