What Are the 5 Symptoms of the Flu?

March 10, 2022
Picture of a sick woman sitting on a couch under a blanket.

Influenza is very common—especially during fall and winter—but it can still be difficult to know whether you have the flu, a cold, or another type of illness. Here are five symptoms that might suggest you have the flu:

  1. Fever – While it’s rare for the common cold to cause a fever (and when it does, the fever tends to be mild), the flu often produces a fever that lasts about three to four days. This fever can reach temperatures above 100° F and is often accompanied by chills.
  2. Coughing – Coughing and chest discomfort can be caused by both a cold and the flu. However, these symptoms occur more frequently with the flu and also tend to be more severe. Notably, the flu often produces a dry cough (one that isn’t accompanied by mucus), while the common cold tends to produce a wet cough.
  3. Achiness – Many people experience slight aches and pains when they have a cold. However, the achiness associated with the flu tends to be much more severe. This might include both a headache and body aches.
  4. Fatigue – Exhaustion is another symptom that’s much more common with the flu than it is with the common cold. This feeling of tiredness and weakness can last for days or even weeks.
  5. Nasal congestion – Nasal congestion and sneezing, as well as the sore throat caused by a post-nasal drip, tend to occur more commonly with colds than they do with the flu. However, it’s still possible for the flu to cause these symptoms, so don’t assume that you only have a cold just because you’re experiencing a stuffy nose.

Bonus: Vomiting & Diarrhea

In some cases, the flu can also lead to vomiting and diarrhea. We didn’t include this in our list above because it’s not as common as the other five symptoms, and tends to primarily affect children.

Where to Go for Flu Treatment

It’s important to not delay seeking care for flu symptoms. While antiviral medications such as Tamiflu are often a great option for treating the flu, they’re most effective when taken within two days after the onset of symptoms. Plus, the sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can start feeling better.

Luckily, if you’re experiencing the symptoms listed above, you can turn to PhysicianOne Urgent Care for flu diagnosis and treatment. We’re a trusted immediate care provider that’s been in operation since 2008, and we’re proud to treat patients across Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York (click here to find out if we have a location near you). We’re open every day of the year with extended hours, and flu treatment is always available on a walk-in basis (although we also offer an online check-in option for patients who want to reserve their spot in line). Plus, if you don’t feel up to attending an in-person visit, we also offer virtual visits.

Stop into PhysicianOne Urgent Care today, or call us at 860-650-3848 if you have any questions.

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