A Doctor's View of the Flu

Rachel O'Mara, M.D.

Private practice internist on medical staff of
Northwestern Medicine, Chicago, Ill.

Posted on Aug 25, 2022

When someone gets influenza, they can have terrible muscle aches and feel like they've been hit by a truck, is a common thing I've heard patients say.

My name is Dr. Rachel O'Mara. I'm an internist in private practice, associated with Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.

Flu has become a catch-all term, and I've heard lots of people talk about the flu when they mean something like cold symptoms or gastrointestinal symptoms, and not truly influenza.

Most people say they feel like they've been hit by a truck, that they're very fatigued. They move very minimally for several days, and it can keep you out of work or your household duties for 7 to 10 days.

Most patients I see that do get influenza, who have not had their flu shot, the next year are some of the first in line to get the flu vaccine.

I recommend the flu vaccine for almost all of my patients, and I think it's a great idea to get your flu vaccine.


Related Articles


Flu Science

How Flu Spreads

While getting vaccinated is the most effective way of avoiding the flu, understanding how the flu spreads is a big step towards prevention.

Sep 6, 2022
Woman holding child at a sink, washing hands

Flu Prevention

How Can You Prevent the Flu?

Because flu season severity and people's individual reactions to getting the flu are impossible to predict, prevention and treatment are vital.

Sep 2, 2022


Why Does Flu Affect Some People More Than Others?

Certain people may have higher risk factors for influenza complications.

Sep 5, 2022