Flu in Children - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your child's flu?

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Flu in Children Symptoms

Symptoms usually begin two to three days after exposure to the virus. The flu comes on quickly and attacks the upper respiratory system.

  • Classic symptoms include high-grade fever up to 104 F (40 C), chills, muscle aches, headaches, sore throat, dry cough, and malaise (just plain feeling sick). These symptoms usually last for three to four days, but cough and tiredness may linger for one to two weeks after the fever has gone away. Other family members or close contacts often have a similar illness.
  • In younger children, the pattern of influenza may be a typical influenza-like illness or look like other respiratory tract infections such as croup, bronchitis, or pneumonia. Abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea are frequently observed in children. Vomiting tends to be more significant than diarrhea. Fever is usually high, and irritability may be prominent.
  • In infants, the flu often goes unrecognized because the signs and symptoms are not specific and may suggest a bacterial infection. Influenza in infants younger than 6 months of age is less common, but symptoms include lethargy, poor feeding, and poor circulation.
  • Complications from the flu include pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and may worsen asthma, heart failure, or diabetes.
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