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10 Telltale Signs You’ve Caught the Summer Flu

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You’re coughing, you’ve got the chills and you’re running a fever: that definitely sounds like the flu, right? But influenza shares many symptoms with other medical conditions, some serious, some harmless. How do you know for sure if it’s the flu? And if it is influenza, when should you seek medical attention? Influenza affects up to 20 percent of the US on average a year, and more than 200,000 patients are hospitalized because of complications. By using the following tips, you can quickly narrow down what medical condition you may have developed, and know what you can do to get better as soon as possible.

10. How Did it Start?

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The most common symptoms of the flu are very similar to the common cold. With a cold, symptoms normally begin with a sore throat, and all symptoms should be fading or gone over the course of a few days. In cases of influenza, patients can also suffer from a high fever, vomiting and diarrhea. These last symptoms are more common in cases of young children, however, and only appear in more severe cases in adults.

9. Chills, Fever, and Aching

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Although fever, muscle achiness, fatigue and chills can occur with a common cold, these symptoms are much more severe and common when infected with influenza. If you find yourself exhausted in the first few days of your illness, persistantly achy, or suffering from an extreme fever, it’s a very good chance that you have the flu.

8. Congestion, Sore Throat, Sneezing

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These symptoms are normally a sign that you have the common cold. Although you may develop these symptoms during the flu, they are not common. However, if you do start feeling severe cases of these symptoms, you should call your doctor. When suffering from influenza, severe symptoms such as sore throat or congestion can be signs of medical complications, such as strep throat or a sinus infection, just to name a few.

7. Vomiting and Diarrhea

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The most telltale signs of the flu. Although most common in children or seniors, vomiting and diharrea can occur in young adults as well. These symptoms are the main reason for complications such as dehdration, as patients can sometimes neglect to drink enough fluids to make up for those being lost. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s normally safe to assume you’ve developed the flu, not a cold.

6. Flu Season

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Depending on the time of year, it is much easier to catch the flu. Epidemics of influenza type A and B spread routinely across the country, usually during similar times a year. Because of this, we have what we call “flu season.” Although feeling ill around flu season doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve caught the flu, if you find yourself developing symptoms around these times of year you’ll want be extra careful about your health.

Marissa is a talented writer and journalist with a strong background in covering physical and mental health issues. Find Marissa on LinkedIn!

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