Think of the flu as a mountain lion and a cold as a house cat. At first, the flu mimics the common cold with a sore throat, runny nose and sneezing. The difference is the flu comes on fast, hits hard and lasts longer—one to two weeks—while a cold is generally slower to show and more mild. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of the flu include:

  • Aching muscles, especially in your back, arms and legs

  • Chills and sweats

  • Headache

  • Dry Cough

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Nasal congestion

Get Care Early to Lessen Severity

The CDC recommends that people who are showing signs of the flu see their doctor for one of two antiviral drugs—Tamiflu and Relenza. When received within a day or two they can reduce the length and severity of the flu.

Watch Babies and Young Children Closely

The flu traditionally hits the very young and the very old the hardest. It’s important to do what you can to protect your young children against its effects. If your child is exhibiting symptoms, see your doctor. Also, consider a flu shot—the CDC recommends the vaccine for babies 6 months and older.

Since babies can’t blow their own noses, they need help clearing their airways during bouts of colds and flu. That’s where the TMH Suction Clinic comes in. The clinic is open 24/7 and parents can bring their child up to 4 times a day for a week with a single prescription from their doctor. TMH respiratory therapists use a nasopharyngeal suction machine to suck out secretions. Therapists also evaluate your child’s respiratory rate and oxygen saturation. Patients check in at the ED main desk. Cost is $128 per visit.

“Signs that your baby is having difficulty breathing include an inability to suck a bottle, rapid breathing, noisy breathing, wheezing and retracting or pulling in underneath their rib cage while breathing. If you see these signs your baby needs to be evaluated,” states a provider with TMH Medical Clinic.

Flu Treatment Available at TMH

The TMH Medical Clinic offers care for the flu. The flu shot, mist and block are available, along with Tamiflu or Relenza through your doctor. If you think you are coming down with the flu, don’t hesitate to come in. Walk-in hours make it convenient from Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. If you can’t make it until after work, call for an evening appointment Monday through Thursday from 5 – 7 pm.