What are the symptoms of the flu?
The onset of flu symptoms can happen quickly, with some people developing symptoms one to four days after exposure to the virus. If you become sick, it’s important that you know how to differentiate flu symptoms from common cold symptoms. Flu and cold symptoms can be similar, but cold symptoms are usually milder. In addition, cold symptoms come on gradually.
It’s different with the flu. Not only is the onset of symptoms abrupt, but the flu also causes symptoms that might not occur with the common cold.
Symptoms of the flu and common cold include:
- runny nose
- sore throat
If you have the flu, additional symptoms may include:
- body aches
- chest discomfort
If you’re over the age of 65 and develop any of these flu symptoms, see a doctor right away to reduce the risk of complications. If you see a doctor within the first 48 hours of your first symptom, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication. When taken early, this medication can reduce the duration and severity of your illness.
There’s no cure for the flu, so the virus must run its course. The symptoms do respond to over-the-counter cold and flu medications, though. It’s also important to get plenty of rest to strengthen your immune system and fight the virus.
By taking care of yourself at home, you should feel better within one to two weeks. With the help of informed and proactive families, we can help more older adults get the care they need, and so reduce serious illnesses and deaths from the flu.