The flu, a mild to severe illness, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. Learn more about the symptoms of the flu here.
It comes on suddenly and can knock you for a loop. It’s stronger than a cold, and you feel terrible. When it knocks you down, you know what you have: the flu.
Symptoms of the flu
- Feeling the chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body and muscle aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea
Some people with one or most of these symptoms may not experience a fever. The good news is that recovery is usually between a few days to less than two weeks.
In most people the flu tends to be mild, and they do not need medical care, instead treating their symptoms at home. The flu can be dangerous, however, in high risk groups, including people over 65, pregnant women, and children younger than 5.
Sometimes symptoms of the flu may need to be treated with antiviral drugs early on in the illness.
How does the flu virus spread?
Flu viruses spread when droplets from infected people cough, sneeze, or talk. If these droplets land in your mouth or nose, you can catch the virus. You can also catch the flu by touching a surface with the flu virus on it and then by touching your mouth, eyes, nose, or face.
December 06, 2017
Janet O’Dell, RN