Most of us usually use both terms ‘fever’ and ‘flu’ interchangeably without really understanding the difference between them. But in reality, there is a big difference between the two health disorders, their causes, symptoms and treatments.

Flu, also known as influenza, is a viral infection that specifically targets the respiratory system. On the other hand, fever is an indication of your body fighting an infection.

The table below explains in detail the differences between fever and flu:


Causes You get a fever when your body is fighting an infection. This infection could be a viral, bacterial or parasitic one. You get the flu either through direct contact with another person suffering from it or through air particles. The influenza virus is of three types – A, B and C. The first two cause severe symptoms and outbreaks while the last usually results in milder respiratory symptoms.
Symptoms The main symptom of fever is abnormally high body temperature. This can be accompanied by headaches, shivering and even deliriousness in some cases. Symptoms of flu include high viral fever, body pain and headaches, chills, coughing, fatigue, etc. You could also suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
Potential Complications If you’ve been experiencing high fever, you should get blood tests done in order to understand the root cause. While a fever by itself is not considered dangerous, add other symptoms such as cold, cough, drowsiness or seizures, and you’ve got yourself a case that needs immediate medical attention. These symptoms and long lasting fever are signs that your body is unable to fight off the infection effectively and might need help. A case of influenza can get complicated if the patient develops pneumonia, sinusitis, etc. If you have a history of respiratory diseases such as asthma or bronchitis, you need to be especially careful as you may experience your symptoms worsening after a bout of flu.


Treatment Antipyretic medications combined with doses of antiviral or antibiotic drugs can help fight fever. If your system is functioning properly, your body will be able to fight off flu by itself. In case of severity of symptoms, you can take paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen.


Since you now understand these two health issues in more detail, you also understand how both can get worse and more complicated if not treated in time. If you find yourself or your loved ones suffering from fever symptoms or flu symptoms, it’s best to get checked by a doctor at a credible clinic such as Apollo Clinics. Not only will the experts at Apollo Clinic diagnose the problem correctly, they will also tackle it and ensure that the situation doesn’t get complicated. As Dr. A Ananda Sagari, Apollo Clinic Manikonda, Hyderabad, says “Given the infections in today’s environment and the rate at which they can affect your body, it is always better to consult a doctor in case of fever or flu symptoms.”

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