According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza is a contagious respiratory illness with symptoms including: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, and possibly vomiting and diarrhea. Coming down with this illness means a call or trip to a healthcare provider is sometimes necessary.
Your provider will evaluate your risk factors and determine whether or not a test is necessary to rule out or confirm a diagnosis of influenza or another virus. The optimal time to test is within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. When known influenza virus is heavily circulating in a community the test may not be needed to treat symptoms. Resting at home with plenty of fluids may be the best medicine.
Some key ways to prevent this illness is to get vaccinated for seasonal influenza, cover your cough and sneeze, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, clean your hands often, stay home if you feel sick, and although hard to do sometimes, avoid close contact when someone is ill.