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According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the influenza virus is widespread in the Washington, D.C. metro area and much of the country. 

You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:
  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
Because flu symptoms are quite similar to cold symptoms, it's often hard to tell the difference. But there is one clue about flu that can help you know. When you have the flu, you feel flu symptoms sooner than you would cold symptoms, and they come on with much greater intensity.

If you think you have the flu you should contact your doctor, who can help you decide if antiviral medication is an option for you. Antiviral medications for the flu work best when taken within 48 hours of onset of symptoms. 

In addition to possible antiviral medication, your doctor can help guide you to appropriate treatments that can help relieve common flu symptoms such as fever, aches, and cough.

It is important to note that antibiotics do not work against the flu. Antibiotics are medications that fight infections caused by bacteria, but the flu is caused by a virus.

Also, if you have not received your flu vaccine -- it is not too late. The flu season often lasts through May. The Foxhall Internists Immunization Clinic has vaccine available and no appointment is necessary. For more information, please call (202) 362-4467.


Our physicians and staff are often called upon by the media to provide expert advice on important health issues.