Symptoms of flu

Influenza (disorder), Flu, Grippe,Influenza with other manifestations (disorder), Influenza with non-respiratory manifestation (disorder), Influenza with other manifestations, influenza with non-respiratory manifestation, Influenza with other manifestations NOS (disorder), flu,Flu,

The symptoms of flu usually develop within one to three days of becoming infected. Most people will feel better within a week.

However, you may have a lingering cough and still feel very tired for a further couple of weeks.

Main symptoms

Flu can give you any of the following symptoms:

Is it flu or a cold?

It can sometimes be difficult to tell if you have flu or just a  cold, as the symptoms can be quite similar. The main differences are:

Flu symptoms:

  • come on quickly
  • usually includefever and aching muscles
  • make you feel too unwell tocontinueyour usual activities

Cold symptoms:

  • come ongradually
  • mainly affect your nose and throat
  • are fairly mild, so you can still get around and are usually well enough to go to work

When to visit your GP

If you are otherwise fit and healthy, there's usually no need tovisit your GPif youhave flu-like symptoms.

You should just rest at home until you feel better, while keeping warm, drinking plenty of water and taking painkillers if necessary.

Consider visiting your GP if:

  • you're 65 years of age or over
  • you're pregnant
  • you have a long-term medical conditionsuch as  diabetes , heart disease, lung disease,  kidney disease or aneurological disease
  • you have a weakened immune systemfor example, because you're having  chemotherapy orhave HIV
  • you develop  chest pain , shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or start coughing up blood
  • yoursymptoms are getting worse over time or haven't improved after a week

In these situations, you may need extra treatment to prevent or treat complications of flu .

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 4 Jan 2017