Is it really flu?

June 18, 2019

One for my antipodean clinician friends!


As the flu season in Australia kicks into action far earlier and more aggressively than anything that has been seen for years (a real worry for the UK, because if the same pattern occurs in the Northern Hemisphere autumn then flu activity will be high before the vaccine season is properly underway - especially if there are any delays obtaining vaccine like we had last year*) - a reminder that not all that first appears to be flu, is flu, even when it seems like everyone around you probably does have flu! 


The "availability bias" of flu as a plausible diagnosis can be a real problem in the height of the flu season. This infographic was compiled in the winter of 2017/18 from a Twitter thread of clinicians sharing their "I-nearly-missed-the-diagnosis" tales of a mistaken flu diagnosis or near-miss. 


*don't even get me started on the horrors that may face us if we try to face a flu epidemic in the midst of trying to deal with Brexit. 




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