Are headaches alone a symptom of the flu? How about hives?


Headaches are a common symptom, but they've got to be consistent and typically coupled with coughs, fevers or chills. Just because you feel a headache coming on doesn't mean you're bound for the sickbed.

Hives are rare, but can happen.


Dr. Courteney Mackuen- Emergency Medicine Physician- Cone Memorial Hospital- North Carolina

Dr. Julie Linderman- Inwood Village Pediatrics- Dallas, Texas

Centers for Disease Control

Adventist Health Care

Children's National Health System

Holy Cross Hospital


Almost as bad as catching the flu, most of us have caught the flu scare.

Strains of misinformation are spreading online, and Verify is here to separate the germs from the gems.

Many warnings are out right now that a headache may not just be a headache during this flu epidemic, but does that mean that if you have a headache it means you're on track for the flu?

Not so fast.

When it rains it pours and typically symptoms come in couples.

"It's hard hanging your hat on any one symptom," Dr. Courteney Mackuen, an Emergency Medicine Physician in North Carolina said. "That is why we encourage people to go to their primary care provider, and I can say that headache certainly can be dangerous. But I can't say that every headache is dangerous."

Other notorious flu symptoms include chills, fever, sore throat, coughing and sneezing, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

If you sense the onset of a headache, but not feeling much of anything else, it's not sure-fire that you've got the flu.

Hives are also getting buzz, after a mother in Texas posted a photo of her son covered in the them.

Brodi Willard said her son tested positive with influenza B immediately after breaking out in the rash.

Local hospitals and the Centers for Disease Control don't list hives as a common symptom. But the skin condition can be an allergic reaction to some viruses.

"Now hives are not classic for the flu, but the body sometimes will have an allergic type of reaction to a virus, which is what it sounds like happened in this case," Dr. Julie Linderman, of Inwood Village Pediatrics, said.


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