Can the Flu be Asymptomatic?
Most people have either had flu or have known someone who has had flu. In fact, it is estimated that 3 to 11% of the total U.S. population gets sick with flu every year. Many people are familiar with the aches, pains and other symptoms that commonly accompany this illness. However, did you know that one out of every three individuals with seasonal flu infections may be asymptomatic? This is thought to be caused by pre-existing partial immunity. Certain individuals have immune systems that shed the virus and transmit the disease, but not at the same rate as patients who go on to develop symptoms. The way that certain people’s immune systems handle flu may allow them to fight the disease without displaying typical flu symptoms.
Because it is still possible for asymptomatic individuals to transmit flu, it is always important to take precautions and practice good hygiene. Cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water. Do your best to avoid touching your face when your hands have not just been washed.
Symptoms of Flu
Of course, if one out of every three cases of flu is thought to be asymptomatic, that still means that about two-thirds of all flu patients experience symptoms. It is important to recognize symptoms of flu so that prompt medical attention can be received when symptoms appear. The sooner that treatment is received, the shorter and less severe the illness will be. Common symptoms of flu may include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
Not everyone with flu will experience all of these symptoms. Most commonly, a person may have two or three or these symptoms most prominently. It is important for individuals who are displaying flu symptoms to isolate themselves from others to prevent the spread of this illness. Most people are contagious with the flu beginning one day before the onset of symptoms, and up to seven days after symptoms appear.
Flu Treatment at Tufts Medical Center Community Care
If you suspect you have flu and would like to receive prompt treatment at a time that is convenient for you, turn to Tufts Medical Center Community Care. We are a multispecialty medical group made up of world-class physicians who provide patients with highly individualized care. Our primary care physicians and family medicine specialists commonly treat flu patients and will be able to assess your symptoms and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.
We have many locations throughout the north suburban Boston area, and offer weekend and evening appointments for your convenience. Our centers feature better-than-average wait times, so you will be able to quickly get the care you need to return to your busy life. We also offer telemedicine services when appropriate.
If you are displaying symptoms of flu, don’t wait. Contact Tufts Medical Center Community Care today to schedule an appointment for flu treatment. We serve patients throughout the north suburban Boston area and accept most health insurance plans.