Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Influenza / The Flu

From your initial flu diagnosis throughout your treatment and care, you will have questions about your influenza. Listed in this patient education guide are questions to discuss with your doctor so you can make informed decisions about your condition.

Questions About My Diagnosis

      • How can I distinguish between a cold and the flu?
      • How long will my symptoms last? When will I feel better?
      • How long will I be contagious?
      • How do I know if this is Swine flu or a different type?
      • How do I know if the flu is progressing to pneumonia or a secondary infection?

Questions About My Treatment

      • Do antibiotics treat the flu?
      • What drugs will help relieve the flu symptoms?
      • Are there vitamins or supplements that treat the flu or hasten recovery?
      • Are cold medications effective for the flu?
      • Can a flu shot get rid of the flu?


Questions About My Lifestyle & Family

    • What can I do to prevent my children or family from catching the flu?
    • What should I eat and drink? What liquids or food should I avoid?
    • When can I return to work?
    • Would a vaporizer or humidifier help?
    • Should my spouse sleep in a different room?
    • Will smoking prolong the flu or make it worse?
    • Is the flu shot safe in pregnancy? Can the flu harm my pregnancy?


Written by Barbara Hales, MD