Understanding Flu Symptoms
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory infection. While there are several different types of flu viruses that can cause infection, all types of flu have similar symptoms. It is important to become familiar with flu symptoms since early detection will help you to decrease how long the infection lasts.
Common flu symptoms include:
- Fever (100°F or higher)
- Sore throat and/or cough
- Muscle aches
- Runny or stuffy nose
Understanding flu symptoms will help you to decrease how long the infection lasts
People often confuse the onset of seasonal influenza (the flu) with signs of the common cold. While flu-like symptoms may occur with the common cold, one way to tell the difference is that flu symptoms generally come on quite suddenly. If you have the flu, you may experience sudden onset of fever, aching muscles, and fatigue. Cold symptoms tend to occur gradually.
The “Stomach Flu” Vs. the Flu
While children with the common flu frequently experience nausea
vomiting and/or diarrhea, these symptoms are not generally associated with the flu among adults. These symptoms are more commonly connected with the “stomach flu,” which is an infection that is unrelated to influenza. Popularly known as stomach flu, this type of illness is more accurately termed gastroenteritis.
What Are the Flu Symptoms in Children?
Toddler flu symptoms may be confused with other respiratory infections such as bronchitis, croup, or pneumonia. The first symptoms of flu in infants include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and irritability. Infants are more susceptible of severe flu complications which is why the Center for Disease Control recommends that children receive a flu vaccine at age 6 months and every year afterwards.
Symptoms of flu in older children include fevers up to 104°F, headaches, muscle aches, chills, dry cough, and sore throat. Belly pain and vomiting are also common among children. Early flu symptoms typically last for three to four days. However, symptoms of flu such as fatigue and coughing may last for up to two weeks after onset of the illness.
Flu Symptoms in Older Adults
People 84 and older are at the highest risk when it comes to the flu. Individuals 74 and older are the age group at second highest risk for complications with the flu. At third highest risk are children aged 4 and younger.
The flu symptoms to be aware of in older adults include fever, headache, fatigue, aches and pains, and chest discomfort. These are common symptoms in elderly individuals. Extreme exhaustion is a flu symptom that usually occurs at the start of the illness. Although nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea may occur in older adults with the common flu, these are more common swine flu symptoms. Seniors with flu should watch out for complications such as dehydration, pneumonia, and the deterioration of existing conditions such as emphysema, heart disease, and asthma.
Detecting Flu and Early Symptoms
The treatment of flu symptoms will be far easier if caught early on. The duration of flu symptoms and the spread of influenza can be decreased dramatically through early detection and appropriate treatment