The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. According to the CDC, people who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)
* It is important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death. The flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may experience worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu.
What should I do?
Think you or your child have the flu, but not sure what to do? Here are three steps to fight the flu.
Get a flu shot
Check in with your doctor
Don't have one? Find a doctor near you and make an appointment
Go to the emergency room
If you're experiencing severe flu symptoms, it's important to be seen at an ER right away. See our average ER wait times above. In the event of an emergency, call 911