Dismiss Modal

Cold & Flu

Is it a cold? Is it the flu? At WakeMed MyCare 365, we’ll help you figure it out and provide you with the treatment plan you need to get back to your life.

Find a Location
Schedule a Visit
Woman blowing her nose sitting on a couch with a blanket over her lap.

Influenza (flu)

Influenza (flu) is a viral infection. People often use the term "flu" to describe any kind of mild illness, such as a cold or stomach virus, that has flu-like symptoms. But, the real flu is different. Flu symptoms are usually worse than a cold and last longer. And, unlike a stomach virus, the flu usually does not cause vomiting or diarrhea in adults.

Most flu outbreaks happen in late fall and winter. Since symptoms may not start for a couple of days, you may pass the flu to someone before you know you have it.

Man blowing nose in a issue on a couch with a blanket covering him.

Flu Symptoms

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • Body aches
  • Congestion, runny nose and sneezing
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Dry or productive cough
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, chills and sweating
  • Headache

It usually takes 1 to 4 days for symptoms of the flu to surface after you have been exposed to someone with the virus. The symptoms are usually worse in the first 3 or 4 days. It can take 1 to 2 weeks to fully recover.

Flu Diagnostics

At MyCare 365, our providers will ask you about your symptoms and carefully examine you. If many cases of a similar illness have occurred in the area and the local health department reports a flu outbreak, this evaluation usually provides our care team with enough information to determine if it could be the flu.

If our providers suspect the flu, we may do a blood test or take a sample of fluid from your nose or throat to diagnose the flu and the specific strain.

Flu Treatment

Most people can treat flu symptoms at home. Home treatment includes resting, drinking plenty of fluids and taking a fever-reducer medication. When indicated, our MyCare 365 provider may prescribe medication to make your symptoms milder. 

In rare cases, you may need to go to the hospital for treatment if symptoms are severe or you also contract pneumonia.