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Influenza Program
Signs & Symptoms

​What are the signs and symptoms of influenza?

  • Symptoms develop 1 to 3 days after a person has become infected.
  • Influenza has a sudden onset with fever, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, sore throat, tiredness and cough.
  • Fever may not be prominent in children or the elderly.
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are not common in adults but may occur in children.
  • Influenza is more severe than the common cold (see table below).
  • In severe cases, influenza may result in pneumonia, bronchitis, kidney or heart failure.
  • Most symptoms resolve in 5 to 7 days, but cough and fatigue can last 2 weeks or more.

What if my child or I have symptoms?

  • Do not attend daycare, school, place of work, social gathering places (e.g., coffee shop) or volunteer activities while symptoms are present.
  • If you are a healthcare worker, do not attend work for 5 days after onset of symptoms.

​ ​ Common Cold vs. Influenza​


Common Cold​


Fever​Rare (mild)​​Common 39 - 40 degrees celcius (sudden onset)
Aches and pains​Occasional (mild)​Common (often severe)​
Fatigue/weakness​Occasional (mild)​Common (severe)​
Headache​Rare except with sinus congestion​Common (can be severe)​
Sore throat​Common​Occassional (mild)​
Cough​Common (mild to moderate)​Common (can be severe)​
Nasal discharge​Common​Occassional​
Chest discomfort​Occasional (mild to moderate)​Common (can become severe)​
​Symptoms last5 - 10 days​Up to 2 weeks​


Last Modified: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 |
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