What are the symptoms of the flu?

Tarak C. Reddy, MD
Internal Medicine
In this video, Tarak Reddy, MD from StoneSprings Hospital Center discusses the symptoms of the flu.
In this video, a doctor names the common symptoms of the flu (also known as influenza). Part of an interview series with Brian Hanrahan, MD from Johnston-Willis Hospital.
Leila Koleiny, DO
Family Medicine
Symptoms of flu usually include:
  • fever over 101 degrees F
  • severe cough
  • sore throat
  • body aches 
See your doctor within 48 hours of your symptoms starting. Your doctor may be able to prescribe antiviral medication to ease your symptoms and help them go away sooner.
HCA Midwest Health
Administration
The symptoms of the flu for adults include:
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • chills
  • mild or severe body aches
  • cough
  • fever
  • diarrhea or vomiting
  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness or confusion
  • severe headache
  • a return and worsening of symptoms after they've improved
For children, symptoms of the flu include:
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • chills
  • mild or severe body aches
  • cough
  • fever
  • diarrhea or vomiting
  • fever with rash
  • fast or labored breathing
  • unable to eat
  • no tears when crying
  • not drinking enough fluids
  • not waking up or not interacting
  • excessively irritable or doesn't want to be held
  • bluish skin color
  • significantly fewer wet diapers than normal
  • a return and worsening of symptoms after they've improved
Chad Kurzynske, MD
Internal Medicine
Symptoms of the flu include:
  • fever
  • chills
  • muscle aches
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • a general unwell feeling called malaise
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
HealthyWomen
Administration
Symptoms of the flu include muscle and joint pain, high fever, a deep cough, chills, fatigue and weakness. These symptoms usually send you straight to bed for three to five days or longer. Afterward, cough and tiredness may persist for days or even weeks. Other symptoms include headache, eye pain and sometimes a stuffy nose and sore throat. Some strains of the flu also produce vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms usually come on suddenly once you've been exposed to the virus.
UCLA Health
Administration
While influenza and the common cold are both caused by respiratory viruses, flu symptoms are significantly more severe. Although both illnesses can produce runny or stuffy noses and coughs, flu symptoms often also include high fevers (over 102º F), body aches, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea.
Scripps Health
Administration
For most adults, the influenza virus means a week or so of fever, sore throat, cough, headache and body aches. But for children, the flu can have much more serious consequences, such as ear infections, dehydration, pneumonia or death.
Chances are if you have the flu you feel some or all of these symptoms:
  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  •  Cough
  •  Sore throat
  •  Runny or stuffy nose
  •  Muscle or body aches
  •  Headaches
  •  Fatigue or weakness
Some with the flu may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. Keep in mind, you may still have the flu even if you don't have a fever. You may be able to spread the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
Intermountain Healthcare
Administration
Influenza ("the flu" for short) is a common respiratory infection caused by a virus. Flu symptoms include:
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches and/or headache
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
Joel H. Fuhrman, MD
Family Medicine
Symptoms of the flu include:
  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion are also common.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, are more common in children.
  • Severe headaches and muscle aches usually differentiate the flu from other viral illnesses and colds.
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In Super Immunity, world-renowned health expert and New York Times bestselling author of Eat to Live Dr. Joel Fuhrman offers a nutritional guide to help you live longer, stronger, and disease...
Symptoms of influenza can include:
  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea.
People may be infected with the flu and have some symptoms without a fever.

The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.
Symptoms of influenza (flu) can include:
  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea.
People may be infected with the flu, including 2009 H1N1 flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.
Influenza, better known as the flu, can cause the following symptoms:
  • fever
  • fatigue
  • headaches and body aches
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • stuffed-up nose
Vomiting and diarrhea are possible symptoms of the flu, too, though they're more common in children. The symptoms of the flu can come on very quickly.

The symptoms of influenza (flu) include a high fever, often over 103 for children; cough; chills; and muscle aches. People with influenza may also experience fatigue, low appetite, headaches, and nasal symptoms such as a runny nose or congestion. In children, influenza can produce digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Continue Learning about Cold and Flu

Cold and Flu

Cold and Flu

Colds and flu are both viral infections, but have different symptoms. With a cold you will have symptoms such as a runny nose or a sore throat. Flu symptoms come on suddenly and may include fever, body aches or vomiting. While the...

re is no cure for either, there are treatments -- chicken soup, nasal sprays, rest -- which can help your feel better.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.