Flu symptoms can resemble cold symptoms, but are often more severe. Unlike a cold, which commonly begins with a sore throat and develops into congestion and a runny nose, flu symptoms can come on suddenly. You might feel fine in the morning and very ill a few hours later.
Flu symptoms include:
You can have flu without having a fever.
Most people who get the flu do not need special treatment. If you are at risk for complications from flu, or if your symptoms are severe, a doctor might prescribe an antiviral drug. Antiviral drugs can shorten the duration of your illness and help prevent complications. These drugs are most effective if they are taken within the first 48 hours after symptoms appear. If you think you have the flu and are at risk for complications, see a doctor right away.
The flu virus is transmitted in droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. You can pick up the virus by inhaling these droplets, or by handling a contaminated object, such as a phone, and then touching your eye, mouth, or nose.
Flu spreads easily in the classroom and the workplace. Teach your children to wash their hands before handling food or touching their faces. Keep tissues and disinfectant wipes handy.
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DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is not intended to replace the advice of a physician. It is information that is generally available. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.