CDC: Flu Symptoms

With increasing reports of H1N1 flu deaths, here are the symptoms of influenza from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Fever? Check. Cough? Check. Body aches? Check. Bad news. (Photo: Patch Archive)
Fever? Check. Cough? Check. Body aches? Check. Bad news. (Photo: Patch Archive)
The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta updated its Flu Symptom and Severity fact sheet at the start of the 2013 - 2014 flu season.

First Flu Death of Season Reported in County

With travelers packing airplanes for holiday travels, the number of cases of influenza has exploded, now officially categorized as widespread in half of the country.

Are you coughing your head off, blowing your nose nonstop or you feel as if you can't drag yourself out of bed?

According to the CDC, here's how to tell if you have the flu:

Influenza Symptoms

Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

* It's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Flu Complications

Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.

Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are examples of complications from flu. The flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may experience worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu.

People at Higher Risk from Flu

Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to flu can happen at any age, but some people are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.

Flu Severity

Flu is unpredictable and how severe it is can vary widely from one season to the next depending on many things, including:

  • what flu viruses are spreading,
  • how much flu vaccine is available,
  • when vaccine is available,
  • how many people get vaccinated, and
  • how well the flu vaccine is matched to flu viruses that are causing illness.

Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. During a regular flu season, about 90 percent of deaths occur in people 65 years and older.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Ray McLennan January 04, 2014 at 11:10 PM
The CDC and big Pharma are fear mongering as they did with the Swine Flu nondemic of 2009. This is simply another way for the government to serve the Pharmaceutical Lobby and suck people into getting flu shots that don't work. As soon as a Large drug company find a cure for the common cold they will be crying about how the common cold is dealier than small pox.
bruce k January 06, 2014 at 09:51 AM
Well, realistically all they can do is tell people the facts, and the facts are that if people are vaccinated with the correct vaccine it cuts down on transmission and cases of the flu ... especially in high-risk populations. If there's "mongering" going on it might be by you.


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