What are the Symptoms of a Flu?

Sick woman lying in bed looking at thermometer and touching her head in pain from the flu or a fever.

The flu affects thousands of people around the world. Approximately 3 to 11% of people will contract the flu in the United States each year.  

The flu, or influenza, is a highly contagious virus that spreads from person to person by droplets in the air caused by an infected person coughing and sneezing. It can also be contracted from direct contact with someone infected or, in rare instances, by touching items that have the flu droplets on them. 

It is most common in the winter months and often causes you to feel lousier than a typical cold. According to the CDC, children are at the highest risk of contracting the flu.

Symptoms range in severity for everyone, but, in most cases, they subside within 5 days.  They can last for 1 to 2 weeks or longer in rare instances. It is essential to understand the difference between flu symptoms and other viruses and infections, like a common cold or COVID-19. Read the most common symptoms of the flu below. 

Symptoms of a flu

There are many different symptoms that you may experience if you contract the flu. They include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches
  • Muscle soreness and body aches 
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, which are most common in children

In most instances, the onset of the flu is abrupt, causing you to feel sick quickly. Although high fever and body aches are the most common symptoms of the flu, not everyone will experience these symptoms.

It is important to stay home and take it easy if you believe you may have the flu. In most mild to moderate cases, adequate hydration, increased rest, and over-the-counter medications will help alleviate the symptoms. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to reduce the severity and shorten the length of symptoms. 

People at higher risk of flu complications

Most people allow their bodies to fight the flu virus on their own at home without requiring medical treatment. Various people may be at higher risk of complications from the flu, including: 

  • Adults 65 and older
  • Young children
  • Pregnant women, including up to two weeks postpartum
  • People with disabilities
  • Those with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS or kidney disease. 

When to visit Amory Urgent Care

If symptoms do not improve or worsen as the days progress, you should visit Amory Urgent Care today, especially if you are in a higher risk group. 

In some cases, persistent symptoms from the flu can lead to secondary infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis. 

It is important to be seen immediately if you experience:

  • Persistent or severe fever
  • Painful swallowing
  • Persistent or severe cough
  • Persistent or severe congestion or headache

Visit Amory Urgent Care to get the treatment you need for persistent symptoms. Our skilled specialists have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating the flu. We welcome walk-in appointments 7 days a week to help you feel better sooner.