Is it Flu if There is no Fever? – Understanding The Difference

posted by Anupriya 0 comments
No Fever. But Still Flu?

Recently, my boy caught a cold and I took him to the pediatrician thinking she will give him a medicine for common cold. But she told me that my child had a flu-like illness and I should have given him a flu shot. I was confused because he had no fever so I asked the pediatrician if my child has no fever, is it still flu?

She then went on to explain to me that fever is a common but not a compulsory symptom of flu [2]. She said that fever is a way of the body to curb the growth of virus that causes flu and stop it from growing further. In most cases where the Influenza virus is mild, the body seems capable of fighting it off without raising its temperature. In such cases fever may not be a visible symptom of flu. The diagnosis of flu will then be dependent on the occurrence of other symptoms [3] i.e.

  • fatigue
  • a headache
  • body ache
  • dry cough
  • sore throat
  • loss of appetite

Ever since I have come to understand the answer to the question, “if my child has no fever is it still flu?”, I have made it a point to share this information with my friends and fellow mothers.

What can a parent do to identify and curb the effects of Influenza (Flu) incase fever as a symptom is not visible?

If there are any of the above mentioned symptoms even in absence of fever, one should consult the doctor for influenza.

To answer the doubt that if my child has no fever is it still flu, my pediatrician gave me a very logical answer. She said that the symptoms of a disease go from being mild to severe within a short span of time.  It is possible that fever may occur only in case of severe flu. So if other symptoms are present, one must still rush to the doctor for relevant treatment.

One must note that Influenza Vaccine is an effective way to keep away flu. The vaccine once administered takes 1 to 2 weeks to become effective [1]. So yes, the Influenza vaccine is a preventive vaccine.

It helps to be aware that Influenza, may be treated and the risk of transmission may be reduced via early diagnosis of respiratory infection [4]. This is possible even if the child does not have fever.

As a parent, I understand the severity of flu. Since it is contagious, the Influenza Vaccine is the most effective way to keep it away.

References –

  1. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/late-flu-shot.html
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324400.php
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/flu-without-fever#flu-and-fever
  4. https://www.mdedge.com/fedprac/article/129218/mixed-topics/how-common-flu-without-fever

To read more about flu among children click here.

You may also like

Leave a Comment