The Difference Between the Flu & Vaping-Related Illness

Flu season is underway, and some patients are experiencing additional complications: illnesses deriving from the use of vape pens and e-cigarettes are diagnosed every day, with over 800 confirmed cases in the United States. Some of these sudden-onset illnesses share symptoms with the flu, leading to misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment. If you regularly vape or use e-cigarettes and begin to feel ill, visit AFC Urgent Care Southcenter for diagnosis and treatment. 

Symptoms of the Flu

The influenza virus is in season from late September through late May, reaching epidemic status between January and March. Symptoms include fever, chills, body aches, nausea, persistent coughing and chest congestion. You may also experience runny or stuffed nose and fatigue. Symptoms may vary from case to case. The virus is highly contagious, and you may be able to spread it before you even know you’re sick. From contraction through treatment can last about ten to twelve days, with symptoms beginning between one to four days into the illness. 

Symptoms of Vaping-Related Respiratory Illness

The illness stemming from vaping doesn’t have a name yet. If you vape, any new respiratory symptom should be met with a visit to AFC Urgent Care Southcenter for examination. More serious symptoms should be brought directly to the emergency room. Signs that something is not right within your respiratory system include: 

  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Tightness in chest
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

Some patients have also complained of stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, which can be mistaken for flu symptoms as well. This makes getting a proper diagnosis difficult: while not every flu case will have every symptom, the overlap can make it difficult to determine the right care. 

What Should I Do If I Might Have the Flu or Illness from Vaping?

if you begin to develop new symptoms, especially affecting your respiratory system, it is critical to visit a doctor immediately for a diagnosis. If you begin to experience chest tightness or shortness of breath, you should visit your local emergency room immediately. A cough or wheezing can be checked at urgent care prior to an emergency room visit. We will be able to take diagnostic films to see if we can detect any irregularities and provide treatment if possible. In order to narrow down the possibilities, you should make sure you get a flu shot especially if you vape in order to prevent the virus. 

General Illness Treatment in Southcenter, Kent, Renton, SeaTac & Tukwilla, WA

If you begin to get sick, visit AFC Urgent Care Southcenter! We are open seven days a week and offer convenient evening and weekend hours to fit your schedule. Most major insurances plans are accepted. Call 425-970-8117 with any questions!