Common symptoms of the flu include a cough, sore throat, fever of 100 degrees or higher, chills, fatigue and headache, according to FLU.gov. Some people also have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, although these symptoms are more common in children than adults.
The flu and the cold have similar symptoms, so it can be hard for people to tell the difference between the two. Generally, flu symptoms are more severe than cold symptoms, and last longer. Health care providers now have a test they can administer when someone gets sick that will determine if the illness is a cold or the flu.
The most common type of flu is seasonal flu. Seasonal flu spreads through sneezes and coughs and is prevalent during the fall and winter months. Most people treat flu symptoms at home with over-the-counter medications, but severe cases can be treated by a doctor with antiviral medications.
Always contact a doctor if symptoms include confusion, difficulty breathing, purple or blue lips, seizures, severe vomiting, or shortness of breath. These indicate the flu has developed into a more serious illness and should be checked out immediately.
Anyone who has contracted the flu should stay home and away from others as much as possible. The best way to avoid the flu is to get a yearly vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).