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Misdiagnosis of Flu-like symptoms

Flu-like symptoms: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of the flu is generally made from information obtained by taking a thorough health history, including symptoms, and performing a physical exam. This information is correlated with local flu conditions, such as if there is an outbreak in the area and the types of symptoms that are being seen locally. Although testing is available to help detect the flu, it is not always accurate and cannot distinguish between various types of flu.

Misdiagnosing the flu is possible because the symptoms of the flu can mimic other diseases, such as strep throat, pneumonia, and upper respiratory infection. To ensure the symptoms are due to the flu and not other diseases, some tests may be done, such as a throat culture and sensitivity test to test for strep throat. Other tests may include a chest X-ray to check for pneumonia and blood culture and sensitivity testing to check for bacteremia.

Flu-like symptoms: Related Misdiagnoses

Sinusitis is overdiagnosed: There is a tendency to give a diagnosis of sinusitis, when the condition is really a harmless complication of another infection, such as a common cold.

Whooping cough often undiagnosed: Although most children in the Western world have been immunized against whooping cough (also called "pertussis"), this protection wears off after about 15 years. Thus, any teen or adult with a persistent cough may actually have whooping cough. This is particularly dangerous for babies too young to be vaccinated, and any un-vaccinated children. Whooping cough can be fatal to an infant. The cough symptoms of whooping cough is usually productive initially, but then becomes a persistent dry cough, lasting up to 100 days. Elderly grandparents may also be a reservoir of undiagnosed whooping cough.

Chronic lung diseases hard to diagnose: Some of the chronic lung diseases are difficult to diagnose. Even the well-knowns conditions such as asthma or lung cancer often fail to be diagnosed early. Some of the chronic lung diseases with diagnostic difficulties include asthma (perhaps surprisingly), COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, mesothelioma, smoker's cough, AIDS-related respiratory conditions (see AIDS), chronic pneumonia, and other respiratory diseases. Rare possibilities include diseases like psittacosis (bird-related lung infection). See other types of chronic lung diseases.

Flu-like symptoms: Possibly Deadly Misdiagnoses

Some of the causes, which may potentially be dangerous or fatal if left undiagnosed, may include:

More about Misdiagnosis

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Flu-like symptoms:

The following list of conditions have 'Flu-like symptoms' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Flu-like symptoms or choose View All.

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