- Amelia Colley, M.D., FAAP
- Philip Dawson, M.D., FAAP
- Scott Iwashyna, M.D., FAAP
9606 Patterson Ave., Richmond, VA 23229
(804) 740-6171 office | (804) 741-3105 Fax
Influenza is a viral infection of the upper respiratory system. Influenza occurs every year, usually in the winter months, and also occurs in epidemics every 3 or 4 years. The main symptoms are a stuffy nose, sore throat, a nagging cough, and muscle aches. There is usually fever and headache as well. For most people, influenza is just a “bad cold” that doesn’t require bed rest, though fatigue can sometimes be overwhelming for a day or two.
Therapy is often very simple. Acetominophen or ibuprophen every 4 to 6 hours is helpful for aches and pains and high fever (Children should not take aspirin because it may cause Reye’s syndrome). Drinking plenty of fluids is very important and will usually make the patient feel better. One’s appetite for solid food will often decrease and that is fine for a day or two. Saline nasal sprays or drops are also helpful for nasal congestion.
There are medications that don’t cure but can lessen the symptoms of flu. These medications work best if they are started within the first 48 hours. If you think you have the flu, call our office for an appointment.
Symptoms will last three or four days, though often it can be longer. Our office needs to be contacted if any symptoms become more severe (worsening cough, no appetite, lethargy, not urinating, specific pain like an ear ache) or if the fever is persistently high or lasts longer than four days. Also call if you have any other questions.