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Colds and flu

Updated 25 March 2019

Symptoms of the flu

Some of the symptoms of influenza are: high fever with chills, dry cough, sore throat, blocked nose, sweating and shivering, muscle aches and pains.

If you have the flu, some or all of these symptoms may be present:

  • A high fever (often higher than 39°C) with chills. The fever is highest in children and least marked in the elderly.
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Blocked nose or nasal discharge
  • Sweating and shivering
  • Muscle aches and pains, especially in the legs (the “I've been run over by a bus” feeling)
  • A general feeling of malaise (not feeling well)
  • Fatigue and wanting to sleep all day

Symptoms can occur abruptly, and it’s sometimes possible to pinpoint the exact hour of the day that symptoms began.

Children often vomit and have diarrhoea, but these symptoms are infrequent in adults. In addition, flu complications may occur.

Reviewed by Cape Town-based general practitioner, Dr Dalia Hack. March 2019.

Read more:

- What causes the flu?

- How is the flu diagnosed?

 

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Ask the Expert

Flu expert

Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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