Have I got the flu?

Flu symptoms can come on suddenly,1 and early signs of the flu are often confused with those of a cold. Knowing the difference between a cold and the flu, can help speed up the treatment process and aid a quick recovery.

Symptoms checker

Here are the early flu symptoms to look out for:1,2

  • Fever of 100–104°F (38°C - 40°C) (although not everyone with the flu will have a fever)

  • Body aches

  • Headaches

  • Chills

  • Weakness and fatigue

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Diarrhea or vomiting (more common in children)

Of course, everybody is different, and while some people with the flu will get all of these symptoms, others might only experience a few.1

Cold or the flu

Unlike those associated with the flu, cold symptoms come on gradually. They include:1

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Sore throat

  • Mild/moderate cough

  • Sneezing

Colds do not usually require any specific measures beyond taking over-the-counter medications to help ease symptoms, and you can normally get these from your local pharmacy.

See if you can guess who has the flu and who just has a cold below…


Age: 5 years old

Symptoms include:
Runny nose, sore throat, diarrhea


Age: 17 years old

Symptoms include:
Moderate cough (slow to develop), sneezing


Age: 42 years old

Symptoms include:
Fever (developed suddenly), weakness, stuffy nose


Age: 71 years old

Symptoms include:
Body aches, headaches, cough

Suspect the flu? call or visit your doctor

If you feel ill with some or all of the symptoms listed above, and you suspect the flu, speak to your doctor as soon as possible to confirm a diagnosis.

Treatments are available to protect you from the flu and its complications. These include a specific type of treatment called antiviral flu medications.3

Discover more about antiviral drugs for the flu