Can you make the diagnosis?

Robert is looking forward to the weekend after a busy workweek.  But on Friday afternoon, he starts to feel chilled.  He puts on a sweater, but as the day progresses he feels weak and tired, then starts feeling hot.

Finally he takes his temperature, and is surprised to see that it is 102 degrees.  That night he becomes congested and starts coughing.  He feels sore everywhere and his muscles are aching.

What does Robert have?

  1.  Pneumonia
  2. The flu
  3. A cold
  4. A sinus infection



If you guessed 2.  The flu, you are correct!

Every year 200,000 people in the United States will contract the flu.  About 30,000 people die from the flu a year in the United States, which is about the same number that die from motor vehicle accidents.

If someone who has the flu sneezes on a table or hard surface, the virus can live between 2-8 hours.

Getting the flu shot reduces your chance of getting the flu by 50-60%.  And you can’t get the flu from the flu shot!

The flu can actually lead to pneumonia, but typically pneumonia occurs later in the course of a virus.  Pneumonia can cause symptoms such as fever,  productive cough and shortness of breath.  A cold is a possibility, but typically has less severe symptoms then the flu, and causes nasal congestion and sneezing.  A sinus infection can also occur after a virus or flu, and is typically associated with sinus and post-nasal drainage and facial pain.


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