Question

Cold and Flu

How does the flu affect the body?

A Answers (3)

  • AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    Flu, also called influenza, typically causes fever and/or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue. Sometimes the flu also causes vomiting and diarrhea, but this is more common in children than in adults.
  • Usually, the first effect of influenza (flu) on the body is a fever with chills and muscle aches. You may also have a feeling of general weakness, fatigue, and a headache. Remember, influenza is caused by a group of viruses that infect the respiratory system. As a result, effects on the body often focus on the throat, nose, and lungs. The nose may become congested or runny, the throat may become sore, and a cough may move from dry to wet as the virus runs its course. Sometimes influenza may lead to pneumonia, which can be serious.

  • AHealthwise answered

    Influenza (flu) usually comes on suddenly. In many cases people can pinpoint the hour when symptoms started. Symptoms develop 1 to 4 days after you are infected, and they include:

    • Fever, which lasts for about 3 days. Fever is usually slightly lower on the 2nd and 3rd days but may last up to 8 days.
    • Cough, runny nose and sore throat, which become more noticeable as fever and other symptoms decrease. These symptoms usually last 3 to 4 days after the fever goes down. A dry, hacking cough may linger for up to 10 days after other symptoms are gone.

    Complete recovery may take 1 to 2 weeks or longer. Fatigue and weakness can last for several weeks.

    Complications of influenza may develop in anyone, but they are much more likely in older adults and people who have other health problems, especially heart and lung diseases.

    © Healthwise, Incorporated.

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How does the flu infect the body?