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What are symptoms of the flu?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of the flu include a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, chills, headache, body ache, fatigue, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea, according to Flu.gov. Not all people with the flu will experience all symptoms.

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Full Answer

The common cold and the flu have similar symptoms, so it can be difficult to differentiate between the two. Luckily, a flu test is available that allows health care providers to determine if an illness is definitely the flu within just a day or two of the onset of symptoms. Generally, the symptoms of the flu are much more severe than those of the common cold. Symptoms like body aches, cough, fatigue and fever are more intense with the flu than with the common cold while people with colds generally have stuffy or runny noses more often than with the flu.

Those people experiencing flu symptoms should seek out immediate medical attention if they begin to have difficulty breathing, are short of breath or if a blue or purple discoloration of the lips occurs, warns Flu.gov. Additionally, sudden dizziness, seizures, severe or persistent vomiting, confusion or flu-like symptoms that get better then return with a worsened cough and fever can be signs that immediate evaluation by a physician is needed.

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