What are the symptoms of influenza? Symptoms usually include: • Fever • Chills • Headache • Cough • Sore throat • Muscle aches • Diarrhea and nausea occasionally in children Symptoms usually start about 1-4 days after being exposed and can last 2-7 days. Complications may include pneumonia, hospitalization and death. How is influenza spread? Flu is spread from close contact with persons who are sick with flu or from touching surfaces or objects that have flu virus on them. Infection can occur when flu viruses contact the eyes, mouth, or nose, and through breathing in droplets from a sneeze or cough. People may be able to spread the virus to others about one day before they show symptoms and up to seven days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to spread the flu to someone else before you even know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.