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Clinical Symptoms & Signs

Symptoms of influenza virus are usually experienced one to four days after infection occurs. During this incubation period the virus replicates in the respiratory tract. Influenza can spread to other persons before symptoms start and up to three to four days after symptoms appear.

Usually the symptoms start very quickly and can include

Flu normally lasts for approximately one week. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can sometimes accompany the infection, especially in children, but they are rarely the primary symptoms. Only in very rare cases does the flu cause symptoms in the stomach or the intestines. The so-called "stomach flu" is not influenza, but rather an infection caused by bacteria or other viruses such as adeno- or rotavirus. Influenza has been recently demonstrated as a major cause of pediatric otitis media.