It’s Complicated! 7 Times When It’s No Longer The Flu

When most people get flu the expected time of recovery is from a few days to a few weeks. People tend to catch flu mostly in the fall and winter. The flu virus is very contagious and often affects the upper respiratory tract. Flu symptoms include headaches, fatigue and congested nasal passages but eventually subside. The downside is if flu doesn’t heal then it might complicate. If you start feeling other symptoms outside the usual flu symptoms then maybe it’s time to see the doctor. Below are 7 complications of flu that you should be aware of.

It's Complicated! 7 Times When It's No Longer The Flu
It’s Complicated! 7 Times When It’s No Longer The Flu


Bronchitis shares similar signs and symptoms as flu but can also occur at the same time. Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi in the lungs. This inflammation is often caused by viruses, of which flu is caused by viruses. If left untreated, bronchitis can be deadly.


Pneumonia is one of the complications of flu. Pneumonia can cause fluid buildup and reducing oxygen supply to the lungs and other tissues in the body. This needs to be treated as early as possible.

3. Worsening of lung conditions such as asthma

Asthmatic individuals may experience worsening symptoms when they have the flu. The virus causes inflammation of airways, and leads to an increased sensitivity to allergens and other asthma triggers.


Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils usually caused by viral infections. Severe sore throat and swollen glands are symptoms of tonsillitis and if untreated will further complicate and spread to other parts of the body especially the lungs.

5. Otitis media or ear infections

Though children are most commonly at risk for ear infections, adults can be affected. Due to the fact that the ear, nose and throat are connected, the flu virus can travel up to the ear canal. This causes inflammation of the inner ear caused by the flu virus. The virus may also attack the inner ear directly. If left untreated, ear infections or otitis media can end in hearing impairment or loss.


Sinus infections can develop because of the flu. The flu virus causes inflammation and fluid buildup in the sinuses. This can make breathing harder and causes loss of the sense of smell.

7. Meningitis 

One of the common symptoms of flu are headaches. For th so reason many never suspect that it might be a sign of something even more serious. Meningitis is a swelling of the meninges, or the tough outer membrane that covers the brain. There are two main variants of the disease: bacterial and viral. When the flu virus complicates, it may travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. Though rare, but the virus can affect the brain. If headaches persist seek medical attention as soon as possible.

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