April 23, 2024
Can you have the flu without a fever? Learn about the symptoms, treatment options, and prevention methods for the flu without a fever in this informative article.


The flu, short for influenza, is a viral infection that affects many people every year. Most commonly, the flu comes with a high fever, along with other symptoms such as coughing, congestion, and fatigue. However, it’s possible to have the flu with no fever, which can be confusing for those experiencing symptoms. In this article, we’ll explore the possibility of having the flu without a fever, what to look for, and how to manage symptoms.

Symptoms of the Flu Without Fever: What to Look For

One of the main symptoms of the flu is a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. However, it’s possible to have the flu without a fever. Some symptoms that someone might experience if they have the flu without a fever include:

  • Fatigue
  • Body aches and pains
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Chills

These symptoms can also be present in a standard cold or other illness. However, with the flu, these symptoms tend to come on suddenly and can be more severe.

Is It Possible to Have the Flu Without a Fever? A Doctor Weighs In

According to Dr. John Po, a family medicine physician at UCLA Health, it is possible to have the flu without a fever. He explains that while fever is a common symptom, it’s not always present. Factors that might lead someone to have the flu without a fever include their age, overall health, and how their immune system responds to the virus.

The Surprising Ways the Flu Can Manifest Without a Fever

In addition to the symptoms mentioned earlier, there are some ways that the flu can manifest without a fever that people might not associate with the virus. These can include:

  • Stomach upset and diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Loss of appetite

It’s important to note that having no fever does not guarantee that someone does not have the flu.

When to Worry: Understanding the Seriousness of the Flu With No Fever

While having the flu without a fever might not seem as serious, it’s important to understand when someone should be concerned that they have the flu. According to Dr. Po, if someone is experiencing severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or confusion, they should seek medical attention. These symptoms can indicate complications from the flu such as pneumonia or dehydration.

Strategies for Managing the Flu Without a Fever

If someone has the flu without a fever, there are still ways to manage symptoms. Dr. Po suggests staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids such as water, tea, and soup. It’s also important to get plenty of rest to help the body fight off the virus. Other remedies that might help make someone feel better include:

  • Gargling with salt water to alleviate a sore throat
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with body aches and headaches
  • Using a humidifier to ease congestion

Prevention and Treatment Tips for the Flu That Doesn’t Come With a Fever

While there’s no surefire way to avoid getting the flu, there are ways to reduce the risk. Some tips for preventing the flu include:

  • Washing hands frequently throughout the day
  • Avoiding close contact with sick people
  • Covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Getting a flu shot each year

If someone does come down with the flu without a fever, there are still treatment options available. Dr. Po suggests using over-the-counter medications to manage symptoms, such as cough medicine or decongestants. It’s important to note that antibiotics do not work on the flu, as it is a viral infection.


Overall, it is possible to have the flu without a fever. While this can be confusing, it’s important to pay attention to other symptoms and monitor overall health. Seeking medical attention is important if someone experiences severe symptoms or complications from the flu. Staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest, and using remedies such as gargling with salt water or using a humidifier can help manage symptoms. Taking steps to prevent the flu, such as washing hands and getting a flu shot, can also be helpful in reducing the risk of getting sick.

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