Initial Flu Symptoms: 5 Key Signs You May Have the Flu

initial flu symptoms

The flu can happen at any time of the year, but it peaks in winter and fall. 

The flu shot takes a couple of weeks to be fully effective. Unfortunately, getting a flu shot won’t do you much good once you start experiencing initial flu symptoms. The flu shot also won’t give you the flu, though that myth persists.

Keep reading for five initial flu symptoms that serve as warning signs for your body.

1. Aches and Chills

Sudden body aches are a classic flu symptom. Fever and muscle pain often go hand-in-hand. That means your body may hurt even as it feels chilled. 

It’s possible the pains could be a gym injury. But it’s not as likely during flu season, especially if you haven’t worked out in a few days. 

Why does your body ache when you have the flu? It’s an immune response that means the body is fighting back. It’s a positive thing, even if it doesn’t feel that way. 

2. Fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most frustrating initial flu symptoms. In fact, many unlucky people figure out they have the flu when they wake up for work and realize they’re too tired to get out of bed. 

It’s not the regular tiredness that’s part of everyday life. It’s a more debilitating feeling. Even getting up to go to the bathroom or feed the cat can wear you out. 

3. Dry Cough

A persistent cough is common in cold weather. But a dry cough is more likely to be a sign of the flu.

A wetter cough could mean you’ve got a cold. Sometimes, people with the flu will also have mucus, but it’s not as likely. 

Herbal tea or cough drops can help alleviate cough symptoms. It’s also important to stay hydrated. 

4. Bad Headaches

Headaches can be a sign of almost everything. They’re also one of the lesser-known early flu symptoms.

If the rest of your body is aching, your head will often want to join the party. It can ache in throb in a way that makes you want to hide under the covers.

People with the flu often want nothing more than to stay in bed and sleep. But a killer headache makes that feel impossible. Turn to pain relievers like Advil or Tylenol. 

5. Scratchy Throat

How do you know if you got the flu? It can begin with something as simple as a sore or scratchy throat.

An odd feeling in your throat often hits before the coughing begins. Drinking your morning coffee can give you pause. Something about your throat feels off, but you’re not sure what.

When that happens, switch to drinks without caffeine. Now’s also a good time to buy some soup.

Recognizing Initial Flu Symptoms 

Many people try to dismiss initial flu symptoms. But if it’s the flu, it will soon make itself known loudly.

You may be able to shorten your sick time a bit by recognizing symptoms and getting early treatment. Our urgent care clinics can see most patients quicker than their regular doctor.

If the above symptoms sound familiar, contact us right away, or just walk into one of our locations.

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