Medicine and Treatment for Flu in Murfreesboro, TN

I’m Dr. Helton.

I started practicing medicine in the year 2000, and over the past 19 years have treated and served over 15,000 patients. I’m the current president of the Middle Tennessee chapter of Family Physicians, an Executive board member of the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians and Chairman of St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital Family Medicine Department.

Helton Family Medicine, a Murfreesboro family doctor’s office, helps individuals who are struggling with Flu find immediate treatment. Located in Murfreesboro, TN, Helton Family Medicine is a local leader in Influenza virus prevention and treatment.

Influenza is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs. Influenza is commonly called the flu, but it’s not the same as stomach “flu” viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting. Commonly known as “Flu” which is caused by viruses pass through the air and enter your body through your nose or mouth. Between 5% and 20% of people in the U.S. get the flu each year. The flu can be serious or even deadly for elderly people, newborn babies, and people with certain chronic illnesses.

Flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

For most people, influenza resolves on its own. But sometimes, influenza and its complications can be deadly. People at higher risk of developing flu complications include:

 
  • Young children under age 5, and especially those under 2 years
  • Adults older than age 65
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • Pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • People who have chronic illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease and diabetes
  • People who are very obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher

Usually, you’ll need nothing more than bed rest and plenty of fluids to treat the flu. But in some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza). If taken soon after you notice symptoms, these drugs may shorten your illness by a day or so and help prevent serious complications.

Oseltamivir is an oral medication. Zanamivir is inhaled through a device similar to an asthma inhaler and shouldn’t be used by anyone with respiratory problems, such as asthma and lung disease.

Antiviral medication side effects may include nausea and vomiting. These side effects may be lessened if the drug is taken with food. Oseltamivir has also been associated with delirium and self-harm behaviors in teenagers.

Some strains of influenza have become resistant to amantadine and rimantadine (Flumadine), which are older antiviral drugs.

More reasons to see the doctor for a cough include:

  • Productive cough with mucus that is yellow, green, or tan lasting more than a week, or is accompanied by a fever.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Short of breath and wheezing.
  • Night sweats or fevers at night.
  • Whooping cough symptoms, including constant coughing and making a whooping sound when trying to breathe, especially in children under 1 year old. 
  • A cough lasting more than three weeks.
  • A child with a cough and fever over 102 F
  • Croup in children
  • Infant that is coughing for more than a few hours