Our expert says:
There are various viruses that can cause a flu- like illness and because it won't make any difference in the way it needs to be treated, we usually do not send (expensive) virology tests to the lab to determine which virus is causing the illness. (Unless we suspect that it could be swine flu in a high risk patient)So most doctors will describe a flu-like illness (fever, sore body, watery runny nose, sore throat) as viremia. The body's immune system usually fights virus infections, antibiotics do not help for viral infections. However, patients can get a secondary bacterial infection on top of a virus infection - this is when you start coughing up yellow or green phlegm, or develop pneumonia or tonsillitis. Then you would need an antibiotic. So if your husband is short of breath, feverish, coughing up yellow phlegm or have sore sinuses with yellow or green discharge he may need to see his doctor again for antibiotics.
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