This season's cold/flu symptoms

jennDecember 23, 2005

My husband has been sick all week with what seemed at first to be a cold, then all of a sudden on the 3rd day he awoke with a very high fever of 103.5 with chills and aches and chest congestion. The next day, the chest congestion was gone but he still had a low fever and a lot of head congestion. Now it seems to be like a bad head cold with a low-grade fever hovering around 99°.

Several years ago I had the flu which came on very suddenly with a high fever on the first day and lasted for 4 days after that. I went to bed one night feeling perfectly fine, and awoke the next morning feeling like a truck ran over me during the night and I had a fever of 103° for almost 4 days. This one seems to peak after the 2nd day of what we thought was a cold, and then ends with what appears to be a cold. The flu-like symptoms are the high fever and weakness, but a flu typically begins with a sudden onset instead of gradually getting worse like he did this week. He is 75% back to normal now, thank goodness.

Has anyone else seen or heard of this pattern this season?


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Exactly how the symptoms occur depend so much on the individual's general physical condition. Some people run high fevers that quickly kill off the virus and others will run lower temps that take longer to do the job. Then, sometimes flu will cause secondary infections like broncitis or pneumonia, which prolongs what seems to be the oringinal flu bug, but are really something different requiring different treatment. Hope you are both feeling better.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 10:33AM
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Thanks PB. How does one's general condition affect the initial fever being high or low? Do you mean that someone in good condition would need a lower fever to do the job? And why would the fever start low, say around 99°, then spike to 103.5 after 2 days? Is that because the low fever didn't do the job so it kicked in higher?

My understanding of the flu is that it has a sudden onset that includes a high fever. It usually doesn't begin with a cold.

Oh well, he is much better now but the headache doesn't want to go away and he feels weak after sitting or lying around all week.


    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 1:37PM
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What I meant was that some people will always run very high temps even with a mild illness and others will seldom run over 100 unless they are very very ill. Actually no one can be sure of a flu diagnosis unless tests and cultures are done. Flu is a virus and will not culture out while a similar acting bacterial infection will. Antibiotics are given even when the doctor is sure it's a virus to prevent a secondary infection like pneumonia or bronchitis.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 8:00PM
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Thanks PB.

He's going to stay home today.... I feel so bad for him. He did a couple of things to prepare for a brunch yesterday with my parents and I think he overdid it, though it wasn't really a lot. I guess he just wasn't ready to do anything. It seems to be a very, very bad head cold or else the flu, we still don't know. I could clobber the person who went out sick and transfered it to him!!!!


    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 1:00PM
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Whenever I get near 100 degrees, I feel as bad as anything. DH, though, gets really high temperatures when he's ill. He never thinks I'm really as sick as I am since my fever doesn't get that high and his doctor said that 99.6 wasn't even considered a fever. How can I prove to him that 100 degrees for some people is a high fever? On days that I am not sick, I hardly ever get to 98 degrees.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 5:42PM
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I have had a viral infection for about a month that is finally going away. It would come and go, fevers of up to 101, aches, chills, vomiting, the whole 9 yards.

Fluid and rest have finally beat it (I hope!)


    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 8:32PM
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Marie, that's how I am I'm healthy most of the time, never get flu shots, never get the flu (knock on wood). My temp normally runs around 97.6 and some AMs as low as 96. I have had a couple of times when I've felt really rotten and take my temp and it's 98.8 or 99 and I'm too sick to get out of bed. This hardly ever happens. When I think I'm coming down with something, as I did this week, sore throat, headache, extra cold, I take out the garlic, grapefruit seed extract, vit C, multivit and juice, maybe advil, by next morning I'm back normal feeling again.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 4:54PM
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