Symptoms of the flu, a contagious respiratory illness, include fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough. Oftentimes a sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and chills are also present. Though the term “flu” is commonly used to describe illnesses that cause nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea, these symptoms are rarely associated with the flu, except in young children. Also, the flu can start to spread even before symptoms appear – and five to seven days after symptoms present.
The flu can be quite serious in those with lung conditions (like COPD), compromised immune systems, the elderly and the very young. Anyone who experiences what they believe to be flu symptoms should see a physician immediately to determine if an flu antiviral should be prescribed to help lesson or shorten the effects of an impending bout with the flu.
Those who experience difficulty breathing, purple or blue lips, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, severe vomiting, or sudden dizziness should seek immediate emergency medical attention.
Talk to your doctor about getting a flu shot – especially if you are higher risk at developing complications from the flu.