If you worry about having flu, let’s check initial symptoms.

In case influenza is suspected, first of all, let’s check about what kind of symptoms is seen. The typical early symptoms are listed below:

  • High fever of over 38 degrees
  • Strong fatigue and/or chill
  • Muscle pain, joint pain
  • Severe headache

If these symptoms are rapidly appearing, the influenza infection should be highly suspected. In case of having had vaccination, some cases may only have light symptoms so that people may mistake it for a cold. But, in case of a cold, symptoms develop slowly, and get complicated with runny nose or nasal congestion and throat pain etc. When you notice initial symptoms above during influenza seasons, strongly suspect influenza and take appropriate actions such as avoiding unnecessary outings and visiting a hospital and so on.

When is the timing for visiting a hospital?

When influenza is suspected, the most appropriate timing of visiting a hospital is between 12 hours through 48 hours after from the initial symptoms. There are two big reasons for it. One is for to make an accurate testing for diagnosis. “Quick antigen detection test kit” is usually used for influenza testing, but if the number of viruses in the body is small, it could be difficult to detect viruses. In order to test correctly, the preferable condition is made when viruses are well multiplied to some extent, that’s why the testing after 12 hours from the onset is recommended. The second reason is for effectively administrating antiviral medicine. “Tamiflu” and other antiviral medicines are to prevent the viral multiplication and ease painful symptoms like a high fever, joint pains, etc. However, it is thought difficult to expect enough effects unless those medicines are administered within 48 hours from the onset. From the reasons mentioned above, it is recommended to visit a hospital after 12 hours and within 48 hours from the onset of influenza. Should symptoms be very grave, don’t hesitate but promptly get the check-up at a hospital.

What kinds of testing and treatment at hospital are done?

Department to visit

When you have initial symptoms of influenza, you should Svisit the department of internal medicine. There, the causes of symptoms are established, and testing, the prescription of medication and expedient treatment etc. are done. As the result of diagnosis, other appropriate department will be also introduced depending on necessities, such as for having asthma, to go to respiratory medicine, for having complication of middle ear infection and/or severe throat swelling, to go to the department of otolaryngology, and etc. And recently, some hospitals have “Fever illness department”, specially prepared for patients having fever, preventing healthcare-acquired infection. If you visit such hospital, please visit this department in order to avoid infection to other patients there.

In case you have regularly seen your doctor for the treatment of chronic illness or being pregnant, it is recommended to see your primary doctor. And for children, visit a pediatrician.