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Cold & Flu

Signs That Indicate You Probably Have the Flu

Winter is approaching, and winter is often referred to as the flu season. For people like the elderly, the flu can be serious, but you don’t have to be a senior to have a serious case of the flu. Since this illness can be mistaken for a cold, it is important that you know the warning signs of the flu, and it is important that you seek medical attention if you think you have it. These are the symptoms you should be aware of:

A Fever

When you have the flu, you usually have a fever. You may also have the chills. If you don’t have a fever, you probably have a cold, not the flu.

A Headache

A headache is a symptom of the flu. The degree of the headache may vary from one person to the next. A flu headache is typically intense, however.

Nasal Congestion and Throat Soreness

The flu will sometimes make your nose feel stuffy. You may find it hard to breathe through your nose. When you have the flu, you may find it difficult to swallow because your throat is sore.

Body Pain

When you have the flu, it’s not unusual to experience intense body pain. It’s common to feel pain in your muscles when the flu strikes. If the pain you are experiencing is minor, you probably just have a cold. 

Unusual Tiredness

It’s common to feel weak and tired when you have the flu. When you have it, you may feel a total loss of energy. It’s possible to feel fatigued from a cold, but feeling weak is often a flu symptom.

Coughing and Sneezing

Coughing is a sign of the flu. The cough associated with the flu may be more than minor. Another symptom is congestion in the chest that may be uncomfortable. Sneezing can be another sign.

Since the season for the flu starts in December and lasts through March, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends that you get a flu shot no later than October 31. People who are 50 years of age and older are encouraged to get the shot on a yearly basis. If you suspect you have the flu, don’t hesitate to see a doctor. Sometimes the flu can lead to pneumonia, and sometimes pneumonia can lead to death.

References:

cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/coldflu.htm

cdc.gov/flu/consumer/symptoms.htm nia.nih.gov/health/all-about-flu-and-how-prevent-it

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