Can You Have the Flu Without a Fever?


According to the CDC, it is possible to have the flu without having a fever. The three different types of flu viruses are A, B and C. According to WebMD, types A and B are responsible for debilitating high fevers, aches, coughing and sniffling. Type C is less severe, and does not often include a fever.

Flu Facts According to WebMD, the flu is associated with between 3,000 and 49,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations in the United States each year. The type A flu virus is the only type that is capable of infecting animals, and it is also the type primarily responsible for large flu epidemics as the virus is constantly evolving. The type B virus only infects humans and tends to be less harsh than type A. Type C also only affects humans, and is much less severe than types A or B.

Symptoms Flu symptoms can include a fever, sore throat, stuffy nose, headache, fatigue, and a cough. The flu can be differentiated from the common cold in a number of ways. While cold symptoms come on gradually, the onset of flu symptoms is usually rapid. While sufferers of the common cold rarely get a fever or feel feverish, a fever often accompanies the flu. Other symptoms of the flu that are less common among cold sufferers are chills, muscle aches, headache, and fatigue.

Treatment Those suffering from the flu should stay home and limit contact with others, with the exception of medical professionals. Those with the flu should also drink plenty of clear liquids to prevent loss of fluids. It may also be helpful to take fever-reducers such as Tylenol if uncomfortable.

High Risk Groups Most people who contract the flu will not need professional medical care. However, those in high risk groups should contact their health care provider immediately if infected with the flu. High risk groups include young children, people 65 and older, and pregnant women. People in these groups should contact their health care provider within two days of the onset of symptoms, as they could benefit from antiviral treatment.