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Do you have the Flu?
Do You Have the Flu?

November 26, 2019

Flu Symptoms

Influenza (flu) can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • fever* or feeling feverish/chills

  • cough

  • sore throat

  • runny or stuffy nose

  • muscle or body aches

  • headaches

  • fatigue (tiredness)

  • some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

 Antivirals work best if began 48 hours after flu-like symptoms are present.


Do You Need to Go To The Emergency Room? 

No. The emergency room should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill.


If you have the emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should go to the emergency room. If you get sick with flu symptoms and are at high risk of flu complications or you are concerned about your illness, call your health care provider for advice. If you go to the emergency room and you are not sick with the flu, you may catch it from people who do have it.



What are the emergency warning signs of flu?

People experiencing these warning signs should obtain medical care right away.

In children:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing

  • Bluish lips or face

  • Ribs pulling in with each breath

  • Chest pain

  • Severe muscle pain (child refuses to walk)

  • Dehydration (no urine for 8 hours, dry mouth, no tears when crying)

  • Not alert or interacting when awake

  • Seizures

  • Fever above 104°F

  • In children less than 12 weeks, any fever

  • Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen

  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions

In adults:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen

  • Persistent dizziness, confusion, inability to arouse

  • Seizures

  • Not urinating

  • Severe muscle pain

  • Severe weakness or unsteadiness

  • Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen

  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions

These lists are not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.