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Difference between Flu and Sepsis

Difference between Flu and Sepsis

When it comes to illnesses and medical conditions, understanding the symptoms associated with them is key. This is especially true when faced with two of the more serious ailments out there: Flu and Sepsis. Both can have similar symptoms but different causes, treatments, and outcomes so properly identifying which one you or your loved ones are facing could mean life or death. In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into Flu vs Sepsis – what they are, their differences and similarities in terms of signs & symptoms as well as treatment options available to determine the best course of action for a speedy recovery.

What is Flu?

Flu, also known as influenza, is an extremely contagious respiratory illness that can cause severe complications such as pneumonia and even death. Flu symptoms may include fever, sore throat, coughing, body aches, fatigue, and more. The flu virus changes rapidly making it difficult to prevent with vaccines and antiviral medications. For those at high risk of developing serious flu-related health problems, it is important to take extra precautions to reduce the risk of infection such as washing your hands frequently and avoiding contact with those already infected or exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

What is Sepsis?

  • Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by an extreme overreaction of the body’s attempt to fight infection. Sepsis can start off as any type of infection, including a bacterial infection, viral infection, or fungal infection.
  • Normally when our bodies fight off infections, they create inflammation that helps contain the infection and promote healing. In cases of Sepsis, however, the inflammatory response goes into overdrive and causes systemic inflammation in other parts of the body such as vital organs or the brain.
  • Sepsis does not discriminate between people and can affect both children and adults alike. It is a serious health condition so it is important to be aware of ways to recognizing Sepsis in its early stages before it develops into severe Sepsis which can lead to septic shock.

Difference between Flu and Sepsis

Flu and sepsis are two potentially serious conditions, but they can often be difficult to differentiate from one another.

  • Flu is a viral respiratory illness that usually comes with minor symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, and fatigue. Sepsis, on the other hand, is an extreme response of the body to an infection.
  • Flu symptoms mostly affect the upper respiratory system and often last for about 1-2 weeks; meanwhile, those suffering from sepsis can experience confusion, hypotension (low blood pressure), and difficulty breathing.
  • Flu doesn’t usually require medical treatment unless it gets out of control. But medical attention is needed for sepsis as soon as its symptoms appear because, without it, it can quickly become life-threatening.

While both illnesses are similar in terms of their early symptoms like fever and chills, understanding their differences is key to getting timely treatment if needed.


It’s important to know the difference between these two ailments so that you can get proper treatment should either strike you or a loved one. If you think you may have sepsis, it’s vital that you seek medical care immediately as time is of the essence with this potentially deadly condition. Take steps now to learn more about sepsis and what you can do to protect yourself and your family from its dangers.

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