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Recognizing Flu Symptoms

man in pjs lying in bed with icepack on forehead, holding a thermometer and frowningWhat are the symptoms of the flu?

Signs, also called “symptoms,” of the flu include:

*Not everyone with the flu has a fever.


Do I have the flu or a cold?

The flu and the common cold have similar symptoms. It can be difficult to tell the difference between them. Your doctor can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to find out whether or not you have the flu.

In general, the flu is worse than the common cold.  Symptoms that are more common and intense with the flu include:

People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.  You can find out more at What’s the Difference Between Colds and the Flu?


When should I get emergency medical help?

Get medical help right away if you are having any of the following:


Related Information

Treating the Flu
Caring for Someone with the Flu


This article is based on information available at ( accessed November 2012.

For more information:

Go to the Cold and Flu health topic.