How is the Flu Tested and Treated?

man on the couch with the cold or flu

Do you know how the flu is tested and treated? MainStreet Family Care is here to educate you on all things flu testing, treatment, and prevention.

Influenza Variants

There are several influenza viruses that affect millions of people each year. 

The two most common flu viruses are Type A and Type B, however many people are diagnosed with Type C and D. You are at a higher risk of getting the virus during flu season, which typically runs between early October and late March.

Flu Symptoms

Many people mistake flu symptoms with symptoms of the common cold or COVID-19. It is important to know the symptoms so you know when to get flu tested and treated. The symptoms of flu include: 

  • Fever
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills 
  • Body aches

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to get tested for influenza.

Flu Testing

Flu tests come in several forms, but rapid influenza testing is the most popular. This test consists of a health care provider gently swabbing the inside of the nose. Once the nostril is swabbed, it takes fifteen to twenty minutes to get back a test result. 

MainStreet Family Care offers rapid flu testing in our urgent care services

Treating The Flu

Most cases of the flu will heal on their own and do not require antiviral medicine. Some of the best home remedies to help with flu treatment include: 

  • Bed rest
  • Over the counter medications to help reduce fever and pain
  • Lots of fluids
  • Cough medication or cough drops
  • Inhalers 

Although most people can heal from the flu on their own, providers may prescribe antiviral medication. 

Preventing The Spread Of The Flu

The best way to prevent yourself and others around you from getting influenza is to receive your yearly flu vaccine. Additionally, if you are experiencing flu symptoms or have the flu, you can prevent the spread by: 

  • Staying home until symptoms subside
  • Washing your hands
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth
  • Limit your exposure to large groups of people
  • If prescribed antiviral drugs, finish them all to ensure you are no longer contagious

Complications From The Flu

It is increasingly important that anyone with a compromised immune system or health conditions receive their annual flu vaccination. These people are at a high risk for complications from the flu. 

Complications from the flu include: 

  • Ear infections
  • Asthma attacks
  • Sudden fatigue
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia 

If you have previous health conditions, it is important that you get flu tested and treated quickly to avoid these complications. You can find more information about possible complications from the flu from the CDC’s flu FAQ.

Turn To MainStreet Family Care

Are you experiencing flu symptoms? It’s time to get tested and treated! MainStreet Family Care offers these services daily at our urgent care clinics. 

To visit a clinic, register online. Once you register you will be added to the queue and you may wait from your vehicle or at home. 

We accept walk-ins daily, but please be aware that walk-ins may experience longer in-clinic wait times than those who registered online. Walk-ins are added to the same queue as those who registered.