Early testing for influenza symptoms critical this flu season

As flu season picks up steam across the country, it’s important for people to be tested very early after symptoms that are compatible with influenza start, since there are effective treatments that can limit severe, life-threatening disease and curtail transmission to others.

That advice comes from Paul Skolnik, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine, Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and an infectious diseases specialist.

“The same drugs used to treat influenza can also be used to prevent influenza in those who have been significantly exposed to family members or others diagnosed with influenza, which is another reason that early testing and evaluation by a physician is especially important this year,” said Skolnik.

This year’s flu vaccine is only partially effective, since the main strain of influenza circulating now, H3N2, is not represented in this year’s vaccine. Still, it’s not too late in the season to consider getting vaccinated.

“We recommend that everyone get an influenza vaccination, including at the current time, since it does provide important protection for H1N1 influenza strains that are also causing illness now which can be severe or life-threatening.”

Based on the Virginia Department of Health weekly influenza activity report, flu activity in the Commonwealth is listed as widespread, based on data the week ending January 6, 2018.  That indicates outbreaks of influenza and laboratory-confirmed influenza exist in at least half the regions of the state.

Books from AFP

2018-19 UVA Basketball Preview: Just $1.99 on Amazon!

UVA Basketball finished the 2017-18 season ranked at the top of the national polls. Augusta Free Press editor Chris Graham offers his insight and analysis on the 2018-19 'Hoos, breaking down the roster, the legacy of coach Tony Bennett, and how the loss to UMBC could fuel a run through March Madness next spring.

The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever: Just $3.49 on Amazon!

Chris Graham offers a glimpse behind the curtain of the pro wrestling business in his new book, The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, the inside story of the 2011 Night of Legends, a live pay-per-view event featuring stars including WWE Hall of Famers Kevin Nash, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and The Rock 'n Roll Express that was met with almost universally negative reviews.

Mad About U: History of University Hall available on Amazon for just $5.99!

Mad About U: Four Decades of at University Hall is a comprehensive book covering the players, coaches and memories of University Hall at the University of Virginia. Join us as we look back at the memories from more than 40 years in U Hall.


News From Around the Web


Shop Google



Comment