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Flu signs

5 Telltale Signs You have the Flu

Think you have the flu or influenza? For some people It can be difficult to tell if it is indeed influenza and not the common cold. Knowing how to identify flu symptoms is crucial in the early treatment and prevention of unwanted flu complications.

 

Individual symptoms vary, but most people infected with the flu virus often have similar complaints. Keep in mind that these signs of influenza are not meant to replace professional advice and it's best to consult your GP if concerned.

1) Fever, Chills and Sweats

Unless you received immunisation against the flu, you'd likely have a high fever accompanied by chills.

Temperatures can suddenly climb up to 38,5C and above in influenza-related fevers.  Chills and sweats rarely occur with a cold, but are very common to experience when you've caught the flu even without developing a fever.

2) Fatigue

Weakness felt in the body is more pronounced in Flu than when you have the common cold, which only lasts for a few days compared to weeks when you've got the flu.

People affected with influenza usually associate tiredness with extreme exhaustion, leaving them unable to get out of bed and lacking the strength to perform daily activities.

3) Severe Headache and Muscular Pains

Muscles and joints around the head, back and legs would generally feel sore. Moving them can make you wince for causing great discomfort and pain.

As if hurting body parts weren't enough, the flu also causes throbbing headaches. No wonder influenza is deemed incapacitating with a pounding head occurring alongside other flu symptoms!

4) Vomiting and Diarrhoea

Not all influenza strains will give you bowel troubles, but some people may experience cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea due to the flu. Children are especially prone to these symptoms.

5) Upper respiratory tract infection symptoms

People sick with the flu may initially exhibit a dry cough, runny nose, and a sore throat.

Congestion when you have the flu is less severe than common cold symptoms. A dry cough that initially subsides, only to return wet or productive could indicate the development of a secondary infection such as pneumonia.

Young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with certain medical conditions have an increased risk of developing flu-related complications.

Flu symptoms can be prevented or reduced with the help of annual flu vaccinations. Though a flu vaccine can't give you the flu, some influenza symptoms may become prominent after getting the flu jab. Speak with your Nurse or doctor prior to receiving your flu shot.

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Aitor is a Registered Nurse (AHPRA registration NMW0001159845) with over 17 years experience in General Nursing, Emergency Nursing and Corporate Health. He loves Flu, works with Flu, studies Flu, writes about Flu and ironically, he’s had the Flu.

He is the Nurse Consultant at Corporate Care and a proud member of the Australian National Padel Team.