What are flu symptoms in adults

Flu - signs and course

The sudden onset of the disease is typical of influenza - otherwise healthy people, for example, have a high fever (up to 41 ° C), fatigue, chills, sweats, headaches, sore throats and throat irritation without warning. Usually photophobia and sensitivity to noise are also added. But even individual symptoms such as a high fever and unproductive cough can indicate flu. On the other hand, only a higher temperature (<38.5 ° C) and a cold speak more for a cold.

The incubation period, i.e. the time from infection to the onset of the first signs of illness, is usually only one to two days for the flu. People who are already infected and do not show any symptoms are still contagious.

Influenza is an acute infection of the respiratory tract. In addition to the initial symptoms, there are often also loss of appetite, shortness of breath, dizziness, muscle, joint and eye pain. There is a strong general feeling of illness.

The fever can last 3 to 4 days. A further rise in fever around the 3rd day of illness indicates the onset of an additional bacterial infection. The excruciating dry cough can last for a few weeks. The duration of the illness is usually 7 to 14 days. Almost all people suffering from the flu are unable to work or go to school and should stay at home due to the high risk of infection.

The course of influenza depends on the one hand on the type of influenza virus itself and on the other hand on the current state of the patient's immune system. For a generally healthy organism with an intact immune system, the flu is usually not a life-threatening problem. The majority of flu infections go away when the patient is completely healthy. However, healing often takes several weeks with a constant and sometimes excruciating dry cough. Even weeks after the influenza has subsided, patients often suffer from pronounced general inefficiency, loss of appetite and malaise.

Complications can occur in the elderly, infants, young children, pregnant women or people with pre-existing diseases of the respiratory tract, kidneys or heart as well as in immunocompromised patients, which in the worst case can lead to death.