Confusing the flu with other infections

VIDEO: Confusing the flu with other infections

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Doctors here in the Lowcountry have had their hands full this season treating flu patients, but that is not the only thing that is getting people sick.

"There are a lot of influenza like illnesses. They can mimic the flu. So you'll have people who come in with fatigue, fever chill and body aches that are somewhat flu like but they will test negative for the flu," said  Doctor Radwan Hallaba with Med Care Urgent Care.

Doctors say during the winter months, many people come down with strep throat, upper respiratory and sinus infections along with winter allergies. The symptoms may seem like you have the flu.

"When people really get the flu, they know almost to a certain hour and all of the wheels fall off," Hallaba said.

"I had a 101 fever. It was a bunch of hot and cold feelings, a bunch of sneezing and coughing. I just felt like I got hit by a train and I couldn't move," said Brittanie Hammond, a Charleston resident.

"Last year the flu almost killed me. I was hospitalized," said Joe Hudson, a West Ashley resident.

Some folks say they thought they had the flu, but it turned out to be something else.

"I thought it was the flu at first. I was getting the flu symptoms, but after I went to the doctor, he said I didn't have the flu and I have allergy and sinus," said Diane Brown, of Charleston.

"That's usually just mold, dust mite and sometimes pet related debris as well," Hallaba said.

Doctors also say some people may test negative for the flu even though their symptoms are really bad. In that case they will check back in with the patient 12 hours later and see if they need to be tested again.

"It's important not to guess. Especially with this stuff," Hudson said.

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