What are the symptoms of flu?

Flu Symptoms 

In adults, common flu symptoms include:

  • a temperature of 38°C or higher

  • chills

  • sore throat

  • achy muscles, often in your arms, legs, neck, back and shoulders

  • tiredness

  • cough

  • blocked nose, or a runny nose

  • sneezing

  • headache

  • no appetite

  • wheezing when you breathe

Flu symptoms in children and babies

In children, the symptoms are the same as in adults, as listed above, but you should also look out for:

If your baby or child is showing severe symptoms, or if you’re worried about them, you should see a GP for more advice.

What’s the difference between a cold and the flu?

A cold and the flu are caused by different viruses, but can have similar symptoms, so it can be hard to tell them apart. Flu usually comes on a lot quicker than a cold, which can develop over a few days.

The flu usually has more severe symptoms than a cold too, as listed above. With a cold, you’ll usually only have a runny or blocked nose, a sore throat, sneezing, headaches and sometimes a cough.

The flu can also have serious complications, whereas a cold usually doesn’t have any lasting effects.