Do I have flu Symptoms?
Feb 10, 2016
The most common influenza symptoms are:
- Fever (often high)
- Severe cough
- Muscle aches and pains
- Sore throat
- Children’s symptoms may also include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Do I have the flu or a common cold?
Many people believe they have the flu when it’s actually the less severe common cold. Flu symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, headache and muscular pain – if you don’t have the high fever but you are suffering from the others you are likely to be experiencing an unpleasant cold, rather than the flu. It’s common for Australian adults to contract a nasty cold two or three times a year, children get far more colds than adults.
Complications from the flu
Serious complications can result from the flu virus for high risk groups. The elderly, young children, pregnant women and people with underlying medical conditions run a greater risk of developing complications as a result of the influenza virus.
Some of the issues that can arise from influenza include secondary bacterial pneumonia, primary influenza viral pneumonia and inflammation in the brain and heart. By having the flu vaccine each year these people in high risk categories are limiting their risk of complications.
Spread of the influenza virus
Without your yearly flu shot, your immune system might struggle to effectively fight off the newest flu virus of the season. In Australia, the peak of the flu season usually occurs within a six to eight week period during winter and spring but can start early.
Minor changes in the nature of the flu virus have the capacity to cause an Influenza epidemic. Influenza A has the greatest potential to cause an epidemic. During a flu epidemic a great number of the population become susceptible to infection which in turn further spreads the virus. Immunisation from the flu is the best method to reduce the number of flu infections and resulting deaths. If you are unsure, and think you might have symptoms of the flu contact your doctor, especially if you or close contacts are in the high risk category.