Flu Symptoms in Adults

Do you want to know some common signs and symptoms of flu in adults? Saying yes? Read this post till the end!

Flu, also known as influenza, is a respiratory illness usually caused by influenza viruses (Type A and Type B). Flu may cause mild to severe illness, sometimes resulting in death (if the condition is severe). Do remember that the flu is not cold. It is different from cold. Although both are respiratory illnesses, they are caused by different viruses. 

Flu may come abruptly while the symptoms of cold may come gradually. In cold, the fever is rare, body aches, muscle aches, and headaches are slight while in flu, the aches are usually severe, and the fever may last for three to four days. Adults may get fatigued or weak sometimes in cold, but in flu, weakness and fatigue are usual. 

Flu may come suddenly resulting in mild or severe illness from which people may recover in just a few days or within two weeks. In severe cases, this illness may cause pneumonia and can result in death. Anyone even healthy people can get flu, but some people are at a higher risk of flu, such as people with some chronic medical conditions or people above the age of 65. Today’s post tends to highlight everything that you need to know about flu symptoms and diagnosis in adults. You will get to know what the real early and severe symptoms are along with the people who are at high risk of flu.

Are you ready? Let’s take a start now!

What are some Common Symptoms of Flu?

The common symptoms of flu may come all of a sudden. The following are some early flu symptoms:

– Dry Cough

An important symptom of flu is a dry cough that is usually characterized by wheezing, mucus, or chest tightness. It is an early symptom of flu that can be controlled by taking cough syrup, drinking lots of water, or by taking caffeine-free tea. To prevent the spread of the flu, it is important to cover your mouth while coughing, stay home, or wash your hands frequently. 

In case you have flu and are suffering from respiratory problems such as emphysema or asthma, you must immediately consult your doctor to prevent further complications.

– Fever (usually above 100 degrees F)

Fever is a common flu symptom that usually gets 100 degrees F or 38 degrees C or above. If you have a fever, it does not mean that you are suffering from the flu. It may indicate that your body is having some sort of infection!

Fever can be minimized by taking some medications but do keep in mind that they cannot cure the virus. For treating flu or influenza, you must take medicines that can cure it. 

– Tiredness or fatigue

You can experience fatigue if you have a common cold, but it is more severe in the case of flu. Fatigue can be limited by taking rest as it can strengthen your immune system, hence resulting in the ability to fight against diseases. 

– Sore throat

If you have a cough, it may result in a sore throat. In this condition, you may feel irritation in your throat, especially at the time of eating or drinking.

There are certain medicines that may treat sore throat, but it is always effective to drink soup, take tea, or do gargles regularly.

– Severe body, joints, and muscle aches

Body aches may be due to several reasons, but if you have severe pain in your muscles, joints, or the whole body, it means you have flu. To treat this, you can take different medicines that may relieve your pain.

– Other symptoms of flu

Apart from fever, sore throat, cough, body pain, or fatigue, there are several other symptoms of flu as well. For example, running nose, headache, chills, red, watery eyes, gastrointestinal problems including diarrhea or vomiting (This symptom can most be seen in children).

The Emergency Warning Symptoms of Flu in Adults

There are a few emergency warning symptoms of flu in adults after which they should consult their doctor or seek medical care immediately. Why? Because such signs are severe or concerning. These may include:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Severe muscle, joints, or body pain
  • Severe abdomen chest pain or pressure
  • Severe fatigue
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • High fever 
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Severe vomiting
  • When chronic medical conditions may get worse

All these symptoms show that your flu is severe!

Treating Flu Symptoms

If you have some early or mild symptoms of flu, the best way is to:

  • Take rest
  • Avoid contact with people (as it may spread the illness)
  • Drink plenty of water

Note: If you are at high risk of getting flu, your doctor may give you some antiviral drugs.

Spreading of Flu and Period of Contagiousness

Flu may spread from person to person. A person suffering from flu can spread it to others who are less than six feet away. It may also affect others if a person touches the surface that has a flu virus on it. 

The people with flu may spread the virus in the beginning when they develop illness typically in the first three or four days. However, young children or people with a weak immune system and who are suffering from flu are contagious for a long time. 

Who Are at High Risk of Flu?

Anyone even healthy people can get flu, but there are some people who are at a higher risk of flu. These may include people having some chronic health conditions. For example, people suffering from asthma may develop flu no matter they have mild or severe asthma. If such people get flu, their asthma symptoms may get worse, and the asthma attacks may get worse. If a person has heart disease or some previous history of stroke, he/she may also get flu rapidly, and the condition may get worse. Similar is the case with people suffering from cancer, kidney disorder, diabetes, or AIDS. Such people have more chances of getting flu.

The following is a list of all such health conditions that may increase the risk of getting flu:

  • Blood disorders
  • Liver and kidney diseases
  • Neurological conditions
  • Obesity
  • Weak immune system
  • Heart diseases (including heart failure or artery disorder)
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Asthma
  • AIDS
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnant women

Moreover, people age 65 years or older are usually at high risk for developing flu-related complications as compared to healthy young adults. 

All such people who have severe flu complications should get an annual flu vaccine as vaccination may help in minimizing the risk of getting sick with flu, hospitalization, or even dying from it. One popular flu vaccine that is given in an arm using a needle is a flu shot. However, there are certain symptoms after the flu shot, such as nausea, fever, muscle pain, and headache. These symptoms or side effects may disappear after a few days.

To sum up:

So, now you have come to know what exactly flu is, how it spreads, and what is the period of contagiousness. There are several symptoms or signs of flu, including cough, fever, tiredness, headache, body aches, weakness, dizziness, etc. Once you get to know what the early or severe flu symptoms are and what causes the flu, you must make some efforts to protect yourself from this contagious respiratory illness. Yes, it is right! If you have developed some symptoms of flu, you must take rest, drink water, and avoid contact with people. But to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu, it is always better to get a flu vaccine annually.