Flu vaccines at Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic offers flu shots in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

Learn more about how to get your flu shot at Mayo Clinic

Your health care provider will conduct a physical exam, look for signs and symptoms of flu, and possibly order a test that detects influenza viruses.

During times when flu is widespread, you may not need to be tested for it. Your health care provider may diagnose you based on your symptoms.

In some cases, your health care provider may suggest that you be tested for influenza. Your provider may use many tests to diagnose flu. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is becoming more common in many hospitals and labs. This test may be done while you're in your health care provider's office or in the hospital. PCR testing is more sensitive than other tests and may be able to identify the influenza strain.

It's possible to have a test to diagnose both flu and COVID-19. You may have both COVID-19 and influenza at the same time.


Usually, you'll need nothing more than rest and plenty of fluids to treat the flu. But if you have a severe infection or are at higher risk of complications, your health care provider may prescribe an antiviral medication to treat the flu. These drugs can include oseltamivir (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza), peramivir (Rapivab) or baloxavir (Xofluza). These medications may shorten your illness by a day or so and help prevent serious complications.

Oseltamivir is a medicine taken by mouth. Zanamivir is inhaled through a device similar to an asthma inhaler. It shouldn't be used by anyone with certain chronic respiratory problems, such as asthma and lung disease.

Antiviral medication side effects may include nausea and vomiting. These side effects may be lessened if the medication is taken with food.

Lifestyle and home remedies

If you do come down with the flu, these measures may help ease your symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of liquids. Choose water, juice and warm soups to prevent dehydration.
  • Rest. Get more sleep to help your immune system fight infection. You may need to change your activity level, depending on your symptoms.
  • Consider pain relievers. Use acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), to combat the achiness associated with influenza. Children and teens recovering from flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin because of the risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal condition.

To help control the spread of influenza in your community, stay home and keep sick children home until the fever has been gone for 24 hours. Avoid being around other people until you're feeling better, unless you're getting medical care. If you do need to leave your home and get medical care, wear a face mask. Wash your hands often.

Oct. 15, 2022
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