7 Common Flu Symptoms

The flu is a big deal. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that annually since 2010, influenza (a respiratory illness commonly known as the flu) has resulted in as many as 45 million illnesses, 810,000 hospitalizations, and 61,000 deaths.

Here at Arlington Family Practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, our expert team is committed to providing you top-notch care to relieve your flu symptoms as soon as possible. 

The symptoms of the flu can be confused with those of a cold, but flu symptoms typically arrive suddenly from one day to the next, while cold symptoms take time to develop.

Here are seven common flu symptoms to watch out for:

Excessive fatigue

If you suddenly become excessively tired, this may be a warning sign of the flu (it usually occurs before other symptoms). Take some time off from your normal activities to stay in bed and rest. You’re not being lazy — you’re giving your body a chance to rest and heal.

Body aches and chills

The flu can cause aching anywhere in your body, including your head, neck, back, and legs. If you’re running a fever, this can cause you to develop chills as well. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help ease your body aches and lower your fever, which can reduce your chills.

Dry, continuous cough

A persistent, dry cough is another sign of the flu. Cough drops and cough medicine can help ease your coughing. If you’re already dealing with respiratory issues, contact us so we can help prevent complications from your flu-related coughing.

Sore throat

The coughing mentioned above can easily lead to a sore throat, which is likely to get worse as your case of the flu progresses. Try chicken noodle soup and gargling with warm salt water to help soothe your throat.

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

Some strains of the flu virus can cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The big thing to watch out for in this case is dehydration. Drink water or sports drinks to help your body maintain an appropriate fluid level.

High temperature

A fever is a sign your body is fighting infection. Fevers caused by the flu are usually 100.4°F or higher. You might not have a fever with the flu; if you do, it can also lead to chills. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can bring your fever down, but they won’t make the virus any better.

Nasal congestion

Congestion in your nose and sinuses is less common with the flu than with a cold, but it still may be a symptom of the flu. You can try sinus medicine to ease the congestion, and keep a pack of tissues handy.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, contact Arlington Family Practice by phone or with our convenient online scheduler. We can develop a specific treatment plan for your individual case to get you up and running as soon as possible. 

General treatment advice includes keeping your distance from others as much as possible (the flu is very contagious), drinking lots of fluids, and getting plenty of rest.

If you’d like to avoid getting the flu altogether, the most effective prevention is the flu vaccine, available anytime at Arlington Family Practice. Just call or stop by today to schedule your shot.

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