Influenza (flu) is a viral upper respiratory illness that comes on suddenly. The flu is not the same as the common cold; flu symptoms are usually more severe, and you will often miss more work or school than you would with a cold.
Flu symptoms include:
- body aches
- loss of appetite
- a dry cough
- sore or dry throat
Most people recover without problems, but sometimes the illness leads to a bacterial infection, such as an ear infection, sinus infection, or bronchitis. Good home treatment may help prevent these infections.
More serious complications, most commonly pneumonia, may develop in some people. People at increased risk for complications that require hospitalization are young children, adults age 65 and older, and those with serious medical problems.