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First Aid/very bad cold or possible flu


Hello Marcus. I'm 22 years old. Since about 3 days ago I've been experiencing flu-like symptoms. I think I caught it from a family member. My symptoms are sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, feeling weak or low on energy, loss of ability to taste or smell anything and also a high temperature. I've been taking cold medicine, sore throat lozenges and paracetamol tablets. It seems a lot worse than colds I've had in the past. Do you think I should see a dr or just try to ride it out?

Hello Rob,

Sorry to hear you've been sick. Yes, especially in the US (and maybe other countries?) the flu have been especially hard hitting. if you can see your doctor early (within a couple days) Tamiflu is an option:

You're probably beyond that window. The best thing you can do is stay home, get lots of rest, lots of fluids. Watch for worsening bronchitis/ pneumonia. I think the average course of the most prevalent flue(s) are around 5-7 days.

Good luck, get better soon.


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Marcus LaBarbera


I am available to answer most questions related to: first aid, pre- hospital medicine, EMT and Paramedic questions, medical transport, critical care transport, ICU/CCU care, sedation, and medicine in general.


I have worked as a NYS Paramedic since 1993 for both community based ambulance companies and large commercial agencies. I Have experience as bike team commander, and shift supervisor for a commercial ambulance. As a member of the Disaster team I was deployed to Louisiana for 20 days following hurricane Katrina. I worked along side the county Haz-Mat team as a "Tox-Medic" with advanced training in treating injuries from chemical agents. Besides my experience on the on the ambulance I have worked in a number of hospital based offices including dialysis and a sleep lab.

I started my EMS career as a NYS CFR (Certified First Responder)in 1989, an EMT in 1991, a Paramedic since 1993, and a CCU transport paramedic since 2005. I currently hold certification as a: NYS Paramedic, Critical Care Transport Paramedic, ACLS/CPR/PALS certified. Advanced Haz-Mat Life Support certified (AHLS). In the past I have taught CPR and ACLS to my coworkers and the local community.

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