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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Are high fever, dry cough and chills symptoms of influenza?

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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2849 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 20 Jul 2018 in Infections
Question: Possible my 28-yo son may have influenza. oral temp spiked 103.4. He had a dry cough yesterday evening and chills. Home today early from work.
Brought it down at the moment to 100.9 oral with Tylenol, cool liquids and compresses. Lungs clear on auscultation. He is very alert, headache ranges mild to moderate.

He is contracting for a company and does not have insurance. Anything else I can do at home?

Sir, I'm a hospice nurse. Medical terms are great; much clearer for me. Thank you for your time.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 22 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

As you are speculating, I agree that there is a good chance this is influenza.

I have a few concerns to consider though:
1. Anytime there is a high fever and headache, there is the chance that the underlying problem is meningitis. The chances are that this is flu, but keep an eye out for pain with flexion of the neck or worsening headache or neurological symptoms.

2. If he is a smoker or has an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, immune problems, or asthma, there is increased risk of developing pneumonia. For that he would need to be seen and have a chest X-ray.

3. If his throat is painful (which you didn't mention so I'll assume it isn't) it can be strep for which he will need to go in to be seen (and throat swabbed).

He must increase his fluid intake to compensate for that high fever. And rest. Watch him closely, because while it is rare, I have seen complications from flu such as encephalitis in previously healthy young people. I don't know if he lives with you, but he should have someone stay with him tonight to make sure he does not get worse.

As you know, when cortisol goes down in the evening, fevers and inflammatory symptoms usually worsen.

It's ok if he doesn't feel like eating as long as he keeps up with fluids. Ok for the liquids to have a bit of sugar in them. If he is unable to keep up with drinking, then he will need to go in and get IV fluids.

Take care that you don't get it, by not touching your eyes or nose unless you have just washed your hands and touched nothing else in between.

I hope he is feeling better soon. Watch him closely for any deterioration in symptoms.




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Had to leave for a bit. Thank you for your prompt response. No previous or underlying diseases/disorders. Thankfully, no neuro symptoms and no stiffness of neck (meningitis) symptoms. He does live with us and I will monitor him carefully through the night. Thanks again
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 42 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Hope he is feeling better soon.

Detailed Answer:
Your welcome!

Best regards,
Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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