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Flu Signs and Symptoms
Child sick in bed

Symptoms of influenza

Symptoms of influenza include: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, headache, nausea, chills and fatigue.

When to seek medical care

Most people will recover completely on their own after a week or so of illness and don’t need to see a doctor. In other cases, though, it might be necessary to seek medical care.

People who have severe flu symptoms or have an underlying medical condition that puts them at high risk for flu complications should contact a healthcare provider, who will determine whether treatment is needed.

If you are directed to see a health care provider, ask if the facility has any special procedures for flu sufferers who visit.

People who become ill and experience any of the following warning signs should call 911 or go to an emergency room. 

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing;
  • Bluish or gray skin color;
  • Not drinking enough fluids;
  • Severe or persistent vomiting;
  • Not waking up or not interacting;
  • So irritable that the child does not want to be held;
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough;
  • Fever with a rash.

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath;
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen;
  • Sudden dizziness;
  • Confusion;
  • Severe or persistent vomiting;
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and cough.

People with these severe symptoms should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

No health insurance?

Those who wish to see a doctor about their flu symptoms, but don’t have health insurance or a regular doctor, should call SafeNet at 211 for referral to a nearby, low-cost clinic.