Another flu season has arrived and many people are wondering how to protect themselves and their loved ones from this sometimes deadly disease. While preparatory measures like the flu vaccine, routine hand washing, and other protective measures are certainly helpful, there is no certain way to avoid this extremely contagious virus.
The good news is that if you are diagnosed and treated early enough, antiviral medications can help minimize symptoms and shorten the duration of your sickness. But many flu symptoms may not seem serious at the outset, and may even be overlooked entirely.
A Simple Lack of Energy
As the days get shorter and the weather turns colder, it’s common for people to feel more tired. These normal seasonal changes can disrupt circadian rhythms and even lead to a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or simply autumn fatigue.
SAD is a real disorder that affects on 10-20% of the population. Its symptoms include tiredness, low energy, difficulty concentrating, and feelings of sluggishness. So it’s no wonder that a lack of energy, which can be an early warning sign for flu, is often dismissed as just a normal part of the season.
But a lack of energy or a general fatigue this time of year is not always related to SAD. In fact, it can be an early warning sign for the flu. Additional early warning signs for flu include aches, chills, sore throat, cough, and fever. If your fatigue is accompanied by any of these other symptoms, you may be suffering from the flu. If your fatigue or tiredness has come on suddenly and is felt to an excessive degree, it is unlikely to be SAD, and a flu test might be a good idea.
What to Do?
What should you do if you suspect your fatigue might actually be the flu? First, listen to what your body is telling you. Go to bed early, take some time off work or school, and allow yourself to get some rest. In order to keep from spreading the flu to others, it’s a good idea to stay home if possible.
The good news is, you can get medical treatment without contaminating others by calling DispatchHealth for a medical house call. Simply put, they travel so the flu doesn’t. They’ll send a team of ER-trained professionals to your home, ready to diagnose your symptoms with a rapid infectious disease test. It’s a quick way to get a definitive answer as to whether your fatigue is from the flu or just a cold or SAD.
If you do turn out to have the flu, they can prescribe antiviral medications to help you get better sooner and they can also give you advice on how to spot potential complications before they become a serious health crisis.
But what if it’s not flu? DispatchHealth’s team can also treat all sorts of seasonal maladies, as well as minor injuries and ongoing health concerns. From dehydration to a sprained ankle, they’ve got the knowledge and ability to help you get better, faster, and all from the comfort of home. Plus, DispatchHealth is partnered with most major insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, and handles billing directly with those companies. In fact, a visit with DispatchHealth typically costs 80-90 percent less than the average emergency room visit.
So the next time you’re feeling a bit off, whether it’s because of the flu or some other affliction, call in the experts from DispatchHealth and get on your way back to health without leaving home.