Influenza can be a serious illness with severe effects including hospitalisation, complications and even death. Influenza is not just a ‘bad cold’. Although some of the symptoms are the same, influenza is usually much more severe. Influenza illness can include any or all of these symptoms: fever, muscle aches, headache, lack of energy, dry cough, sore throat, and possibly runny nose and generally feeling miserable.
The fever and body aches can last 3-5 days and the cough and lack of energy may last for 2 or more weeks. Influenza can be difficult to diagnose based on clinical symptoms alone because the initial symptoms of influenza can be similar to those caused by other infectious agents including, but not limited to, Mycoplasma Pneumoniae, Adenovirus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Rhinovirus, Parainfluenza Viruses and Legionella.
Influenza can lead to serious complications, particularly in people with existing medical conditions such as heart or lung conditions. Complications include pneumonia, heart failure and worsening asthma.