Signs and Symptoms of the Flu

Your patient is presenting with a stuffed up nose, sneezing, tiredness and a general feeling of being run down. But is it a cold, or is it the flu?

The symptoms of both can be similar, but flu can be very serious or even life threatening in those who are very young, very elderly or who have a compromised immune system. The key is in recognizing flu as early as possible and offering the best course of treatment quickly.

What You Need To Know
Unlike a cold, flu symptoms usually come on suddenly. The patient will usually also have a high temperature and fever which aren’t generally present with colds. Additionally, they may also have:

  • Weakness or extreme fatigue
  • A sore throat and runny nose
  •  A headache
  • Severe aches in muscles and joints
  • Warm, flushed skin and red, watery eyes
  • A dry cough
  • Pain and tiredness around their eyes

Adults with seasonal flu don’t generally vomit or have diarrhea, but children might. Some symptoms can mean the patient’s illness is severe, requiring urgent help if they present with any of the following:

  • Sudden dizziness
  • Severe vomiting
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Pain or pressure in their chest or abdomen

Are you a healthcare professional who regularly sees patients presenting with seasonal flu?

Why not brush up your diagnosis and treatment skills with our three-day CPD course Minor Ailments Essentials. Aimed specifically at nurses, pharmacists, paramedics and other allied healthcare professionals, this minor illness course offers training to enhance your skills and confidence in dealing with common and not so common patient complaints seen in primary health care.

Dates are available in December 2019, April 2020 and September 2020 but spaces fill up quickly so book up early. All course material and refreshments are provided, with each course date taking place in London (Hamilton House).

This course assumes attendees are confident in history taking and physical examination.

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