HOUSTON - This flu season has been nasty in Texas.
"It's not as bad as it was last month, but I think we are in the peak season right now, we should be tapering off from what the CDC is saying,” AFC Urgent Care Emergency Nurse Practitioner Annie Robertson said.
But while many patients rush to the clinic for an influenza test, not everybody necessarily has this year's flu.
Adenoviruses have no season, but make their attacks year-round.
”It gives you a lot of the symptoms that the flu virus would give you the body aches, the fever, the cough, the congestion, and even going into a bronchitis in the lungs,” says Robertson.
A lot of the same symptoms, but not the same treatments. Tamiflu will not work.
And before you ask, no antibiotics don't help either unless there's a secondary bacterial infection.
Your immune system should be able to take care of this on its own with the help of over the counter medications; for most people, at least.
”Individuals who have HIV, who are on chemotherapy, are on radiation treatment for cancer, sometimes people who are on biologics, medications like Humera, those are the ones who should be more concerned about it,” Robertson explained.
For those folks, antivirals can be prescribed.
The main telltale sign it's an adenovirus and not the flu? Conjunctivitis. If your eyes are red and gunky in the morning, it may not the flu.
But you should still get to a clinic! If it is the flu, medication can help. And if the test comes back negative, that doesn't mean you're not still sick - and need to stay home away from the rest of us "non-sickies!"